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China, Turkmenistan pledge closer cooperation on energy

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met with visiting Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov here on Tuesday and the two sides pledged to boost cooperation on energy and other sectors.

Li said the two countries are strategic partners and that China stands ready to make joint efforts with the Turkmen side to cement the partnership in a sound and speedy way.

Berdymukhamedov arrived in Beijing on Sunday to pay a three-day state visit to China as a guest of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

On Monday, Xi and Berdymukhamedov signed a string of deals, including an agreement of China-Turkmenistan cooperation, a joint declaration on developing and deepening the bilateral strategic partnership and development plans for 2014-2018.

Premier Li Keqiang (3rd R) meets with visiting Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov (3rd L) in Beijing, capital of China, May 13, 2014.[Photo/Xinhua]

During Tuesday’s meeting, Li said China and Turkmenistan have built the longest natural gas pipeline in the world and he hopes the two sides will launch the construction of new pipelines to increase trade.

Li said China will explore new areas of cooperation with the Turkmen side to make bilateral cooperation more sustainable, including oil and gas processing, equipment manufacturing, farming and agricultural products, telecommunications, high technology and transportation.

The Chinese side is also willing to boost people-to-people exchanges to enhance friendship between the two nations, he said.

Hailing the cooperation between the two partners, Berdymukhamedov said the Turkmen side stands ready to increase exports of natural gas to China, step up cooperation in energy, trade, agriculture, technology, transportation, education and other sectors to enrich the relationship.

On Tuesday afternoon, Berdymukhamedov flew to east China’s Zhejiang Province to continue his visit.