On the evening of September 22 local time, Chairman Wu Bangguo of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC), who is in Uzbekistan for an official goodwill visit, met with Uzbek President Islam Karimov at the presidential palace. The two sides exchanged in-depth views in a cordial and friendly atmosphere on bilateral relations, pragmatic cooperation as well as other issues of common concern and reached important consensus.
Karimov first congratulated Chairman Wu Bangguo on his successful visit to Uzbekistan and spoke highly of the important speech Wu delivered at the Legislative Chamber of the Uzbek Supreme Assembly in the morning. Karimov said he was glad to meet Chairman Wu again after a lapse of less than six months. The close exchanges between the leaders of the two countries manifest the high level of Uzbekistan-China relations and also inject strong impetus into the continuous development of bilateral relations. Wu conveyed President Hu Jintao's cordial greetings to President Karimov, who expressed thanks and asked Wu to convey his good wishes to President Hu.
After making positive comments on bilateral relations, Wu pointed out that pragmatic cooperation is the material basis of the bilateral friendly cooperative partnership between China and Uzbekistan, as well as the issue the leaders of both countries attach great importance to. Both economies are highly complementary to each other with a sound basis for cooperation and huge development potential. Wu hoped that both sides will make joint efforts to transform the economic complementary advantages into the results of cooperation. He urged both sides to step up efforts in the following three aspects. First, both sides should launch an inter-governmental cooperation committee at an early date for the sake of strategic planning and overall coordination of bilateral cooperation. Second, the two countries should deepen pragmatic cooperation in such areas like energy and minerals, as well as in non-resource factors like high-tech, electronics, communications, transportation, chemicals and tourism, and increase export of natural gas, rare metals, cotton and other competitive products to China to enhance the quality and level of economic and trade cooperation. Third, both sides should continuously optimize investment environment. China will continue to encourage and support its enterprises to invest in Uzbekistan and welcomes more Uzbek enterprises to come to China, said Wu, adding he hopes the two sides will create more space and provide more convenience for business cooperation.
Karimov said Uzbekistan cherishes very much the friendly relations with China and appreciated China's long-standing firm support and sincere assistance. He said the cooperation between both sides in all areas is strategic. Uzbekistan looks forward to carrying out mutually beneficial cooperation with China in broader areas, and welcomes Chinese firms to investment in Uzbekistan especially in areas like energy, minerals, infrastructure and high-technology. The Uzbek government will provide favorable conditions for this.
Wu and Karimov also exchanged in-depth views on the situation in Central Asia. They fully recognized China-Uzbekistan cooperation in maintaining regional stability, agreeing that security cooperation is an important part of bilateral strategic cooperation. Under the current situation, it is necessary for both sides to further enhance security dialogue and cooperation, share information in a timely manner, take coordinated action and fight against drug trafficking, transnational organized crimes and "three forces" so as to make positive contributions to promoting peace and stability of the two countries and the region.
The two leaders spoke highly of the outcome of the recent SCO summit in Astana. Wu said that after 10 years of development, the SCO has become an important guarantee for maintaining regional peace and stability and promoting prosperity and development of member states. As the rotating president, China is willing to further consolidate the unity of member states, accumulate the consensus of all parties and push cooperation in various fields for more practical results based on the efforts of taking into account the concerns of all parties and implementing the "year of good-neighborly friendship" activities so as to lay a sound foundation for the organization's development for the next 10 years. Karimov spoke highly of China's efforts to promote the development of the SCO, expressing willingness to further strengthen coordination and cooperation with China to promote healthy and rapid development of the SCO.
Vice Chairman and Secretary General Li Jianguo of China's NPC Standing Committee and other officials attended the meeting.