Xinhua News Agency reported that yesterday Wang Yi attended the third meeting of foreign ministers of the “China + Five Central Asian Countries” in Nur-Sultan, the capital of Kazakhstan. Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Treuberdi presided over the meeting, Turkmen Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Meledov, Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Kurubayev, Tajik Transport Minister Ibrohim, and Uzbek Acting Foreign Minister Norov attended the meeting.
After the meeting, Wang Yi and Treuberdi jointly met the press. Wang Yi said that the most important task of this meeting is to implement the consensus reached at the video summit marking the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the five Central Asian countries. The meeting also adopted four outcome documents including the Joint Statement of the Foreign Ministers Meeting of “China + Five Central Asian Countries” and the Roadmap for Implementing the Consensus of the Video Summit between China and the Five Central Asian Countries.
The third meeting of foreign ministers reached 10 consensus
Wang Yi concluded the meeting and reached consensus on 10 areas including good-neighborliness and friendship, joint construction of the “Belt and Road”, joint efforts to combat the “three evil forces” (religious extremist forces, ethnic separatist forces, violent terrorist forces), and timely coordination of positions on the situation in Afghanistan.
Wang Yi stressed that China will, guided by the consensus reached by President Xi Jinping and the five Central Asian heads of state, continue to deepen political mutual trust and mutually beneficial cooperation with Central Asian partners, and work together to build a closer China-Central Asian community of shared destiny. He said that China’s pace of development and revitalization will not stop, its determination to cooperate with foreign countries will not be shaken, and China will continue to be an important contributor to world economic growth and a staunch defender of international fairness and justice. He said that a developing and prosperous China is not only a blessing to the world, but also brings new opportunities to the development of Central Asian countries.
Kazakh President Tokayev met with Wang Yi in Nur-Sultan the day before yesterday. The two sides were deeply concerned about the serious negative spillover effects of the Ukraine crisis. Wang Yi stressed that China is playing a constructive role in persuading peace and promoting talks; under the current situation, we must be vigilant against attempts by extraterritorial forces to involve countries in the region into conflicts between major powers and coerce countries to “choose sides”. China hopes that the Central Asian countries will maintain their composure, eliminate interference, strengthen coordination, cooperate sincerely, and maintain regional peace and stability. Wang Yi said: “China never seeks geopolitical interests in Central Asia, and we will never allow foreign forces to disrupt the region.”
American scholar: China has the ability to replace Russia
After the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian War, the relationship between the five Central Asian countries and Russia has undergone subtle changes. “Voice of America” quoted experts as saying that Russia’s influence in the five Central Asian countries will decline. Jennifer Murtazashvili, a former USAID official in Central Asia and director of the Center for Governance and Markets at the University of Pittsburgh, said the weakening of Russia has opened the door for China, as well as other hopefuls in the region. Increased opportunities for countries to do business in the region.
Temur Umarov, a fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, believes that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will reduce its influence in the Central Asian country. He believes that China has the ability to replace Russia’s position in the five Central Asian countries in many fields, especially in logistics, because of its geographical location and economy, because China’s economic strength is not available in other countries.
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