China, Kazakhstan to strengthen ties

Astana, Sep 8 (IANS) China and Kazakhstan have agreed to strengthen their bilateral relations, as presidents of the two nations held talks Saturday.

Visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev charted a future course of cooperation and reached extensive consensus to deepen their comprehensive strategic partnership, Xinhua reported.

The two leaders said both sides should improve their two-way trade structure, stimulate trade diversification, improve cooperation scale and quality, so as to achieve a trade volume of $40 billion in 2015.

They also signed a joint declaration on further deepening the comprehensive strategic partnership and witnessed the signing of a package of cooperation documents.

Earlier, Xi, who arrived here Friday for his first state visit to Kazakhstan after attending the G20 summit in Russia, described China-Kazakhstan ties as an example of neighbourliness and mutually beneficial cooperation.

He said China supports Kazakhstan to choose a development path in accordance with its own reality, maintain national sovereignty, promote economic and social development and play a constructive role in international and regional affairs.

For his part, Nazarbayev said Kazakhstan would always be China's good neighbour, friend and brother, and his country was willing to stride forward together with China.

Both the leaders agreed that mutual support of each other's core interests and issues of major concern was the essence of their countries' comprehensive strategic partnership.

They said China-Kazakhstan energy cooperation was complementary and mutually beneficial, and both countries were long, stable and reliable energy cooperation partners.

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