NUR-SULTAN, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- More than three years have passed, but Almas Chukin, a prominent Kazakh economist, still vividly remembers the excitement on the day when the first wind turbine arrived in Zhanatas, a desert city in Kazakhstan that suffered from industrial decline at that time.
The city was once a center of phosphate rock mining and fertilizer production, but it witnessed big job losses following the decline of the industries, Chukin told Xinhua in a recent interview. Since 2011, local authorities had been promoting wind power projects and finally joined forces with China after approaching countless potential partners.
The project under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has demonstrated how effective cooperation can transform the concept of "building a community with a shared future for mankind" into practical reality, said the economist, who is currently a managing partner at Visor Kazakhstan, an investor of Central Asia's biggest wind power project Zhanatas.
The wind power farm, which was put into operation in 2021 with a capacity of 350 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, alleviates the power shortage in southern Kazakhstan and has brought the once quiet industrial city back to life.
The success of this project is a symbol that the China-proposed BRI has integrated with Kazakhstan's "Bright Road" initiative, and will further enhance the two neighbors' cooperation, said Chukin.
In 2013, during his visit to Kazakhstan, Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a speech at the country's Nazarbayev University. He proposed joining forces to build an economic belt along the Silk Road, which will be a great undertaking benefitting the people of all countries along the route.
Since then, China and Kazakhstan have launched a series of joint projects under the BRI, bringing tangible benefits to the people of the two countries.
Belt and Road cooperation has become one of China's commitments to international cooperation, improving global economic governance, promoting common development and prosperity and advancing the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.
Chinese companies involved in the power project "have helped us overcome economic and technical challenges ... and we were able to achieve the success," Chukin said.
"Both countries win from this kind of cooperation," he added.
"China has not only brought advanced equipment and technology to Kazakhstan, but has also helped attract local talents in the field of clean energy, which was non-existent 10 years ago. The wind power project will create jobs for the local population, increase tax revenue and promote urban development," he added.
Chukin said that the concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind can be described by two key phrases, "national interests" and "common prosperity."
"We are not in sport games, only one medal for all. We can make a bigger cake for all and make larger shares for all. President Xi Jinping's idea is that by joint efforts and by understanding the community with a shared future for mankind, we are in a win-win situation ... and it ensures the prosperity of all countries that can develop and work together," Chukin said.
Nine years ago, while answering questions from students of Nazarbayev University after his speech, Xi expounded on his vision of an eco-friendly development policy: "Clear waters and green mountains are mountains of gold and silver," he said. Xi's remarks resonated with the Kazakh economist.
Before the establishment of the Zhanatas wind power station in the country's south, the region relied on electricity generated by thermal power plants in the country's north, failing to take the advantage of abundant wind resources. And long-distance power transmission caused huge costs and power loses, he said.
Compared with thermal power plants, the wind farm is expected to save about 110,000 tons of standard coal per year and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Being part of the project helped him better understand Kazakhstan-China cooperation in the green energy sector. "China is currently a leader in the development of green technologies, especially in the energy sector," Chukin said.
By signing the Paris Agreement, China made a solemn commitment to the international community to achieve carbon neutrality, and has agreed to adopt mandatory measures aimed at reducing environmental pollution, he said.
"China is doing very well in this regard," he said, adding the concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind is directly linked to the development of green energy and environmental issues.
"We have a common sky," Chukin said, "it is necessary to focus on international development since globalization is inevitable."
From the Zhanatas project, the international community saw China's action on achieving common prosperity and building a clean and beautiful world.
"Looking at the wind turbines standing on the ground, I believe that in the future, the sky will be bluer, the water will be clearer, and the earth we live on will be cleaner," Chukin said. ■