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China, Tajikistan pledge to deepen pragamatic cooperation

Tuesday 23 August 2011

DUSHANBE – Chinese and Tajik leaders have pledged to deepen pragmatic cooperation between the two countries.

During a meeting Monday with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, Zhou Yongkang, a senior Communist Party of China (CPC) official, said bilateral relations had enjoyed sound and rapid development since the two countries forged diplomatic ties 20 years ago. Zhou said his visit to Tajikistan was aimed at implementing the consensus reached by Chinese President Hu Jintao and Rahmon during their meeting on the sidelines of the June Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Astana.

Zhou, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and also secretary of the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the CPC Central Committee, made four proposals for deepening bilateral cooperation.

He pointed to the importance of Rahmon’s decision to prioritize food security in economic development. China had sent its agriculture minister to study cooperative projects with Tajikistan and hoped to accelerate its assistance to Tajikistan to solve the food security issue, Zhou said.

Secondly, the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region was an important bridge linking China and Tajikistan. Trade between Xinjiang and Tajikistan accounted for 72% of bilateral trade, Zhou said.

His third proposal centered on security cooperation. In recent years, the two countries had enjoyed smooth cooperation in law enforcement and security and borne fruit in jointly fighting “the three evil forces” of terrorism, separatism and extremism, Zhou said. China was willing to make joint efforts with Tajikistan to strengthen coordination in fighting the “East Turkistan” forces and drug trafficking, and securing border, deepen cooperation under multilateral frameworks such as the SCO, so as to jointly safeguard the security and stability in the two countries and the region, he said.

Fourthly, the CPC valued the friendly exchanges with the People’s Democratic Party of Tajikistan (PDPT). Given the profound changes occurring in the world, in the two countries and the two parties, the CPC and PDPT should deepen cooperation, jointly face challenges and make efforts to promote the sound and rapid economic and social development in the two countries, Zhou said.

Tajikistan hoped the Chinese government would encourage more investment in the country, and his country wold enhance cooperation with China in agriculture, energy resources and infrastructure construction, Rahmon, said.

After the meeting, Zhou and Rahmon witnessed the signing of a memorandum of inter-party exchanges and cooperation between the CPC and PDPT and a China-Tajikistan cooperation agreement covering the economy and technology. Zhou also visited the headquarters of TK Mobile. Established by China’s ZTE Corporation, the company is currently the largest CDMA operator in Tajikistan.

At the time of independence, portions of the Tajik boundary with the People’s Republic of China were not defined. This boundary dispute was settled in agreements signed in 2002 that would cede 1,000 km² of Pamir mountain range to China in return for China relinquishing claims to 28,000 km² of Tajik lands.

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