Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the PRC Sun Weidong: China highly esteems the achievements of Turkmenistan for the years of the independence
It is 25 years of diplomatic relations between Turkmenistan and People’s Republic of China on January 6. On the occasion of the anniversary in the history of bilateral relations, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to Turkmenistan Sun Weidong gave an interview:
On January 6, 1992 China and Turkmenistan signed a joint communiqué and established diplomatic relations. For 25 years, Turkmen – Chinese cooperation, which is based on the principles of equality and mutual benefit, received new content. Recently, China and Turkmenistan established strategy partnership, signed the Agreement on Friendship and Cooperation, having provided steadfast development of interstate relations.
I would like to give specific examples reflecting the dynamics of bilateral cooperation. 1800 km Turkmenistan – China gas main is the largest transboundary gas pipeline in the world. From the end of 2009, China bought 160 billion cubic meters of Turkmen gas and became its largest importer. Around two thousand employees and 30 Chinese companies do business activity in Turkmenistan. Chinese locomotives provide 90 percent of total transport power of the railways. Every day, there are international flights between Peking, Urumchi and Ashagbat; every year, six thousands of Turkmen citizens visit China. All these indicates positive dynamics of multiple-aspect cooperation.
China and Turkmenistan support each other in priority issues of national development as well as successfully cooperate under largest international organizations, first of all, under the United Nations in counteract of global threats and challenges. The Chinese side hails international initiatives of Turkmenistan, the strategy of large-scale reforms. In its turn, the Turkmen side strictly follows the one-China policy. Both sides established close contacts and achieve fruitful cooperation under regional organizations.
Chairman of the PRC Xi Jinping proposed an initiative on joint construction of “one belt, one road” and President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov spoke with idea about revival the Great Silk Road. All of these prove that strategy objectives of both states coincide and many directions and there are large potential for consolidation of mutually beneficial cooperation.
We are willing to take all efforts with Turkmen side to search for new opportunities of building up of economic cooperation, consolidation of interrelations in industry, transport, science and technology, military and space technologies, promoting steadfast development of Chinese – Turkmen relations and bringing of it to quality new level.
Our countries are the largest trade partners in gas sector. Turkmenistan is on the fourth place in the world by gas deposits and China is the largest consumer of energy resources. As for today, three gas lines from Turkmenistan to China with 55 billion cubic meters per year were built. Turkmen benefited millions of China citizens after putting into exploitation of the gas main in the end of 2019.
As is known, the third of gas consumed by Peking citizens is supplied by Turkmenistan. It is planned to build the fourth line of gas main. After putting into operation the volumes of export gas will be considerably increased. In short, bilateral cooperation in this sphere is very productive and perspective.
Chinese – Turkmen gas cooperation can be characterized as strategy, long-term, complementary and mutually beneficial one, meeting not only the interests of both sides but playing an important role in provision of stability in the countries, through which territories Turkmenistan – China gas main is laid. Realization of joint project will allow to achieve the main goal – to provide the balance of interests of every participants of energy triad – producers, transit countries and consumers. We are willing to continue together with Turkmen side expanding the scales and increase the level of cooperation and promote the achievement of new successes on equal and beneficial basis.
Trade turnover between two countries was considerably increased for 25 years of diplomatic relations. If it was 4.5 million US dollars back in 1992, in 2013 it exceeded 10 billion US dollars. During last 5 years, China is the largest trade partner of Turkmenistan. Due to languished international trade, depression in energy resources market and other factors, bilateral commodity turnover in money equivalent reduced but the volume remains the same. Trade turnover reached 5.4 billion US dollars for 11 months of the last year.
Chinese – Turkmen cooperation has great potential. Both side actively discuss the development of Special Programme of expansion of partnership in economic sphere. Scientific technical cooperation will be one of its important aspects. Next year, the sides planned to conduct first Chinese – Turkmen scientific and innovative forum.
Humanitarian cooperation is another important aspect of bilateral relations. Recently, relations and exchange in cultural, educational, sport, mass media and other spheres were accumulated. Youth and female delegations often visit both countries. China and Turkmenistan successfully held such large-scale events as Days of Culture, established perspective cooperation in horse-breeding including special conference and first Chinese Horse Cultural Festival. The State Circus of Turkmenistan won gold medal in International Circus Art Festival in Zhuhai.
Regional cooperation is also activated. China actively supports V Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat in 2017. Shaanxi Province and Mary Velayat, Shandong Province and Lebap Vealayat, Xi'an and Mary, Rizhao and Turkmenabat cities became sister regions and cities accordingly. Cooperation in educational sphere is steadily developed. Every year, Chinese side sends Chinese language teacher to universities of Turkmenistan, more than two thousand Turkmen students receive education in China. The Embassy of the PRC organized trip to China for teachers and pupils of secondary schools of Serdar city of Balkan Velayat, what considerably increased the interest to study Chines.
Turkmenistan and China pay great attention to the current anniversary in the history of bilateral relations, which is evidence by planned ceremonial events.
The Chinese side invited representatives if scientific and research facilities of Turkmenistan to participate in scientific conference dated to 25th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations of China with five countries of the Central Asia, which would be held in January of this year in Peking. Besides, Chinese People Community of friendship with foreign countries is preparing to the reception of representatives of the Embassies of the Central Asian states. Chinese National Philatelic Corporation will publish anniversary post stamps. Provinces, velayats, and sister-cities will held number of joint events.
For two and half months of my work as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of People’s Republic of China to Turkmenistan, I have beautiful impressions of the country. I took part in the events on occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Independence of Turkmenistan, in Global Sustainable Transport Conference, familiarized with historical and architectural sights, visited capital museums and theatres. I express my attitude to Turkmenistan by the slogan: Strong State, wise leader, hardworking people, beautiful future!
Chinese proverb says: The neighbours wished all the best to each other as relatives to relatives. Being close neighbour, good friend and reliable partner, China highly esteems the achievements of Turkmenistan in the construction of the country and efforts in provision of the stability in the world and region.