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Ministry of Foreign Affairs Holds Briefing for Chinese and Foreign Media on President Xi Jinping's State Visit to Kazakhstan and Attendance at 17th Meeting of SCO Council of Heads of State and Opening Ceremony of Astana Expo 2017

On June 5, 2017, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a briefing for Chinese and foreign media. Assistant Foreign Minister Li Huilai introduced the relevant information on President Xi Jinping's state visit to Kazakhstan and attendance at the 17th meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the opening ceremony of Astana Expo 2017, and answered questions from journalists.

Li Huilai expressed that President Xi Jinping's visit this time is his first visit after the success of China's Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, and also a major diplomatic activity of China to Kazakhstan and Eurasia this year, which is of great significance to promote China's relations with Kazakhstan and other Eurasian countries, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields, and push the SCO for sustainable, healthy and stable development.

I. On the State Visit to Kazakhstan

Li Huilai said that as China's friendly neighbor and comprehensive strategic partner, Kazakhstan is an important cooperation partner of China in the joint construction of the "Belt and Road" and conducting international production capacity cooperation. Since the establishment of China-Kazakhstan diplomatic relations 25 years ago, bilateral relations have maintained a stable and healthy development, becoming a model of good-neighborliness and mutually beneficial cooperation. This is President Xi Jinping's third visit to Kazakhstan, during which he will attend a series of state activities held by President Nursultan Nazarbayev, including a welcoming ceremony, big-scale and small-scale talks, the signing ceremony of bilateral documents, joint press conference, and a welcoming banquet. The two heads of state will exchange in-depth views on bilateral relations, the integration of development strategies, the joint construction of the "Belt and Road", mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields and international and regional issues of common concern. The two heads of state will jointly sign and issue the Joint Statement between China and Kazakhstan, and jointly participate in a video link event on cross-border transportation and witness the signing of multiple important cooperation documents in such fields as economy, trade, finance and water conservancy.

Li Huilai expressed that during the visit to Kazakhstan, President Xi Jinping will also attend at invitation the opening ceremony of Astana Expo 2017, which is the first time for Central Asian countries to host the Expo with the theme of Future Energy. Covering 1000 square meters, China Pavilion will be the largest pavilion among all participating countries. President Xi Jinping's attendance at the opening ceremony of the Expo is not only a strong support for Kazakhstan in hosting the Expo, but also shows China's value and attention to international energy, and new energy in particular. It is believed that President Xi Jinping's visit this time will certainly gain a complete success, and inject robust impetus into the improvement of the level of bilateral relations, deepening of political mutual trust, and promotion of the "Belt and Road" cooperation.

Ⅱ. On the Attendance at the SCO Astana Summit

Li Huilai noted that since its establishment, the SCO has been taking safeguarding regional security and facilitating common development as its responsibilities. Over the 16 years of development, firmly following the Shanghai Spirit, the SCO member states have earnestly promoted cooperation in areas of politics, security, economy, and people-to-people and cultural engagement, and played a constructive role in regional and international affairs, setting an example of the new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation. During the summit, together with leaders of each country, President Xi Jinping will attend the following activities such as special evening performance, informal banquets, small and medium scale talks, signing ceremonies and welcoming dinners, and hold bilateral meetings with the leaders of relevant countries attending the summit. President Xi Jinping will, together with leaders of other member countries, sign and issue the Astana Declaration, issue Press Communiqué, sign the SCO Anti-Extremism Convention and other documents as well as the resolutions of granting India and Pakistan the SCO membership. After the summit, China will take over the SCO rotating presidency and host the summit in 2018. All parties are full of expectation for China's work as the presidency.

Li Huilai noted that, 2017 marks the 15th anniversary of the signing of the SCO Charter and the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty on Long-term Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation of the SCO Member States. India and Pakistan are about to finish the admission procedures of the SCO. The potential and international influence of the SCO will be further elevated. Meanwhile, facing the prominent uncertain and unstable factors in international and regional situations, the SCO encounters new challenges in its development. The major topics of the summit are as follows: firstly, discuss the SCO's development status quo, missions and prospects; secondly, exchange views on international and regional issues. Centering on the above mentioned topics, President Xi Jinping will have in-depth discussions with leaders of each country about the new concepts and new measures to cope with risks and challenges under the new situation and promote common security, stability, development and revitalization. The Chinese side will advocate continuously carrying forward the Shanghai Spirit, and propose initiatives and propositions on consolidating the unity and mutual trust among the SCO members and deepening cooperation in the following areas as security, economy, people-to-people and cultural engagement, organization construction and external exchanges. The Chinese side will present relevant ideas on China's assumption of the rotating presidency, so as to work together with each party to promote the SCO for new development.

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