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Hu Jintao seeks to cement cooperation between China, Kazakhstan
   CCTV.COM   2003-06-03 13:06:06   
    China and Kazakhstan have maintained a close relationship since establishing diplomatic ties in January 1992. The two countries share many similarities in both regional and international affairs. It's hoped that President Hu Jintao's third stop of his four-nation trip will cement the comprehensive cooperation between China and Kazakhstan.

    It's the second time in half a year for Hu Jintao and the Kazakh president to meet. Last December, Nazarbayev came to Beijing on a state visit. Hu Jintao was among the top Chinese leaders who discussed bilateral and regional affairs.

    Kazakhstan was the first former Soviet Union state to reach a boundary agreement with China. Political trust was demonstrated by lowering their military presence along the border and giving notice of military exercises there.

    "Kazakhstan is a model for other former Soviet states to smoothly solve border issues with China. This not only laid a solid foundation for the development of good relations between China and Kazakhstan, but also created a friendly environment for the contacts between China and other independent states of the former Soviet Union," said Sun Zhuangzhi, director of Central Asian Department of China Academy of Social Sciences(CASS)

    China shares a 1,700-kilometer border with Kazakhstan. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the "three forces" -- terrorism, extremism, and separatism -- have posed a severe threat to the lives of the people in both China and Kazakhstan as well as to regional security. As members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, both two countries are committed to safeguarding the regional peace and stability.

    Vice-President of China Institute of Int'l Studies Ruan Zongze said, "You know that East Turkestan, which is on the terrorism list, got some support from Kazakhstan. The Kazakh government has pledged to do whatever it can to insure it will tackle this issue with China."

    Kazakhstan is also China's biggest trade partner in Central Asia. Bilateral trade volume registered 2 billion US dollars last year, 10 times more than that with China's second largest trade partner in Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan.

    Cooperation between China and Kazakhstan covers a wide range of sectors. Experts say President Hu Jintao's state visit to China's northwest neighbor will not only promote personal trust and understanding between the two leaders, but also cement the friendship between their two peoples. The trip is expected to push comprehensive bilateral relations to a higher level in the 21st century.

Editor: Xiao Wei

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