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Xi Jinping To Visit Kazakhstan July 2-6 Expanding Relation High on the Agenda

Chinese President Xi Jinping. Credit: CGTN

President of China Xi Jinping will make official visits to Kazakhstan and to Tajikistan on July 2-6. He will also participate in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in the Kazakh capital of Astana on July 3-4. Ahead of Xi’s arrival, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev told Xinhua, published July 1, how the visit aims to expand bilateral relations: “I would like to point out that we have ambitious plans to further deepen our multifaceted relations with China. The necessary preconditions and conditions are being created for that.”

Tokayev said one goal is to take bilateral trade to the level of $100 billion. “In a short time after the [coronavirus] pandemic, we managed not only to restore our relations but to take them to a higher level of effective cooperation in all fields,” the Kazakh leader stressed, adding: “We have no plans to stop there.” He also said Kazakhstan “fully supports” China’s One Belt, One Road initiative and “is ready to continue active participation in efforts to further align our national strategies.”

While the economy will be high on the agenda of the SCO, the organization was also created with a view of fighting terrorism, and the recent events in Dagestan and the Crocus attacks, which involved Tajik terrorists, will no doubt be a matter of discussion. There will no doubt be bilateral discussions between Putin and Lukashenko with regard to the developments on Belarus’ border with Ukraine, and the issue may even enter into the multilateral discussion. There is also a growing Islamization in the Central Asian countries, including in Uzbekistan, which may impinge on the discussions in Astana.