BRI in Strengthening China-Central Asia Ties

China and Central Asian countries are expected to produce more upgraded economic cooperation projects marked by a green, digital economy in the next ten years, according to experts. This follows the tangible results of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF), which marked the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and initiated another “golden decade” of BRI cooperation.

Chinese Premier Li Qiang will attend the 22nd Meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s Council of Heads of Government in Kyrgyzstan from October 24 to 27. The visit will follow through on the consensus reached at the SCO summit in July, have in-depth exchange of views on the SCO Development Strategy, and formulate concrete measures on cooperation in areas such as security, economy and trade, connectivity, and people-to-people exchanges.

This is Li’s first visit to Kyrgyzstan since taking office earlier this year and the second visit by a Chinese premier in seven years. China is ready to work with Kyrgyzstan to build a China-Kyrgyzstan community with a shared future of good neighborliness and prosperity, carry out cooperation in all dimensions, and contribute to the development and vitalization of both countries.

China’s senior research fellow, Zhou Rong, believes that Li’s visit to Central Asia could reflect the importance China attaches to its friendly neighbor. He believes Li will implement the consensus and offer China’s efforts to maintain stability, security, and prosperity in the region. Economic cooperation between China and Central Asia has been rapidly upgrading, shifting from traditional areas like infrastructure, transport, and energy to green and digital economy and emerging industries.

China and five Central Asian countries have launched an action plan for green technology development to address climate change, ecological degradation, and environmental crises in the region. The plan was initiated during a high-level forum on green development, which coincided with the third BRF in Beijing.

The initiative aims to continuously upgrade cooperation models, with more projects expected to land in Central Asia in the next decade. Traditional trade between China and Central Asia is also growing, with China’s imports of agricultural, energy, and mineral products increasing by over 50% and exports of mechanical and electronic products increasing by 42%.

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