BAKU — China and Azerbaijan have pledged to explore potentials of cooperation in areas including energy and production capacity in the hope of further promoting bilateral ties.
The pledge came as Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli met respectively with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Prime Minister Artur Rasizade on May 31 and June 1.
During his meeting with Aliyev on May 31, Zhang spoke highly of the sound development of bilateral relations since the establishment of diplomatic ties 24 years ago.
“China is willing to work with Azerbaijan to consolidate traditional friendship, dig potentials of cooperation so as to further advance bilateral ties,” Zhang told Aliyev.
Aliyev paid a state visit to China last December, during which he and President Xi Jinping mapped out a comprehensive and strategic blueprint for the development of future bilateral ties, reaching broad consensus, said Zhang.
The two presidents also signed a series of agreements including a memorandum of understanding over the Silk Road Economic Belt, a Chinese initiative.
Zhang encouraged the two countries to implement the agreement and explore cooperation in production capacity, equipment manufacturing, transport, logistics, oil and gas, renewable resources, metallurgy and telecommunications.
Echoing Zhang’s remarks, Aliyev said the agreements signed during his visit to Beijing have laid a sound foundation for future development of relationship with China.
He said Azerbaijan views its ties with China as a foreign policy priority, adding that his country is ready to give full play to the geographic location so as to actively participate in the construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt.
The president said the two countries have great potential in energy, transport, agricultural products trade, high-technology and tourism, adding that Azerbaijan would like to see more Chinese investment.
On the political front, Zhang said China attaches great importance to the ties with Azerbaijan. He called on both sides to enhance mutual trust and support, maintain high-level visits and promote exchanges of personnel in different ministries and areas and at different levels.
He encouraged the two countries to enhance cooperation between political parties, exchange views on governance, the regional situation as well as major international issues and expand region-to-region and cultural cooperation in order to cement the public opinion basis for the friendship.
Aliyev appreciated China’s important role in regional and international issues, expressing the will to beef up cooperation with China in international organizations.
During his talks with Azerbaijani Prime Minister Rasizade on June 1, Zhang said Azerbaijan is a major country along the ancient Silk Road.
China is willing to work with Azerbaijan to promote more fruitful results out of the Silk Road Economic Belt, said Zhang.
He called on both sides to synergize strategies, optimize trade structure, deepen cooperation on production capacity and enrich the cultural and people-to-people exchanges.
For his part, Rasizade said Azerbaijan is glad to see the remarkable achievements China has scored, and thanked China for all the assistance and help it has provided since the Transcaucasian country got independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991.
He said Azerbaijan is ready to maintain the good momentum of the development of bilateral ties so as to promote cooperation to a new level.
After the talks, Zhang and Rasizade witnessed the signing of a series of cooperation documents.