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December 14, 2009

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Hu and Turkmen president pledge bilateral cooperation

VISITING Chinese President Hu Jintao and his Turkmen counterpart Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov agreed yesterday to advance bilateral cooperation in an all-round and sustainable way.

The Chinese president, who arrived earlier in the day, held talks with Berdymukhamedov in Ashgabat, capital of Turkmenistan, in the afternoon.

Hu said the Chinese and Turkmen economies are highly complementary to each other, and bilateral cooperation in all dimensions and various fields accords with the needs of economic development of both countries.

Hu said the two countries should start as soon as possible the mechanism of Sino-Turkmen cooperation committee to better guide and coordinate practical cooperation between the two countries.

Hu also called for the two countries to deepen cooperation in the energy sector. Hu said the China-Central Asia natural gas pipeline is a cooperative project that benefits the two countries and the whole region.

China is ready to work with Turkmenistan to secure smooth operation of the gas pipeline, and further advance bilateral cooperation in the oil and gas sector in line with the principle of equal consultation and mutual benefit, Hu said.

He said the two countries should also strengthen cooperation in non-energy fields. Hu said China is ready to expand cooperation with Turkmenistan in transport, telecommunications, building materials and infrastructure development. He proposed that the two countries should study and draft a plan of middle and long-term cooperation in non-energy fields.

Berdymukhamedov said China had become one of the biggest trade partners to Turkmenistan.

Despite the international financial crisis, trade between China and Turkmenistan increased 135.5 percent in 2008 and 38.7 percent in the first 10 months of 2009.

Berdymukhamedov said Chinese companies had invested in oil and gas, transportation and other sectors in his country and won respect of Turkmen companies.

He said the China-Central Asia natural gas pipeline is an example of sincere cooperation under the strategic partnership of the two countries. He said the project is in the long-term interests of both countries and their peoples, and is also conducive to maintaining stability of the global energy market.

Hu will fly to the border town of Turkmenabad today to attend a ceremony to inaugurate the 7,000-kilometer natural gas pipeline linking China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

After the talks, Hu and Berdymukhamedov attended the signing ceremony of a number of cooperation documents in trade, investment, and telecommunications.


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