Xi Visits Kyrgyzstan: Two sides sign deals on security, infrastructure, education
We begin with Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to Kyrgyzstan. Xi was welcomed by his Kyrgyz counterpart Sooronbay Jeenbekov in the capital Bishkek. The two leaders held talks, agreeing to take their countries' comprehensive strategic partnership to new heights. They then attended a signing ceremony on various deals, and proposed projects under the Belt and Road Initiative. President Xi is also set to attend the 19th Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Bishkek. Wu Guoxiu reports.
China and Kyrgyzstan became strategic partners in 2013. It was the same year President Xi Jinping made his first state visit to the country. Last year, the relationship was upgraded to a comprehensive strategic partnership. This time, the two sides signed a joint statement on pushing forward the partnership.
The two leaders discussed issues of mutual concern. Xi said the bilateral ties have yielded great achievements and China is willing to expand pragmatic cooperation in various areas. Kyrgyz president Sooronbay Jeenbekov expressed support for the Belt and Road Initiative.
After their talks, the two attended a signing ceremony on various deals and signed a Memorandum of Understanding on intellectual property rights. Chinese President Xi Jinping was awarded The Order of Manas, Kyrgyzstan's highest state honor.
In a joint presser afterward, the two leaders talked about the results of the trip.
XI JINPING CHINESE PRESIDENT "To strengthen cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative, we have proposed some new projects and tasks. China will import more green agricultural products from Kyrgyzstan. We welcome Kyrgyz enterprises to be actively involved in the China International Import Expo."
SOORONBAY JEENBEKOV KYRGYZ PRESIDENT "We signed a series of documents in the fields of security, infrastructure and education. We sincerely welcome Chinese investments. We have truly made some breakthroughs in our bilateral relationship."
One scholar from Bishkek's National University says President Xi's visit brings new hope to bilateral relations.
IRYS BEYBUTOVA DEAN, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS & ORIENTAL STUDIES KYRGYZ NATIONAL UNIVERSITY "President Xi's visit will be an important one in history. I believe our cooperation projects will continue and will not stop. For us, China means new technology, new chances. She's our gateway to the world."
WU GUOXIU BISHKEK "In a signed article published in this local newspaper, President Xi called for further collaboration not only between China and Kyrgyzstan, but also with the international arena. Local experts believe the two countries' good relations hold strategic importance for the whole Central Asian region. Wu Guoxiu, CGTN, Bishkek."