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China-Central Asian countries pragmatic cooperation yields fruit

By Yu Yichun, Wang Jintao Source: People's Daily Updated: 2023-05-22


Containers are handled at the China-Kazakhstan International Logistics Base in Lianyungang, east China's Jiangsu province. [People's Daily Online/Wang Chun]

The key to the successful cooperation between China and Central Asian countries over the past more than three decades lies in their abiding commitment to mutual respect, good-neighborly friendship, solidarity in trying times, and mutual benefit.

As the two sides make continuous efforts to advance high-quality construction of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), they have reaped fruitful results in their intensive exchanges and cooperation in poverty reduction, education and logistics.

In April this year, Bekhzod Musayev, who heads the Ministry of Employment and Poverty Reduction of Uzbekistan, visited a village in Tianjiahe township, Weiyuan county, Dingxi, northwest China's Gansu province, where he witnessed how poor adobes have been replaced by neatly built brick houses connected to flat asphalt roads. He called it "drastic changes."

The once-impoverished village has turned into a modern and populous one with thriving businesses and sound environment. The Uzbek official noted that he would learn from the effective measures and advanced experiences of China in poverty reduction and promote them in Uzbekistan in accordance with Uzbekistan's actual conditions.

Poverty reduction cooperation has grown into one of the highlights of China-Central Asian countries cooperation over the recent years.

Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev said he was inspired by China's practice, stressing that Uzbekistan is willing to learn from China's development experiences, especially in poverty reduction. He has sent Uzbek experts and officials to China for learning, so as to advance poverty reduction in Uzbekistan.


A fully loaded China-Europe freight train departs from Yiwu, east China's Zhejiang province for Central Asia, April 21. The train leaves China via Khorgas in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. [People's Daily Online/Hu Xiaofei]

The second Shanghai Cooperation Organization Poverty Reduction and Development Seminar was held at the Southwest University in southwest China's Chongqing municipality January this year. It was joined online by 15 experts and officials from Tajikistan's government departments. The first Seminar was hosted by the university for experts and officials from Uzbekistan in June 2022.

According to Tan Lin, Party head of the School of Continuing Education, Southwest University, the training curriculums of the Seminar were tailored by Chinese experts based on the actual demands of different countries.

Tan noted that the curriculum for Uzbekistan included China's practices in poverty alleviation by securing basic needs through social security, while that for Tajikistan included e-commerce marketing strategies in the era of new media.

Under the framework of the BRI, the cooperation and exchanges between Chinese and Central Asian universities and scientific institutions have been constantly deepened.

Li Chunlin, vice dean of the School of International Cultural Exchange, Lanzhou University in Gansu province, told People's Daily that the university has trained over 600 senior professionals in various sectors for Central Asian countries, and they are currently playing an active role in their countries' economy and trade, education, politics and law, communication, geography, literature and art and other fields.

On May 12, 1,700 tons of polyester chips manufactured by an enterprise in Wuxi, east China's Jiangsu province departed from China-Kazakhstan International Logistics Base in Lianyungang for Tashkent, Uzbekistan, which heartened Nurlan, who runs a factory in Uzbekistan.


A plane carrying 1.2 tons of cherries arrives in Urumqi, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region from Tajikistan, April 28. [Photo from Shiliuyun]

About half a month before the departure of the polyester chips, Nurlan's factory was in short supply of raw material and thus placed a rush order of polyester chips to the Wuxi enterprise. If the polyester chips couldn't arrive by the end of May, Nurlan's factory would face astronomical compensation due to delivery failure.

Under the joint efforts of the shipper and receiver, the customs clearance plan of this batch of polyester chips was prioritized. The polyester chips were sent to the China-Kazakhstan International Logistics Base on May 1 and departed for Tashkent 11 days later.

"We had already made preparations for the compensation. It was totally out of my expectation that the Wuxi enterprise was able to ship the cargo in half a month," Nurlan said.

The China-Kazakhstan International Logistics Base is a joint venture between China and Kazakhstan. It has opened routes to all major logistics sites in Central Asia since starting operation in May 2014.

Su Liyang, manager of the multimodal transport department of Lianyungang China-Kazakhstan International Logistics Co., Ltd. that operates the logistics base, told People's Daily that working to build both domestic and international logistics circles, the company has gradually established multimodal logistics plans that cover Southeast Asia and East Asia, which can ship Central Asian cargos to a third-party country via freight trains.

"Since the China-Kazakhstan International Logistics Base was put into use, the Chinese and Kazakh sides have worked hand in hand to strengthen trade exchanges between Kazakhstan and other countries," said Azi, vice general manager of Lianyungang China-Kazakhstan International Logistics Co., Ltd., adding that the "golden channel" has played an important pioneering role in deepening China-Kazakhstan win-win cooperation.