Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi Receives Written Interview by Kazaag News Agency Beijing Branch on the 20th Anniversary of China-Kazakhstan Diplomatic Relations

Lately, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi received a written interview by the Beijing branch of Kazaag News Agency on the 20th anniversary of China-Kazakhstan diplomatic relations. The full text of the interview is as follows:

Q: What is your view about the political relations between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Kazakhstan? What do you think of the further development prospects of China-Kazakhstan cooperation on politics, science and culture?

A: January 3 this year marks the 20th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Kazakhstan. China is one of the earliest countries recognizing Kazakhstan's independence and establishing diplomatic ties with it. Over the past 20 years, with the direct support and promotion of leaders of both countries, China-Kazakhstan relations have maintained the sound momentum of healthy and stable development and the bilateral friendly exchanges and cooperation have expanded and achieved satisfying results. The two countries have completely solved the legacy border issue and signed the Treaty of China-Kazakhstan Good-neighborly Friendship and Cooperation and the China-Kazakhstan Cooperation Strategy in the 21st Century. The two sides enjoy close high-level exchanges and deep political mutual trust and share understanding and support for issues of each other's concern. They have established the intergovernmental cooperation committee mechanism, conducted extensive cooperation in the fields of economy, trade, energy, security and culture and coordinated closely within such multilateral frameworks as the UN, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia. We are glad to see that China-Kazakhstan relations have reached an unprecedented high level.

When President Hu Jintao visited Kazakhstan in June last year, the two heads of state jointly announced to develop China-Kazakhstan all-round strategic partnership and proposed to build "six major types of partnership" between the two countries, i.e. sincere political partnership with mutual trust, economic and trade partnership with mutual benefit, cultural partnership with mutual learning, technological partnership with joint innovation, security partnership with solidarity and mutual help and international partnership with mutual support. China-Kazakhstan relations have been upgraded strategically and enjoy greater development potential. China is willing to work with Kazakhstan to earnestly implement the important consensus reached by leaders of both countries, constantly enhance mutual political trust, fully expand cultural exchanges, strengthen scientific and technological cooperation and raise the bilateral relations and cooperation to higher levels.

Q: The Chinese economy has grown rapidly in recent years and China has become the second largest economy in the world. Kazakhstan is the largest economy in Central Asia. As neighbors, how does China view its economic and trade cooperation with Kazakhstan?

A: China and Kazakhstan are neighbors and enjoy exceptional advantages of economic and trade cooperation. The two sides have conducted pragmatic economic and trade cooperation actively in the principle of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit and achieved fruitful results since the establishment of diplomatic ties 20 years ago. In 2010, the bilateral trade volume exceeded US$20 billion. Last year, the bilateral trade volume maintained rapid growth and increased by 22.1% in the first 11 months over the same period of previous year to US$22.57 billion. The year-end volume will hit another historical high. China has become Kazakhstan's largest trade partner and the latter is China's second biggest trade partner in the CIS region. While strengthening economic and trade relations, the two sides also implemented a number of significant projects, such as the Moinak hydropower station which is the largest hydropower station built after Kazakhstan's independence and the Pavlodar Electrolytic Aluminum Plant which is the first of its type in Kazakhstan. The China-Kazakhstan Horgos International Border Cooperation Center is the first cross-border economic and investment cooperation zone China develops together with a neighboring country and has been officially put into operation in December last year. In June last year, the two heads of state set up the objective of raising the bilateral trade volume to US$40 billion by 2015, pointing out the direct for the bilateral economic and trade cooperation. We believe that the bilateral economic and trade cooperation will achieve more tangible results and benefit the two countries and two peoples with the unremitting efforts of both sides.

Q: Energy cooperation is an important part of China-Kazakhstan pragmatic cooperation. Please introduce the bilateral oil and gas cooperation and your views about the prospects of bilateral energy cooperation.

A: Kazakhstan has rich oil and gas resources while China is one of the world's largest energy consumer markets. In recent years, China-Kazakhstan energy cooperation has developed rapidly and become a priority and bright spot of bilateral pragmatic cooperation. The two sides jointly built China's first cross-border oil pipeline – the China-Kazakhstan oil pipeline. As a major component of China-Central Asia gas pipeline, China-Kazakhstan gas pipeline was completed and started operation at the end of 2009. At present, those oil and gas pipelines operate stably and play an increasingly important role of fuelling the economic and social development of the two countries. In addition, the two sides also keep sound cooperation on oil and gas exploration, development and processing and jointly implemented the Atyrau Oil Refinery and other key cooperation projects.

