Interview: New prospects for Tajikistan-China comprehensive strategic partnership, says Tajik president-Xinhua

Interview: New prospects for Tajikistan-China comprehensive strategic partnership, says Tajik president

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-07-04 22:01:30

DUSHANBE, July 4 (Xinhua) -- Tajikistan-China relations have entered a new historical stage, opening up new prospects for extensive cooperation, said Tajik President Emomali Rahmon in a recent exclusive written interview with Xinhua.

As friendly neighbors and reliable partners, China and Tajikistan will continue to develop and strengthen long-term mutually beneficial cooperation, Rahmon said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is scheduled to arrive in Tajikistan on Thursday for a state visit. Rahmon noted that this visit will inject new and strong momentum into developing and strengthening the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.

The friendly exchanges between the peoples of the two countries have a long history, dating back to the time of the ancient Silk Road, and serve as a model of successful cooperation, and the two peoples have repeatedly proven to be good neighbors over many centuries, Rahmon noted.

"As inheritors of this great friendship, we should promote this fine tradition and pass it on to future generations. Because of this, deepening cooperation with China in various fields, from politics to cultural and people-to-people exchanges, is one of the priorities of Tajikistan's foreign policy," the president said.

The Joint Statement on Establishing a Strategic Partnership between the Republic of Tajikistan and the People's Republic of China laid a solid and unshakable legal foundation for the development of bilateral relations, benefiting the interests of both peoples and contributing significantly to maintaining regional peace and stability, Rahmon said.

He said that it is gratifying that over the past 30 years, Tajikistan-China cooperation has steadily developed along the track of good-neighborliness, mutual support, and mutual trust. Today, the two countries hold similar positions on many regional and global issues, and the constructive cooperation between the two sides has been comprehensively expanding on both bilateral issues and within the framework of authoritative international organizations, he added.

"Over the past decade, bilateral cooperation between Tajikistan and China has evolved into a comprehensive strategic partnership. I believe our bilateral ties have entered a new historical stage and opened up new prospects for broad cooperation," Rahmon said.

The president noted that China is one of Tajikistan's major trading partners. In implementing the agreements signed by the two countries, both sides have fully utilized the advantages of good-neighborliness and economic complementarity, ensured diversification and substantial growth in bilateral trade and strengthened cultural and people-to-people cooperation.

"We are satisfied with both the level and the content of the dynamically developing bilateral relations," he said. "I am confident that as friendly neighbors and reliable partners, we will continue to strive for developing and strengthening long-term mutually beneficial cooperation."

Rahmon said he firmly believes that Xi's state visit to Tajikistan will inject new and strong momentum into the development and strengthening of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries, adding that all the necessary prerequisites for this have been met.

The president praised the fruitful results of the alignment of development strategies and close cooperation in various fields between Tajikistan and China, as well as of the Belt and Road cooperation.

Today, no country can develop separately without the mutual support of partners and neighbors, he said, adding that Tajikistan and China are important cooperative partners, fully supporting each other on all issues. He also noted that China plays an important role in ensuring the stable development of the regional economy.

Rahmon highlighted the rapid and vigorous development in bilateral economic and trade cooperation over recent years. China is one of Tajikistan's top three trading partners, accounting for 40 percent of foreign investment in the Tajik economy. With joint efforts from both sides, the economies of Tajikistan and China have achieved complementarity, he said.

"Just a few years ago, we could not even imagine surpassing the 1.5 billion U.S. dollar mark in mutual trade. It is gratifying to note that today the trade turnover between our countries has almost reached 4 billion U.S. dollars," Rahmon said.

He pointed out that China is the largest investor in Tajikistan.

China's investments are constantly increasing in sectors such as mining, textile, food, energy, transport, metallurgy, and agriculture. Through these investments, joint industrial parks and enterprises have been established, Rahmon noted.

Rahmon said that in the long term, mutually beneficial cooperation in a series of priority areas meets the interests of both countries. These areas include tourism, geological exploration, the export of environmentally friendly agricultural products, and the implementation of joint projects related to the green economy, digital economy, artificial intelligence, and the construction of "green technology" factories.

These areas of cooperation can promote the effective use of natural resources, improve transportation and tourism infrastructure, create new job opportunities, enhance bilateral trade and drive economic development, he added.

Within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, strengthening transportation cooperation among Tajikistan, China and other Central Asian countries is entirely mutually beneficial, Rahmon said.

Speaking of the 23-year development of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Rahmon recalled that it was at the final summit of the Shanghai Five mechanism held in Dushanbe in July 2000 that the idea of transforming the existing five-party cooperation into a multilateral regional cooperation organization was conceived. The SCO was subsequently created in Shanghai a year later as a truly intergovernmental organization.

Rahmon said that SCO member states have successfully established a model of mutually beneficial partnership. Based on respecting the equality of all countries and making decisions through consultation, the effectiveness of the SCO is ensured. The Shanghai Spirit, which demonstrates the values of mutual trust, mutual benefit, and equality, remains the guiding principle for cooperation within the SCO framework, he added.

"Today, the SCO faces a complex task: ensuring sustainable regional development and collectively addressing common challenges and threats in the current complex international political environment. Of course, regional security issues, including combating the 'three forces' of terrorism, separatism and extremism, should remain a top priority in the SCO's work," he said.

The SCO's contribution to building global and regional security systems is increasing each year, becoming a model for implementing the principle of indivisible security at the regional level, Rahmon said.

He added that SCO member states are gradually strengthening their efforts to combat all forms and manifestations of terrorism, separatism, extremism, drug trafficking, and transnational organized crime, noting that the member states should always pay attention to the situation and act together in advance to eliminate risks that may lead to increased security threats.

Rahmon said that Tajikistan suggests that member states work together to develop common principles and positions within the SCO framework for formulating a unified list of terrorist, separatist, and extremist organizations that are banned from operating within the member states' territories.

Additionally, Tajikistan has proposed the establishment of an SCO anti-narcotics center in Dushanbe, given the country's frontline role in combating drug threats, Rahmon said, adding that the initiative has received support from all member states.

"Tajikistan will continue to consistently increase its contribution to collective efforts within the SCO framework to ensure regional security," he said.