Commentary RESEARCH

Silk Road spirit deepens China-Central Asia bond

Elena

2023-05-30 02:08

BEIJING REVIEW

The lush green city of Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi Province, with blooming peony flowers, has just hosted the China-Central Asia Summit that established new multilateral cooperation mechanisms in various fields between them. It was lauded by the international community at large.

The historical gathering, hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping and attended by leaders from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, has opened a new chapter in the diplomacy and development philosophy of China and Central Asia.

The valued and prestigious summit, born from the China + Central Asia (C+C5) cooperation mechanism and established in 2020, shows the growing and increasing demand for deepening cooperation between both sides in order to meet the needs of their people.

The gathering has generated a very strong, loud, and clear message to the world that there is no space for protectionism and isolationist forces and that globalization and an approach of unity will dominate for a better understanding of each other and sustainable peace.

Concerted efforts for regional development

The summit hosted in Xi’an sets an example that China values regional development, progress, sustainable security, and understanding between civilizations by joining hands with those who wish to prosper by rejecting the Western agenda of hostilities and destruction.

It has become an eminent fact that China is not only focusing on its own development but also sharing the gains with others by enhancing common progress at the regional and international levels.

With the solid steps of engagements with its reliable partners of development, China is fulfilling the dream of the Asian century by providing more opportunities of prosperity for peace-loving nations in Asia that have been facing an onslaught of non-Asian countries for a long.

The presence of regional leaders in Xi’an highlights the emerging trends of cooperation and deepening bond with China which has always been open for the development of fruitful relationships by building new approaches of openness.

It must be noted the collective attendance of these Central Asian nations has shown the diplomatic and development mood of the region. It is very obvious that deepening the connection and exchanges with China is the top priority for them.

It is also important to note that the declarations of meetings held by Central Asian leaders in China carry a very transparent and strong message that they want to remain stick to their agenda of development and they cannot be used as a proxy to destabilize the peace and stability in the region.

President Xi’s keynote speech at the summit drafted the blueprint of more meaningful cooperation between both sides by stating that “China is ready to take the summit as an opportunity and work closely with Central Asian countries to ensure the China-Central Asia cooperation is well planned, effectively implemented and steadily advanced.”

The historical speech by President Xi at the summit has pushed up the opening up of new prospects and platforms for China-Central Asia cooperation while the attendance of Central Asian leaders has expressed their confidence and resolves to strengthen cooperation with China and pursue common development.

The friendly neighbors connected by rivers and mountains carry a splendid history of starting point of the Silk Road that has been embedded into the development and diplomatic vision of China and Central Asia based on mutual respect and harmony.

The strengthening of the relationship between China and the Central Asian region following the summit has emerged as a significant milestone that paves the way for a new era of expanded cooperation with the creation of a fresh roadmap for their partnership.

The engagements at the summit have demonstrated that China and Central Asian countries with good trading volume will advance comprehensive understanding by deepening mutual trust in security and regional development.

The BRI has yielded results in Central Asia

The win-win cooperation between China and the Central Asian countries under the emblem of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has already built solid cooperation platforms, which have benefited both sides.

The successful participation of Central Asian countries in BRI has generated notable and significant benefits for all that have also pushed forward the relationship between people on all sides.

These bilateral projects are turning into multilateral cooperation as the preparations for the flagship project of the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway have initiated. It testifies to the common objectives and aspirations of China and Central Asian nations to improve energy, transportation, and other infrastructure along the Silk Road in the region.

The pragmatic and strategic partnership between China and Central Asia has ushered in a new era of understanding and strengthened meaningful cooperation by injecting and yielding durable results.

The summit has drawn a comprehensive and fruitful outcome that will be realized in multiple areas including security, economic, and political fields as the participants have reached a new consensus of cooperation amid the expectations of supporting each other.

Mutual understanding based on the meaningful consultations of China-Central Asian countries with the scope of shared future in the fields of economy, trade, finance, and credit is emerging as a source of integration of thoughts practicalities, and commonalities.

These areas of collaboration are opening up market potentials for both sides to explore the booming demands of businesses for all kinds of manufacturers and goods that are appealing for their affordability and quality.

The trade volume between China and five Central Asian countries have already touched $70 billion in 2022 while it has also recorded an expansion of 22 percent in the first quarter of the year 2023, It shows that the trade and economic cooperation between the two sides has achieved tangible and solid outcome since the establishment of ties.

China-Central Asia’s close bond would benefit not only the two sides but also the rest of the world by carrying forward the regional and global economies towards gaining a better pace of growth.

The summit has laid a solid foundation for the development of closer ties with the aim of promoting combined interests in a unified position, and the benefits will be cultivated by the generations to come.

The author is a researcher on diplomacy and a media fellow of the China-South Asia and South East Asia Press Centre.


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