I’m glad to share with the readers of People’s Daily my thoughts on the past development and future of the friendly relationship between Turkmenistan and China.
This year, we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Turkmenistan and China. The two countries’ friendship goes back to hundreds of years ago, during which the two peoples have deepened mutual understanding and learned from each other in terms of culture, tradition and worldview.
The great Silk Road that connects the two countries are a bridge of not only trade, but also cultural exchanges.
Since the two countries signed the Joint Declaration on Establishing Strategic Partnership between China and Turkmenistan in September 2013, their cooperation has been brought onto a new level.
The declaration defines the two countries’ current relationship, as well as its nature, direction and connotation.
I would like to point out that China has shown strong support for the proposals raised by Turkmenistan in the UN. Turkmenistan always has a firm and clear stand on the concerns of China, including the issues concerning China’s territorial integrity and national reunification. We firmly follow the one-China principle and oppose separatism in any form.
The situation in Central Asia has an important position in Turkmenistan-China dialogues, on which the two countries have similar stands. They both advocate establishing a stable regional security system based on balanced multilateral interests and solving problems through political and diplomatic approaches.
Turkmenistan and China, as responsible members of the international society, have made concrete contributions to the establishment of a regional cooperation mechanism. I must say that China’s objectiveness on its cooperation with Central Asia has played a constructive role in the political and economic development of the region.
At present, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Turkmenistan’s development strategy to revive the Silk Road are gaining more and more synergy. The two countries share common interests, which makes them good partners under such synergy.
Both the BRI and Turkmenistan’s development strategy to revive the Silk Road inject strong impetus into the economic development of the Eurasia. They connect the vast region between the Pacific and the Atlantic with modern principles, forming interconnected technological chains, industrial chains and industrial belts, which helps solve social issues and improve people’s livelihood.
Energy remains an important direction of Turkmenistan-China cooperation. The reason is simple – Turkmenistan enjoys huge potential in the energy sector. Considering China’s growing demand spurred by its expanding economy and our energy potential, we are planning to increase our supply of natural gas to China. In this regard, we are willing to launch feasibility discussion on the construction of a fourth natural gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to China.
Both Turkmenistan and China attach high importance on transport cooperation. Turkmenistan sees China as its most important cooperation partner in Asia Pacific, because we take our cooperation with China as a priority in our foreign economic policy.
At present, Turkmenistan is working with its partners to build an infrastructure network of transit shipment and logistics. In the future, the system will include transit corridors leading to the Caspian Sea, the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea regions. It is expected to become a perfect channel of transport from Asia Pacific to Europe and the Middle East via Central Asia.
Turkmenistan pays close attention to China’s development and is glad to see China’s development achievements. The wisdom and vision of the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) places China in a stable and confident environment, and spurs the nation on its way toward rejuvenation. The CPC’s domestic and foreign policies have won a high reputation for China, and are supported by most of the countries in the world including Turkmenistan, which is not a coincidence.
I believe Chinese President Xi Jinping is unquestionably one of the most excellent and influential leaders of our times. He is closely related to the era that the Chinese people are currently in, during which China is demonstrating its strength in politics, economy and science and technology, its principle and firm determination in safeguarding its interests on the global stage, and its responsibility and foresight in developing relations with other countries.
The vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind proposed by President Xi includes a Turkmenistan-China community with a shared future. It is a vision with rich and profound connotations. It provides important opportunities for developing bilateral relations between Turkmenistan and China and for safeguarding world peace and security. Besides, it is also an important premise for carrying out international cooperation on implementing the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and for defeating COVID-19.
It is known to all that Turkmenistan has proposed the initiative of “Dialogue is a guarantee ofpeace” and President Xi has proposed the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative. These initiatives have the same worldview and political foundation. They all hold that countries and their leaders shall comprehend the modern world in a level-headed and responsible manner, consider what consequences there might be when military and political confrontations are escalated, and realize that mankind is not far from danger. If no change is to be made, the global security structure will be destroyed and unpredictable consequences are to come.
I wish the 20th CPC National Congress a success. I believe that the success of the congress will have huge positive impacts on not only China’s development, but also the situation in the whole world.
Turkmenistan will stay committed to developing its friendship, brotherhood and cooperation with China. The two peoples will keep advancing on the road to progress and prosperity with confidence and hand-in-hand.
(GurbangulyBerdimuhamedow is the chairperson of the Upper Chamber of the National Council of Turkmenistan)