Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Thursday that cooperation between China and Central Asia is based on the common needs of both sides and not against third parties, nor will it affect the bilateral and changeable cooperation that existed in Central Asia.
Wang made the remarks while chairing a China + Central Asia (C+C5) video conference, which was also attended by foreign ministers from five Central Asian countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
"We oppose the political revolution, the zero-sum game and the interference in the internal affairs of the countries of the region under the pretext of human rights," he said.
Wang said Central Asian countries have an important strategic position in today's international arena and they contributed a lasting positive energy for the cause of world peace and development.
He noted that China attaches great importance to the development of strategic partnership with the Central Asian countries, firmly supports all countries to follow the path of development in line with their national conditions, supports each country in safeguarding its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and supports the development of each country by itself.
Wang called for establishing a traditional Chinese medicine center and cooperating in vaccines R&D, besides ensuring fast access for personnel on both sides, establishing green channels for the transportation of goods to ensure the safety and stability of the supply chain, expanding the scale of cross-border e-commerce, and accelerating the construction of the "Digital Silk Road."
Wang put forward suggestions to build the China-Central Asia health community, establish a mechanism for sharing information on major diseases, and share experience in epidemic prevention.
This is the first time for China and the five Central Asian countries to have such a meeting. The foreign ministers agreed to establish a mechanism and hold the meeting on a regular basis to jointly cope with challenges and seek prosperity.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, but the purposes and principles of the UN Charter are being challenged by unilateralism, Wang pointed out.
China and Central Asian countries should uphold multilateralism, defend the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, safeguard the international system with the UN at its core, and oppose bullying tactics and intimidation, Wang stressed, adding that China will strengthen cooperation with Central Asian countries within a multilateral framework and promote international equity and justice as well as the democratization of international relations.
Opposing virus stigma
A joint statement was issued by Wang and the foreign ministers from the five Central Asian countries, saying that the spread of the novel coronavirus poses huge threats and severe challenges to countries around the world.
The foreign ministers agreed in the statement that while responding to the pandemic, there should be no discrimination, stigmatization, racism and xenophobia.
All parties are willing to further strengthen cooperation in the fields of epidemic prevention and control, vaccine research and development, traditional medicine, and carry out close collaboration with international organizations such as the World Health Organization.
Promoting economic recovery
They also agreed to promote the alignment of the Belt and Road Initiative with the development strategies of Central Asian countries, build interconnected partnerships, deepen pragmatic cooperation in various fields, carry out effective investment cooperation, and jointly promote the recovery and development of economy.
It is of great significance for all parties to maintain connectivity to jointly fight the pandemic, restore global economic and trade exchanges, and promote economic recovery in the post-epidemic era, read the statement.
(CGTN's Liu Yang also contributed to the story.)