“Central Asia – China” Foreign Ministers’ Meeting: Main results


The Third “Central Asia – China” Foreign Ministers Meeting ended in the capital of Kazakhstan, Nur-Sultan. During the meeting, a constructive and interested multilateral dialogue took place on the progress and prospects of cooperation in this format. The meeting was chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Mukhtar Tleuberdi, and attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kyrgyzstan Jeenbek Kulubaev, the Minister of Transport of Tajikistan Azim Ibrokhim, the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan Vladimir Norov and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of China Wang Yi.

Main topics of the meeting and signed documents

Among the topics discussed, special attention was paid to the need to consolidate joint efforts to ensure long-term peace and stability, the issues of intensifying trade, economic and investment cooperation, and expanding cultural and humanitarian ties between the parties.

As a result of the meeting, a number of documents were signed. In particular, a Joint Statement, a Roadmap for the Development of Regional Cooperation for 2022-2025, an Initiative to Deepen Cooperation between the States of Central Asia and China in the Field of Connectivity, and an Initiative for Cooperation in Ensuring Digital Data Security between China and the Countries of Central Asia were adopted.

Special accents of the Foreign Ministers of Central Asia

During the meeting, certain points were noted by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Central Asian countries. For example:

Vladimir Norov suggested creating a coordinating council on transport infrastructure at the level of deputy heads of government of Central Asia and China.

Jeenbek Kulubaev stressed that the Kyrgyz side is actively working to improve the investment climate and ensure the security of foreign investment in the country.

Rashid Meredov made a special emphasis on the prospects for energy transport and communication cooperation along the line of Central Asia – China, noting the readiness of Turkmenistan to consistently increase natural gas supplies to China through the territory of Central Asia.

Mukhtar Tleuberdi focused on the importance of joint efforts to stimulate mutual trade, strengthen cooperation in transit, transport and logistics, resume human exchanges and passenger air traffic.

The Minister of Transport Azim Ibrokhim, in turn, said that Tajikistan will always be a resolute ally of China and is ready to direct joint efforts to ensure regional security.

China put forward five proposals

According to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Beijing is ready to strengthen cooperation with Central Asian countries to create a closer Sino-Central Asian community of common destiny, upholding the principles of mutual respect, good neighbourliness, solidarity and mutual benefit. In this context, the minister put forward five proposals to his colleagues:

  • First, the six countries need to improve the frameworks for further cooperation.
  • Second, the six countries should build a strong recovery engine from the COVID-19 pandemic, which includes cooperation in the natural gas pipeline projects, the China-Europe freight train services, the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway and the trans-Caspian transport corridor.
  • Thirdly, the six countries need to safeguard regional peace in both traditional and non-traditional areas and deepen cooperation in the field of security within the framework of the joint construction of the “Belt and Road”.
  • Fourthly, the six countries should open different ways of humanitarian exchange. It is necessary to promote the creation of cultural centers, passing on the positive energy of friendship for the ages.
  • Fifth, the six countries should pool the positive forces of global governance. It is necessary to implement the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative, to build a community of common destiny for all mankind.

The construction of the “China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan” railway

During the Central Asia-China meeting, one of the most discussed projects was the construction of a railway linking China with Uzbekistan through Kyrgyzstan (CKU). Earlier, in May, Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Akylbek Zhaparov said that in September the governments were going to sign an agreement to start construction of the CKU line. Subsequently, the President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Japarov said that the construction of the road could begin next year.

The fact that these statements were quoted by the Chinese Communist Party’s Global Times says that the project is indeed gaining momentum not only in Central Asia but also in China. This topic was also mentioned at Wang Yi’s bilateral meetings with the foreign ministers of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan in Nur-Sultan.

Thus, Wang Yi agreed with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kyrgyzstan Jeenbek Kulubaev “to continue preparations for the construction of the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway and complete the feasibility study of this project as soon as possible.” Also, in a conversation between Wang Yi and the Acting Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan Vladimir Norov, the parties agreed to “consider the possibility of accelerating the diversified construction of the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway and other transport channels.”

About the “Central Asia – China” format

The initiative to create a meeting of foreign ministers “Central Asia – China” was proposed by the Chinese side in 2020. The purpose of the platform is to lay a solid foundation for further building up mutually beneficial comprehensive cooperation within the framework of the dialogue. Two years since the creation of the Central Asia-China format, three meetings were held, the last of which was held on June 8 in Nur-Sultan under the chairmanship of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Mukhtar Tleuberdi.

“Today, Kazakhstan completed its chairmanship in the format. According to the general decision of the ministers, the important mission to lead the next fourth forum has passed to the People’s Republic of China,” said the Kazakh Foreign Minister at the end of the meeting.


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