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China, Kyrgyzstan enhance cooperation on production capacity, security

Updated: Nov 3,2016 11:52 AM

Premier Li Keqiang is in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek for an official visit to the central Asian country. His primary focus will be on improving the nation’s production capacity, but the Belt and Road initiative, security and cultural issues are also on his agenda.

How to get Kyrgyzstan producing more. That’s what will be on the minds of Premier Li and Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev.

Premier Li said against a sluggish global economy, China and Kyrgyzstan need to tap into their joint potential, and innovate.

He added the two sides should promote the development of bilateral trade and investment, while boosting inter-connectivity across the region.

Atambayev said his country is willing to make joint efforts with China to implement their agreements.

China is Kyrgyzstan’s largest trading partner and leading source of imports. Bilateral trade was recorded at more than $670 million in the first six months of this year — that was a 60-percent increase year-on-year.

When meeting his Kyrgyz counterpart Sooronbay Jeenbekov, Premier Li said China is willing to integrate the China-proposed Belt and Road initiative with Kyrgyzstan’s development strategy.

The Kyrgyz prime minister said he wants to advance the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan Railway project, as well as other infrastructure projects in Bishkek.

Meanwhile, security is another focus of their meeting. The Chinese embassy in Bishkek was hit by a terror attack in August, leaving two Kyrgyz employees and three Chinese nationals injured.

Premier Li asked that Kyrgyzstan accelerate the investigation and take the necessary measures to ensure the safety of Chinese citizens there.

For his part, Jeenbekov voiced strong condemnation of the terror attack, and said it was his hope that they could work with China in law enforcement, and to safeguard security and stability across the region.

After the meeting, the two leaders released a joint communiqué and witnessed the signing of a number of cooperation documents.

Kyrgyzstan is the first leg of Premier Li’s four-nation tour, which will also take him to Kazakhstan, Latvia and Russia.