On the morning of June 6, 2012, Chinese President Hu Jintao held talks at the Great Hall of the People with Uzbek President Islam Karimov, who is here in China for a visit and to attend the SCO summit. Both sides agreed to upgrade bilateral relations to a strategic partnership.
Reviewing the healthy development of bilateral ties in the past two decades, Hu said both sides have maintained frequent high-level visits and continuously enhanced political trust. China is ready to make joint efforts with Uzbekistan to lift the relationship between the nations to the level of strategic partnership so that both countries will remain sincere friends and reliable partners forever.
Hu raised a four-point proposal on deepening bilateral cooperation. First, both sides should enhance political mutual trust, support each other's development paths and stances on issues concerning core interests, and maintain close communication and coordination on regional and international affairs. Second, both sides should promote pragmatic cooperation, expand the scale of economic and trade cooperation, fully implement a long-term trade agreement signed in late 2009 as well as a currency swap agreement signed in 2011, and deepen energy cooperation. He also called for quick implementation of a plan on non-resources and high technology cooperation, and a step-up in joint construction of special economic zones, economic and technological development zones as well as transportation infrastructures. Third, both sides should keep closer law enforcement and security cooperation. Hu suggested the two sides jointly fight against the "three evil forces" of terrorism, separatism and extremism, as well as drug trafficking and transnational organized crimes. Fourth, both sides should expand cultural and people-to-people contact. Hu encouraged more exchanges and dialogues between the two peoples, especially the youth, so as to increase mutual understanding and cement the foundation of bilateral friendship.
Karimov said the two countries have forged sound relations on the basis of equality, mutual respect and non-interference in each other's internal affairs, with a high degree of mutual trust and sincere cooperation. Facts prove that China is a great neighbor and a trustworthy friend and partner of Uzbekistan. At present, the international and regional situation is undergoing profound and complicated changes. He said the establishment of a bilateral strategic partnership has great significance for the long-term and stable development of bilateral ties as well as the lasting peace and development of Central Asia.
Karimov said Uzbekistan will continue supporting China on major issues, including law-enforcement and security cooperation and the strike on the "three evil forces." Uzbekistan hopes to enhance economic, energy and investment cooperation with China, fully implement the construction of oil and gas pipeline projects, expand cooperation in mining and aviation, and advance the building of transportation networks, he said. The country is willing to beef up cooperation with China in the areas of education, health, tourism and culture and increase humanities exchanges, he added. Karimov said his country attaches great importance to China's role in international and regional issues, and is ready to enhance coordination with China in the multilateral arena and within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
After their talks, the two leaders signed a joint declaration on the establishment of bilateral strategic partnership and witnessed the signing of a series of cooperative documents.
Prior to the talks, President Hu held a welcome ceremony for Karimov at the North Hall of the Great Hall of the People. State Councilor Dai Bingguo, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Minister of the National Development and Reform Commission Zhang Ping, Minister of Commerce Chen Deming and Chinese Ambassador to Uzbekistan Zhang Xiao attended the welcome ceremony.