On May 18-19, 2023, China hosted its first-ever summit with the heads of five Central Asian countries in Xian. The summit was attended by President Xi Jinping along with Presidents Kassym-Jomart Kemeluly Tokay of Kazakhstan, Emomali Rahmon of Tajikistan, Sadyr Japer of Kyrgyzstan, Serdar Berdimuhamedov of Turkmenistan, and Shavkat Miromonovich Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan. The main agenda of the summit was to underscore the need for deepening multi-lateral cooperation primarily in the political and economic domains. During the bilateral meetings of President Xi Jinping with his Central Asian counterparts, both sides expressed strong determination to upscale cooperation in myriad fields. President Xi unveiled a comprehensive plan for Central Asia’s development — ranging from infrastructure development to enhanced trade with the region. The Central Asian leaders expressed their full support for China’s proposed initiatives of global development, security and civilization. Undoubtedly, the summit opens a new chapter in China-Central Asia relations, placing China in a pivotal position — helping Beijing fortify its economic and strategic engagement with the region. Furthermore, this platform will enable the Central Asian States to realize vast economic opportunities with the outside world and also add positive energy to regional efforts for peace and stability.
President Xi Jinping’s Keynote speech at CCS: Key takeaways
The China-Central Asia Summit commenced with the key-note speech delivered by President Xi Jinping, titled: “Working Together for a China-Central Asia Community with a Shared Future Featuring Mutual Assistance, Common Development, Universal Security and Everlasting Friendship.” This summit has been labelled as the first major diplomatic event hosted by China this year. While a number of issues of significance were deliberated upon, one of the key objectives behind this gathering for China was to secure greater economic and political partnerships with its Central Asian neighbours. President Xi and the Central Asian leaders expressed a keen desire to intensify bilateral relations and multi-lateral cooperation.