Ta­jik­istan visit by pre­mier to boost unity: ob­servers

Global Times - - Topnews - By Liu Caiyu

Chi­nese Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang’s visit to Ta­jik­istan for the meet­ing of the Coun­cil of Heads of Gov­ern­ment of the Shang­hai Co­op­er­a­tion Or­ga­ni­za­tion mem­ber states will unite mem­ber coun­tries against uni­lat­er­al­ism and trade pro­tec­tion­ism, Chi­nese ob­servers said on Thurs­day.

Li ar­rived in Dushanbe, cap­i­tal of Ta­jik­istan, to be­gin his first of­fi­cial visit to the Cen­tral Asian coun­try as Chi­nese pre­mier on Thurs­day, the Xin­hua News Agency re­ported.

“China will unite with other or­ga­ni­za­tion mem­bers to fight uni­lat­er­al­ism and trade pro­tec­tion­ism dur­ing Li’s visit, and pro­mote free trade and re­gional eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion,” said Li Xin, the direc­tor of the Cen­ter for Rus­sian and Cen­tral Asia Stud­ies at the Shang­hai In­sti­tutes for In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion is “a co­op­er­a­tion plat­form for eight coun­tries across Europe and Asia in which China will con­tinue to con­trib­ute its own so­lu­tion to the glob­al­iza­tion through the Belt and Road ini­tia­tive,” Li Xin told the Global Times on Thurs­day.

The voices of mem­ber states, such as In­dia and Rus­sia, also vic­tims of uni­lat­er­al­ism, will carry big weight on the in­ter­na­tional arena, said Zhang Hong, a re­search fel­low at the Chi­nese Acad­emy of So­cial Sciences.

“The mem­bers speak­ing in one voice will be part of ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween China and the US on trade,” Zhang said.

The Chi­nese pre­mier’s visit to Ta­jik­istan, a com­pre­hen­sive strate­gic part­ner of China, will in­ject im­pe­tus into bi­lat­eral ties, Zhang said, not­ing that bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion has reached a rel­a­tively high level, es­pe­cially in en­ergy and in­fras­truc­ture.

China has be­come the largest source of in­vest­ment in Ta­jik­istan, with a cu­mu­la­tive in­vest­ment of more than $2 bil­lion, Yue Bin, Chi­nese Am­bas­sador to Ta­jik­istan, was quoted by the Xin­hua News Agency as say­ing on Tues­day.

A joint com­mu­niqué will be signed and is­sued at the meet­ing, China’s Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs said on Tues­day.

The meet­ing was of great sig­nif­i­cance for im­ple­ment­ing the out­comes of the June sum­mit in Qing­dao, Shan­dong Prov­ince, it said.

Li will at­tend the 12th Asia-Europe Meet­ing Sum­mit, where he “will give an im­por­tant speech, putting for­ward the ini­tia­tive of China in sup­port of Asia-Europe prac­ti­cal co­op­er­a­tion.” said the min­istry.

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