Chinese premier arrives in Kyrgyzstan for official visit, SCO meeting


BISHKEK,   (Xinhua) — Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived here Wednesday for an official visit to Kyrgyzstan and the 15th prime ministers’ meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

While hailing the healthy and stable development of China-Kyrgyzstan ties since the two countries established diplomatic relations 24 years ago, Li said on his arrival in Bishkek that he expects to exchange views with Kyrgyz leaders on deepening bilateral relations and cooperation in a variety of areas.

The premier said he is confident that the two sides can grasp opportunities and join hands to open a new chapter for China-Kyrgyzstan ties.

Li is expected to hold talks with his Kyrgyz counterpart, Sooronbay Jeenbekov, and meet Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev to exchange views on bilateral ties and cooperation in economic, security, cultural and other areas.

The talks, said Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Li Huilai at a press briefing in Beijing on Monday, will also cover the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, which comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and aspires to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient routes.

The two countries will issue a joint communique and sign a string of deals in such areas as economy and trade, production capacity, transportation, agriculture and intellectual property protection.

Regarding the SCO meeting, the premier said the SCO has been developing and growing since its establishment in 2001, playing an important role in safeguarding regional security and stability as well as promoting the development and prosperity of its member states.

Li expressed his willingness to reach new consensus with his colleagues from other SCO member countries on enhancing the converging of interests and unleashing potentials for cooperation.

He urged all leaders present at the meeting to work together to lift communication and cooperation between SCO members in security, economy and people-to-people exchanges to higher levels and enable the SCO to achieve sustainable development on a higher level.

At the SCO meeting, the Chinese premier will propose concrete initiatives to further deepen SCO cooperation in areas like finance, trade, science and innovation, according to Li Huilai.

The SCO members are expected to announce 38 measures designed to boost cooperation in areas such as transport, science and technology, infrastructure construction and environmental protection.

Established in 2001, the SCO is a regional political, economic and security organization that groups China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as full members.

India and Pakistan signed the SCO’s Memorandum of Obligations in June, kick-starting the process of their accession into the group, which also has a number of observers and dialogue partners.

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