BEIJING, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping's upcoming attendance to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit and state visits to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan show the high importance China attaches to the SCO and relations with the two countries, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said on Tuesday.
According to the foreign ministry, Xi will attend the 22nd meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO in the city of Samarkand, and pay state visits to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan from Sept. 14 to 16, at the invitation of Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
"This will be China's most important event of head-of-state diplomacy on the eve of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, which shows the high importance China attaches to the SCO and our relations with Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan," spokesperson Mao Ning said at a regular news briefing.
Mao said the profound changes in the international landscape and the protracted COVID-19 pandemic have further underscored the role the SCO plays in upholding regional security and stability and promoting countries' development and prosperity.
Mao said that at the upcoming SCO summit, Xi will have in-depth exchanges of views with other participating leaders with a focus on all-dimensional SCO cooperation and major international and regional issues to build new common understandings and open a new chapter for cooperation.
"We are convinced that the SCO will continue to carry forward the Shanghai Spirit, stay true to its founding mission and work hard to achieve even more on the new journey ahead and make greater contributions to the cause of global and regional peace and development as the organization enters its third decade," said the spokesperson.
Noting both Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are China's friendly neighbors and comprehensive strategic partners, and important countries along the Belt and Road, Mao said since the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and the two countries three decades ago, China and the two countries have always followed the principles of mutual respect, good-neighborliness, friendship, mutual assistance and win-win cooperation, and advanced bilateral ties toward new heights.
"President Xi Jinping's upcoming state visits will mark a new stage in China's relations with the two countries," said Mao.
According to the spokesperson, during the visits, Xi will hold talks with Kazakh President Tokayev and Uzbek President Mirziyoyev. They will have in-depth exchanges on bilateral ties, cooperation in various fields and international and regional issues of mutual interest.
"We're confident the visits will provide a new blueprint, new goals and new impetus for China's ties with Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan," Mao added. ■