KAZAKHSTAN'S STATE SECRETARY - MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS KANAT SAUDABAYEV VISITS CHINA
Bejing, February 23: Kazakhstan’s Secretary of State – Minister of ForeignAffairs Kanat Saudabayev today met his Chinese counterpart Yang Jeichi in
Beijing, as they pledged to work harder to build on the agreements reached by
the two heads of state.
“Our strategic partnership has seen strong and consistent
development due to consistent attention of the leaders of two countries Hu
Jintao and Nursultan Nazarbayev,” said Yang Jeichi at the start of the talks on
Saudabayev shared his views, noting that the frequency ofmeetings between President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Chairman Hu Jintao created
a strong momentum for relations. In his article in Jenmin Jibao published on
the eve of the visit, Saudabayev noted that the two leaders met 18 times in the
last seven years, including most recently last December when Mr Hu was in
Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to participate in the launch of a gas pipeline from
Central Asia to China.
The two foreign ministers discussed a wide set of issues
ranging from bilateral cooperation to cooperation within multilateral
organizations, including the United Nations, the Shanghai Cooperation
Organization (SCO) and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building
Measures in Asia (CICA).
Saudabayev passed along an invitation from President
Nazarbayev to Chairman Hu to visit Kazakhstan this year, and discussed plans
for the third CICA summit in Istanbul next June. Kazakhstan currently chairs
the CICA but will transfer the leadership role to Turkey after the summit.
Saudabayev and Yang also discussed economic ties between the
two countries. Last year, the bilateral trade between the two countries shrank
by 20 percent from the record level of 17 billion dollars in 2008, due to
consequences of the global economic and financial crisis. Saudabayev stressed
the importance of Chinese soft loans and financing of up to 10 billion dollars
last year, which has helped Kazakhstan better withstand the financial crunch.
While the Chinese economy grew 8.7 percent in 2009, Kazakhstan’s economy also
grew 1.2 percent last year.
The two ministers agreed to work on restoring the trade
volume, including through the expansion in new sectors and the implementation
of ongoing projects in the energy sphere.
Particularly promising are Kazakhstan’s plans to ship grain
and wheat to and through China, especially since last year Kazakhstan saw a
record grain harvest of 22 million tons.
Saudabayev also noted the huge potential for mutually beneficial
economic cooperation with the Chinese companies given the launch of the Customs
Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia, and its market of almost 200 million
Saudabayev was one of the first foreign minister Beijing
hosted after the Chinese lunar new year celebrations last week, signifying, in
Yang’s words, the importance of relations between China and Kazakhstan, its
Saudabayev continues his visit to China with meetings with
Premir Wen Jiabao, executives of the China National Petroleum Corporation and a
speech at the Academy of Public sciences.