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Xi Jinping Arrives in Astana, Starting State Visit to the Republic of Kazakhstan and Attendance at 17th Meeting of SCO Council of Heads of State and Opening Ceremony of Astana Expo 2017

On June 7, 2017 local time, President Xi Jinping arrived in Astana, capital of the Republic of Kazakhstan, by special plane, starting his state visit to the Republic of Kazakhstan and attendance at the 17th meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as well as the opening ceremony of Astana Expo 2017.

At around 7:15 p.m. local time, Xi Jinping's special plane arrived at Astana International Airport. When Xi Jinping walked out of the cabin door, he was warmly welcomed by First Deputy Prime Minister Askar Uzakbaiuly Mamin of Kazakhstan and others. Local youth presented flowers to Xi Jinping. The guard of honor lined up on both sides of the red carpet.

Xi Jinping conveyed the Chinese people's sincere greetings and best wishes to the Kazakh people. Xi Jinping pointed out that as friendly neighbors linked by mountains and rivers, China and Kazakhstan enjoy a long-standing friendship that becomes newer as time goes by. Since the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations 25 years ago, both sides have continuously consolidated political mutual trust, earnestly advanced cooperation in various fields, and intensified coordination and cooperation in international and regional affairs. The development of bilateral relations has brought tangible benefits to the two countries and the two peoples. This is my third visit to Kazakhstan, and I am looking forward to, together with President Nursultan Nazarbayev, jointly mapping out a bright blueprint for bilateral relations, in a bid to push China-Kazakhstan comprehensive strategic partnership and bilateral cooperation for higher levels.

Xi Jinping stressed that I expect to exchange in-depth views with all parties on major affairs of the SCO as well as international and regional issues of common concern, hold consultation on the future development of the SCO, and push forward cooperation in various fields at the SCO Astana Summit.

Xi Jinping wished the Astana Expo 2017 a complete success.

Wang Huning, Li Zhanshu, Yang Jiechi and other delegation members arrived by the same plane.

State Councilor and Defense Minister General Chang Wanquan, who was in Astana for the 14th SCO Defense Ministers' Meeting, and H.E. Zhang Hanhui, Chinese Ambassador to Kazakhstan also greeted President Xi Jinping at the airport.

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