Vice-premier Zhang Gaoli (left) meets with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov Wednesday in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.[Photo/Xinhua]
China is ready to deepen cooperation with Turkmenistan in energy, transportation and infrastructure, said Vice-premier Zhang Gaoli on Wednesday.
Zhang made the pledge at a meeting with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov.
Zhang said natural gas programs have been a priority in economic cooperation between China and Turkmenistan. The heads of state of the two countries have personally taken care of and pushed forward cooperation in this area.
He said China will closely cooperate with Turkmenistan in further advancing the construction of natural gas pipelines linking the two countries and jointly boost safe transportation of international energy.
China has become the top trading partner and natural gas export market for Turkmenistan for the last three consecutive years. Two-way trade topped $10 billion last year. The China-Turkmenistan gas pipeline has transmitted more than 90 billion cubic meters of natural gas over the past few years.
Zhang said the two countries should further deepen trade and economic cooperation by jointly developing a number of big projects in the areas of interconnectivity, infrastructure construction and cargo transit through China’s sea ports.
He said the two sides should stage in each other’s country such activities as Economy Day, commercial exhibitions and economic forums.
Zhang said the exchange of visits by presidents of the two countries within a year had elevated the China-Turkmenistan strategic partnership to a new height and made important strategic arrangements for bilateral cooperation in all areas. Bilateral relations had entered a “fast lane,” he said.
President Xi Jinping visited Turkmenistan in September and Berdymukhamedov visited China in May.
Zhang said his visit is aimed at implementing the consensus reached by the two heads of state. He said China regards Turkmenistan as a good friend, partner and brother.
Zhang said that no matter how the international situation changes, China is ready to make joint efforts with Turkmenistan to foster friendship, seek mutual benefits, deepen cooperation and achieve common development and prosperity.
Berdymukhamedov said the China-Turkmenistan strategic partnership has seen smooth growth as the two countries continue to enhance mutual trust, deepen trade and economic cooperation, expand people-to-people and cultural exchanges and actively cooperate on international issues within the framework of the United Nations.
He said Turkmenistan sticks to the “one-China” policy and supports China in its effort to safeguard sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Berdymukhamedov said energy cooperation is a major aspect of bilateral cooperation. He said his country will work with China to jointly advance construction of natural gas pipelines.
Cooperation in transportation, telecommunications and other areas has produced remarkable results and has great potential, the president said.