Forging a shared future: Kyrgyzstan-China relations in focus
Updated 17:35, 26-May-2023
Aktilek Musaeva
Forging a shared future: Kyrgyzstan-China relations in focus

Forging a shared future Kyrgyzstan-China relations in focus.mp3


Editor's note: Decision Makers is a global platform for decision makers to share their insights on events shaping today's world. Aktilek Musaeva is the Ambassador of Kyrgyzstan to China. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

Since the illustrious era of the ancient Silk Road, Kyrgyzstan and China have been closely intertwined, cultivating a relationship that has thrived over millennia. After Kyrgyzstan's independence, Kyrgyzstan-China relations have achieved a new round of development. Over the past 30 years, the two countries have solidified partnership through robust legal treaties, and political cooperation has flourished at an impressive pace. The two countries signed the Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation, thus resolving issues around the extensive shared border, which spans over a thousand kilometers.

Economic and trade cooperation between the two countries has evolved progressively. Chinese companies have been involved in various sectors within Kyrgyzstan's economy, including trade, mining, textile, and food manufacturing. These wide-ranging participations underscore the close-knit economic and trade relations between the two countries. Kyrgyzstan was one of the earliest supporters of the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013. Many of our projects are carried out under this initiative, all of which align with the fundamental interests of the Kyrgyz people and the country.

Chinese companies have invested in many projects in Kyrgyzstan. The much-anticipated implementation of the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway project is hoped to enhance Kyrgyzstan's transit capacity and invigorate the trade vitality of the entire region. This project will contribute to our bilateral economic and trade cooperation and the development of trade in Central Asia as a whole. 

Moreover, plans for the modernization and expansion of two border ports are also on our agenda, with discussions underway for the potential opening of a third border port. I believe this is not merely a proposal but tangible project that will contribute to the wellbeing of the people in Kyrgyzstan, China's western region, and the broader Central Asia.

The Kyrgyz government is committed to improving the business environment for Chinese entrepreneurs and has enacted legislation such as the Foreign Investor Protection Law and the Chinese Business Leader Investment Visa Law. These legislative actions have positioned Kyrgyzstan as the top trading partner of China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region for the first time in 2022. We will strive to maintain and continue to increase the expected amount of bilateral trade.

Border ports are of great significance, not only for China and Kyrgyzstan but also for the entire Central Asian region. Once we establish a comprehensive transportation network, our supply capacity will expand. Therefore, we have concrete plans on how to develop border ports.

Chinese President Xi Jinping holds talks with Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov, who is in China for the China-Central Asia Summit and a state visit, in Xi'an, northwest China's Shaanxi Province, May 18, 2023. /Xinhua
Chinese President Xi Jinping holds talks with Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov, who is in China for the China-Central Asia Summit and a state visit, in Xi'an, northwest China's Shaanxi Province, May 18, 2023. /Xinhua

Chinese President Xi Jinping holds talks with Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov, who is in China for the China-Central Asia Summit and a state visit, in Xi'an, northwest China's Shaanxi Province, May 18, 2023. /Xinhua

Regarding the future development of Sino-Kyrgyz relations, two main aspects come to the fore. Firstly, I would like to emphasize our political cooperation. The continuity, stability, and consistency of China's foreign and domestic policies have a very positive impact on the stability and security of the entire Central Asian region. 

Secondly, regional integration can also bring practical benefits for us, as it fosters a deeper connection between western China and Central Asian countries. Kyrgyzstan, as an active participant in the integration project, is committed to supporting and injecting momentum into this endeavor.

Meanwhile, the two countries should step up efforts in developing a green economy and enhancing cooperation in renewable energy, including implementing hydropower projects and building solar and wind power plants. Since Kyrgyzstan's independence, many projects have been implemented by Chinese companies. These projects play a strategic role in ensuring Kyrgyzstan's energy independence. I believe this is perfectly in line with the fundamental interests of people in Central Asia and China.

People-to-people exchanges and cultural cooperation can serve as the foundation of political and trade cooperation. Currently, we have many students studying in China. Almost every one of our universities has a Chinese language study department. In addition, Kyrgyzstan is home to four Confucius Institutes. We also plan to set up a Luban Workshop. 

This year, we plan to sign an agreement to establish cultural centers in Bishkek and Beijing. This is also a very important step for us. Besides, we hope to sign another agreement for short-term visa-free travel with China in the near future, thereby providing our citizens with increased opportunities for interaction and bringing down barriers that impede cultural exchange and mutual understanding.

For Kyrgyzstan, the China-Central Asia Summit is a vital platform for candid, insightful and comprehensive dialogues on multilateral cooperation. 

In the meantime, we are preparing to sign a number of documents spanning diverse areas such as economy, culture, energy, and transportation. Within the context of global and regional integration, we are keen to develop e-commerce in partnership with China. We are equally committed to developing our textile industry, which is clearly an important area for cooperation. Furthermore, we must not lose sight of mining, transportation, culture, and tourism cooperation. I hope that our ministers overseeing these sectors will seize the opportunity to engage in meaningful and productive dialogues with their Chinese counterparts on a wide range of subjects.

President Xi Jinping has put forth many initiatives on the international stage, calling for global unity in the promotion of "a community with a shared future for mankind." At the 2022 virtual summit commemorating the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Central Asian countries, all parties reached a consensus to embrace genuine multilateralism, uphold universally shared values of peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy, and freedom, and jointly build a community with a shared future for mankind.

Sharing a border spanning over a thousand kilometers, China and Kyrgyzstan have interacted since the great ancient Silk Road times. The concept of "a community with a shared future for mankind" is closely related to Kyrgyzstan. We stand ready to work hand in hand with China to build a more closely-knit community with a shared future.

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