As close neighbors connected by mountains and rivers and a lasting bond of friendship between their peoples, China and Tajikistan have "set a fine example of friendship and cooperation between countries different in system, culture and size," said Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Xi made the remarks in a signed article titled "Working Together for a Brighter Future of China-Tajikistan Friendship" and published Wednesday on Tajik media on the eve of his state visit to the Central Asian country.
Recalling ancient Chinese envoys traveled to Central Asia thousands of years ago, Xi said some famous Tajik historical and literary figures are also well-known in China. "The friendship of our two peoples has stood the test of time and external vicissitudes. It is as solid as the awe-inspiring Pamirs," he said.
Since China established diplomatic ties with Tajikistan 27 years ago, the two countries have trusted and respected each other and engaged in cooperation for mutual benefit, Xi said, adding that mutual trust is at the heart of the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Tajikistan.
As the Belt and Road cooperation brought a number of signature projects to Tajikistan, China is now the biggest source of investment and a major trading partner for the Central Asian country. "All of these are prime examples of our two countries pursuing shared prosperity on the basis of mutual complementarity," said the president.
Noting the people-to-people and cultural exchanges between the two countries, Xi said, "China-Tajikistan friendship is sure to last from generation to generation."
As regards "rampant protectionism and unilateralism and rising uncertainty in various regions," Xi said. "This presents to the China-Tajikistan comprehensive strategic partnership both valuable opportunities for development and challenges more complex than ever."
In a bid to fully leverage the opportunities and overcome the challenges together, the Chinese president made several proposals, suggesting the two countries "deepen policy communication and devise master plans for developing China-Tajikistan relations from a strategic and long-term perspective," "refine our blueprint for Belt and Road cooperation," and "forge a stronger people-to-people bond."
Furthermore, "we need to do all we can to deepen cooperation on fighting the three forces of terrorism, separatism and extremism as well as transnational organized crime, and on narcotics control and cybersecurity," Xi said, calling the two sides to "strengthen strategic collaboration in international affairs and deepen coordination" under the international frameworks such as the United Nations, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA).
Looking back on the new vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security he put forward at the Shanghai Summit of the CICA in 2014, Xi said, "the Dushanbe Summit gives all of us -- China, Tajikistan and other member states -- an excellent opportunity to upgrade CICA cooperation and contribute more to the security and development of Asia and beyond."