On the morning of 6 January, President Xi Jinping held talks with President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov at the Great Hall of the People during the latter's state visit to China. The two presidents announced the decision to elevate the China-Turkmenistan relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership.
President Xi noted that this is President Berdimuhamedov's first visit to China after assuming office, and that the day marks the anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries. Therefore, it holds great significance for the two leaders to draw up a comprehensive plan for the future development of China-Turkmenistan relations and jointly announce the elevation of the bilateral relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership. The Communist Party of China (CPC) is leading the Chinese people in a concerted effort to advance the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization. Turkmenistan, on its part, is actively advancing its national revival program. With similar visions and objectives as well as intertwined interests, the two countries need to jointly pursue the journey toward development and rejuvenation, leverage the complementarity of their respective strengths, and fully tap the potential for cooperation to realize common development. China is prepared to work together with Turkmenistan to continuously deepen bilateral cooperation across the board and build a China-Turkmenistan community with a shared future, in an effort to move bilateral relations forward at a higher level.
President Xi emphasized that building a China-Turkmenistan community with a shared future is an endeavor that enables the two sides to further deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, better accommodate each other's concerns and reinforce their everlasting friendship on the basis of mutual respect, candor, mutual trust and mutual benefit. The two sides should support each other on issues concerning their core interests and respect each other's pursuit of a development path suited to their own national conditions. It is important for the two countries to synergize their development strategies at a faster pace, make full use of such mechanisms as the China-Turkmenistan Cooperation Committee, and continue to expand the breadth and depth of cooperation, in order to create underpinnings for bilateral relations with tangible cooperation outcomes. In the face of new circumstances and new challenges in the international and regional landscapes, the two sides should deepen cooperation on law enforcement, security and bio-security, and jointly crack down on the three forces of terrorism, separatism and extremism, to build strong security shields for the development of both countries. The two sides need to increase exchanges in various fields and at all levels, advance people-to-people cooperation and strengthen the emotional bond between their peoples, so as to consolidate the popular and social foundation for the sustained and sound development of bilateral ties.
President Xi stressed that the two sides need to expand energy cooperation on a priority basis. Natural gas cooperation is the cornerstone of China-Turkmenistan relations, and greater cooperation in this area serves the strategic and long-term interests of both countries. The two sides need to advance cooperation on major projects at a faster pace, and unlock cooperation potential in such areas as green energy, natural gas utilization, energy technologies and equipment to promote cooperation across the industrial chain.
The two sides should steadily advance cooperation in economy and trade, earnestly implement the cooperation plan between the two governments on expanding economic relations, and explore new pathways and approaches to increase bilateral economic cooperation and trade. China will support more capable Chinese companies in investing and doing businesses in Turkmenistan, and work expeditiously with Turkmenistan to promote connectivity and facilitate personnel inter-flow between the two countries.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, China and Turkmenistan have actively carried out vaccine cooperation, demonstrating the spirit of solidarity in times of difficulties. It is imperative for the two countries to further strengthen exchanges and mutual learning in health and medical cooperation as well as traditional medicine, and speed up efforts to establish a traditional medical center in Turkmenistan.
The two countries should continue to forge closer people-to-people ties, accelerate the establishment of cultural centers in each other's country, and complete the building of Luban Workshops as early as possible. The two sides should expand cooperation in such fields as press and media, successfully hold Year of Culture events in each other's country in 2023 and 2024, and support greater cooperation at the sub-national level.
President Xi emphasized that the "C+C5" cooperation mechanism, characterized by openness, transparency, mutual benefit, equality, reciprocity and real results, is a new format of cooperation between China and Central Asian countries. China will strengthen communication and collaboration with Turkmenistan to ensure the success of the first "C+C5" summit. With a shared commitment to peace and development, China and Turkmenistan stand shoulder to shoulder in promoting global governance reform. China supports Turkmenistan in having constructive cooperation with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and will work with Turkmenistan to practice true multilateralism and jointly promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.
President Berdimuhamedov expressed great pleasure at making his first state visit to China on this historic day marking the 31st anniversary of diplomatic relations between Turkmenistan and China. Closely connected by the ancient Silk Road, the two countries share a time-honored history of friendly exchanges. Since the start of diplomatic ties, especially over the past decade after the establishment of strategic partnership in 2013, the two countries have engaged in fruitful exchanges and cooperation in multiple fields and at all levels; the two peoples have forged a deeper bond of friendship; and friendly ties between the two countries have grown from strength to strength. Turkmenistan applauds these great accomplishments in bilateral relations, and takes strong pride in its high-level mutual trust with China and the outcomes of bilateral cooperation. Turkmenistan is prepared to strengthen mutual visits and interactions with China, learn and draw inspiration from China's successful development experience, and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation with China on all fronts in pursuit of common development. Turkmenistan firmly supports China in safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and resolutely opposes any attempt to split China. It will work with China to enhance the synergy between the initiative to revive the Great Silk Road and the Belt and Road Initiative, further expand cooperation in economy and trade, strengthen cooperation in natural gas and other energy sectors, and advance the construction of cross-border railways and other connectivity projects, in an effort to deliver greater benefits to the people of both countries. Turkmenistan looks forward to enhancing cooperation with China in culture, education and other people-to-people sectors as well as in areas such as medical service and health. It stands ready to work with China to elevate the bilateral relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership and promote the building of a Turkmenistan-China community with a shared future for the well-being of the two peoples.
President Serdar Berdimuhamedov once again extended congratulations on the successful convening of the 20th CPC National Congress. Under the strong and able leadership of President Xi, China has scored remarkable achievements in economic and social development, and played an important, constructive role in building a more just and equitable international order. The CPC is the backbone of the Chinese people. Turkmenistan is convinced that, in the future, China will achieve even bigger success, and make even greater contribution to world peace, stability and prosperity. Turkmenistan shares the same or similar views with China on a wide range of international and regional issues, and will work with China to increase mutual support and enhance coordination. Turkmenistan highly commends and fully supports the "C+C5" cooperation mechanism, and will actively support China in hosting a successful "C+C5" summit, in a joint effort to safeguard security and development in the region.
After the talks, the two presidents signed and issued the Joint Statement Between the People's Republic of China and Turkmenistan, and witnessed the signing of cooperation documents in multiple areas, including Belt and Road cooperation, green development, digital economy, health, culture, sports, press and media, and natural gas.
Prior to the talks, President Xi held a welcoming ceremony for President Berdimuhamedov at the Northern Hall of the Great Hall of the People.
A 21-gun salute was fired in Tiananmen Square. A guard of honor lined up in salutation. The two presidents stepped onto a stand and a military band played the national anthems of China and Turkmenistan. President Berdimuhamedov reviewed the guard of honor of the People's Liberation Army and watched the march-past in the company of President Xi.
At noon on the same day, President Xi hosted a welcoming banquet for President Berdimuhamedov at the Golden Hall of the Great Hall of the People.
Wang Yi and He Lifeng were present at the events.
Six deputy prime ministers of Turkmenistan's cabinet, including Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov, accompanied the president on his visit and attended relevant events.