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China-Uzbekistan: Crafting a future of friendship and cooperation

Ruqiya Anwar



Editor's note: Ruqiya Anwar, a special commentator on current affairs for CGTN, is a PhD scholar of Media and Communication Studies in Pakistan. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

In the year 2024, a significant event unfolds, marking the continuation of the millennia-long friendship between Uzbekistan and China. President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev is set to pay a state visit to China from January 23 to 25 at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping. This visit not only signifies the strengthening of ties between the two countries but also emphasizes the enduring nature of their historical connections.

China has witnessed a tremendous transformation over the last decade, emerging as a global powerhouse with advancements in science, technology, and innovation. Under President Xi's leadership, the country has made exceptional strides, promoting economic growth and contributing significantly to global governance.

Uzbekistan, China's close neighbor and strategic partner, celebrates its friend's achievements. Uzbekistan's foreign policy has prioritized the development of diverse partnerships, reflecting the two countries' shared history and cultural similarities. The ancient Silk Road serves as a testament to the historical ties that connect Uzbekistan and China, where not only goods but also knowledge flowed between the two great civilizations.

The historical exchange of scientists, mathematicians, astronomers, and healers from Central Asia to China established the basis for mutual intellectual growth. 

In the contemporary era, the partnership between Uzbekistan and China has expanded. Trade, economic, and investment ties have grown significantly, with China emerging as Uzbekistan's largest trading partner. Chinese investments have increased significantly, and cooperative projects in various industries, including high technology, alternative energy, and infrastructure, are currently underway.

The economic relationship between Uzbekistan and China has grown significantly, China is now Uzbekistan's leading trade partner. Bilateral trade turnover has surged by a remarkable 40 percent in just the last year. This economic synergy is not limited to commerce but also includes investment collaboration and cooperative ventures in various sectors.

Uzbekistan has actively supported China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and contributed to its implementation. The BRI has grown into a worldwide force for connectivity, uniting countries and regions while encouraging economic potential. Central Asia, with China's geopolitical role, has turned geographical difficulties into benefits, creating opportunities for overall stability and sustained development.

Cultural and humanitarian relations between the two countries are equally strong. Language, history, and culture are openly shared, with Chinese being taught in schools and Confucius Institutes throughout Uzbekistan. Tourism between the countries is booming, with Uzbekistan's rich historical legacy attracting Chinese visitors.

The continual enhancement of political dialogue, collaboration in addressing regional security challenges, and the development of a dynamic trade and economic partnership are all important components of the forward-looking agenda. A focus on massive infrastructure projects, such as water, electric, and energy networks, and road and railway sectors, demonstrates a commitment to sustainable growth and cooperation in the face of changing global issues.

In the realms of political and strategic cooperation, China and Uzbekistan have expanded beyond typical diplomatic ties. Uzbekistan's geographical location and historical ties to neighboring Central Asian nations make it an important factor in regional stability, which China recognizes. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) provides a platform for both countries to engage in security and economic matters.

President Xi's vision of a shared future for mankind aligns with Uzbekistan's commitment to regional and international security. The China-Central Asian Summit last year marked a watershed moment in their ties, establishing the future of multilateral cooperation. This format has significant potential for promoting regional development and improving economic, technological, and digital connectivity.

Uzbekistan's President Shavkat Mirziyoyev arrived at Xi'an Xianyang International Airport, China, May 18, 2023. /CFP
Uzbekistan's President Shavkat Mirziyoyev arrived at Xi'an Xianyang International Airport, China, May 18, 2023. /CFP

Uzbekistan's President Shavkat Mirziyoyev arrived at Xi'an Xianyang International Airport, China, May 18, 2023. /CFP

Despite global political instability, China and Uzbekistan remain committed to developing cooperative creative initiatives for the future. Both countries prioritize regional stability and continued development.

In the face of global concerns such as climate change, China and Uzbekistan can leverage their cooperation to promote sustainable development and environmental protection. The collaborative implementation of green technology initiatives, as well as the commitment to large-scale infrastructure projects, can help to address the energy and environmental crisis.

As China and Uzbekistan navigate the complexities of the modern world, their commitment to cooperation, understanding, and mutual support places them on a path toward shared prosperity. Mirziyoyev's state visit is not simply a diplomatic gesture but also a monument to the long-standing friendship between two countries with rich histories. Building a future together allows China and Uzbekistan to strengthen their collaboration, contributing to regional stability, global inter-civilizational dialogue, and sustainable development.

(If you want to contribute and have specific expertise, please contact us at opinions@cgtn.com. Follow @thouse_opinions on Twitter to discover the latest commentaries in the CGTN Opinion Section.)

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