China-Kazakhstan energy cooperation is reciprocal. It enables the two countries to complement each other with their respective advantages and is featured by equality and mutual benefit. It serves the fundament interests of the two countries and two peoples and enjoys huge potential and promising prospects. We are willing to work with Kazakhstan to carry forward the spirit of mutual benefit, explore more energy cooperation projects, expand the cooperation areas, raise the cooperation level and inject vigor into the development of bilateral relations.

Q: In June last year, the commemorative summit on the 10th anniversary of the SCO was held in Astana. What do you think are the major achievements of the SCO over the past 10 years? China holds the presidency of the SCO this year. What development outlook do you envision the SCO will have in the next ten years?

A: the commemorative summit on the 10th anniversary of the SCO was held successfully in Astana on June 15, 2011. The heads of state of member countries jointly reviewed the fruitful results of the SCO in the fields of politics, security, economy and culture since its establishment. Over the past 10 years, member states signed the Treaty on Long-term Good-neighborly Friendship and Cooperation and enhanced mutual trust; signed the Convention against Terrorism, jointly cracked down on the "three forces" of terrorism, separatism and extremism, drug and arms smuggling and organized crimes, and deepened security cooperation; determined the middle and long-term goal of regional economic cooperation and kicked off large-scale projects in transportation, energy, communications, agriculture and other fields; signed a series of documents on education, culture, public health and disaster relief and stepped up cultural exchanges. It can be said that the SCO has made tremendous achievements over the past 10 years and brought tangible benefits to the people of member states. It has received firm support of the member states and wide recognition in the international community.

Within the next 10 years, the SCO will carry forward the "Shanghai spirit" of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respecting diversified civilizations and seeking common development and be committed to fostering a unified and harmonious political environment, maintaining a peaceful and stable security environment, building a mutually beneficial development environment and creating a friendly international environment.

Holding the presidency of the SCO, China will host the SCO summit this year. It will be a meeting with critical significance to the future development of the SCO. China will increase input in and support for the SCO cooperation in various fields, formulate the SCO development strategy in the next decade together with other member states and present it to the summit for approval, launch and accelerate the cooperation projects serving the interests of all member states and lay down a solid foundation for the SCO's future growth. China will work with all the member states to support the SCO to achieve more results in the fields of politics, security, economy and culture.

The healthy and stable development of the SCO is the result of the concerted efforts of all member states. Over the years, Kazakhstan has put forward many positive recommendations for the development of the SCO and carried out lot of fruitful work. China appreciates that. China and Kazakhstan are all-round strategic partners and important members of the SCO. China is willing to continue to strengthen communication and cooperation with other member states including Kazakhstan and supports the SCO to play a more important role of safeguarding regional stability and promoting common development.

Q: Cooperating on safeguarding regional security is a very important function of the SCO. The recent terrible event in Taraz, Kazakhstan proves once again the huge risks terrorism causes to the Central Asian countries. What measures will the SCO take in the future to deal with terrorism and regional extremism?

A: As you said, to fight the "three forces" of terrorism, separatism and extremism and effectively maintain regional security is one of the cooperation priorities of the SCO. Fruitful cooperation results have been achieved with the support and participation of member states since the establishment of the SCO 10 years ago.

In the future, the SCO will especially strengthen security cooperation in the following aspects:

First, continue to effectively implement the Shanghai Convention on Combating Terrorism, Separatism and Extremism, the Convention against Terrorism and other important legal instruments and consolidate the legal foundation of cooperation.

Second, continue to fight against the "three forces" of terrorism, separatism and extremism, drug trafficking and cross-nation organized crimes, including financing activities for the "three forces". Further improve the emergency response mechanism and effectively make early warning of and deal with threats to regional peace, security and stability.

Third, strengthen and improve the work of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure and enhance its role of coordinating security cooperation.

Fourth, continue to hold regular anti-terrorism exercises and improve the ability to act against terrorism.

Fifth, build and improve the security and safety cooperation mechanism on major international events between member states based on the practices of the Beijing Olympic Games and the Kazakhstan Asian Winter Games.

Sixth, further reinforce the relations between the SCO observers, dialogue partners' competent authorities and related regional and international security organizations and exchange views and conduct cooperation on Afghanistan and other issues involving the major security interests of member states.

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