Qian Naicheng, Ambassador of China to Turkmenistan
On January 6, 2022, we will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Turkmenistan.
China is the first state to officially establish diplomatic relations with Turkmenistan. Although the two countries are thousands of kilometers apart, their friendship has a long history. We often say that more than 2000 years ago the ancient Silk Road closely connected the peoples of the two countries. As a result of the study of cultural monuments in the south of Turkmenistan, especially in Namazga-Depa, Chinese archaeologists suggest that the “path of painted ceramics” existed as the main predecessor of the ancient Silk Road. In other words, there is a possibility that our distant ancestors from China and Turkmenistan began friendly relations more than 5,000 years ago.
Over the past 30 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, the traditional friendship between the peoples of China and Turkmenistan, passed down from generation to generation, has shown a new vitality. Especially in recent years, under the strategic leadership of Chinese President Xi Jinping and President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, China-Turkmenistan strategic partnership relations have been developing by leaps and bounds. China has been Turkmenistan’s largest trading partner for ten years in a row. The China-Turkmenistan gas pipeline is the longest transnational gas pipeline in the world. Since the end of 2009, China has imported more than 310 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Turkmenistan. The two countries are each other’s largest natural gas trading partners. Both sides firmly support each other on issues affecting each other’s key interests and serious concerns, and closely coordinate and interact in the international arena, including within the framework of the United Nations, as well as in regional affairs. China-Turkmenistan strategic partnership relations not only benefit the two countries and their peoples, but also make an important contribution to peace, stability and development in the world and the region, which serves as an example of relations between the countries.
The Chinese often say “at the age of 30, abilities are acquired.” A hundred years is in the prime of life, thirty years is just the time of the promising! Over the 30 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, the development of Chinese-Turkmen strategic cooperation in all areas has not only yielded fruitful results, but also accumulated a wealth of successful experience, on the basis of which we are filled with confidence in the brilliant future of Chinese-Turkmen strategic partnership relations.
Firstly, it is the strategic leadership of the Heads of the two States. The stable movement of a large ship is entrusted to the person at the helm. The reason why the Chinese-Turkmen strategic partnership relations remain stable, stable and fruitful is primarily due to the strategic leadership of the Leaders of our countries. The strong personal friendship between the Heads of China and Turkmenistan, the maintenance of regular strategic ties, the demonstration of a firm will for strategic cooperation and the important agreements reached continuously give a powerful impetus to strategic cooperation between the two sides.
Secondly, it is a solid political guarantee. The long-term stability of the political situation and the consistency of the policies of China and Turkmenistan are unique advantages of developing strategic cooperation between the two countries. The mechanism of the Chinese-Turkmen cooperation committee and the cooperation subcommittees in the fields of trade, energy, humanitarian exchange and security is working fruitfully. A cooperation program was signed between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of Turkmenistan for 5 years (2021-2025), which defines a clear path for strategic cooperation between the two countries in various fields. The legislative bodies and political parties of the two countries are actively developing cooperation, and the political and legal foundations of strategic cooperation are continuously being strengthened.
Thirdly, it is a powerful internal dynamic. Cooperation between China and Turkmenistan is carried out within the framework of the “One Belt, One Road” initiative and the “Revival of the Great Silk Road” strategy based on the principles of equality, mutual trust and mutual benefit, which has brought practical benefits to the peoples of both countries. The supply of natural gas through the pipeline from Turkmenistan to China brings the warmth of “blue gold” to hundreds of millions of Chinese families and brings a stable budget income to the Turkmen side. Proceeding from the protection of the common interests of the two countries and the legitimate interests of the majority of the world’s states, we jointly promote the construction of a new type of international relations and a community of a single destiny of humanity. As the Distinguished President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted, “our interstate relations are stable and not affected by external factors.”
Fourth, it is a solid social foundation. The peoples of the two countries share similar or common values and cherish the brotherhood formed in history. The two countries continue to deepen cooperation in cultural and humanitarian fields, such as education, culture, science and technology, sports, and selflessly help each other in anti-epidemic cooperation, which further strengthens traditional friendship. The relationship between the peoples serves as a strong social support for strategic cooperation between the two countries.
The most important thing is that China and Turkmenistan have bright prospects for their development. Recently, one year has passed since I came to the post of Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Turkmenistan. This year, under the leadership of Esteemed President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, Turkmenistan has effectively responded to the complex changes in the international situation and the ongoing global epidemic, as well as maintained steady growth of the country’s economy. A large number of infrastructure projects have been completed, including the Ashgabat-Tejen highway, new airports in Kerki and Jebel, as well as new business cards of Ashgabat – the Arkadag and Karakum hotels. In the festive atmosphere of the 30th anniversary of Independence, Turkmenistan is being transformed every day, and people’s lives are becoming more prosperous. The Turkmen side has repeatedly successfully held major diplomatic events. The flag of Neutrality is flying high in the international arena, and the “International Year of Peace and Trust” has brought fruitful results. Looking to the future, the Turkmen people are confident in the full approval of the international community.
This year, under the firm leadership of the CPC Central Committee, the core of which is Secretary General Xi Jinping, the Chinese side is promoting the fight against epidemics and socio-economic development in a unified planning. The country’s economic growth rate in the first three quarters amounted to 9.8%, and the total economic volume exceeded $ 12 trillion. The characteristics of China’s economic development continue to manifest themselves: stability is strong, the potential is great, and the driving forces are powerful. China remains an important engine of global economic recovery and growth. China has learned the experience and wisdom from the age-old struggle of the Communist Party of China, adheres to the rule of the people in accordance with the requirements of “building on a new stage of development, implementing a new development idea, building a new development architecture and promoting high-quality development” to ensure stable and long-term economic development. China stands firmly on the right side of history, on the side of human progress, on the side of international justice, on the side of developing countries, and together with all peace-loving countries and peoples, pushes the wheel of human development forward to a brighter future.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has solemnly put forward a global development initiative, the starting point of which is to improve the well-being of peoples and ensure the comprehensive development of people. By joining the UN Sustainable Development Agenda for the period up to 2030, priority areas of cooperation have been identified – poverty reduction, food security, epidemic control and vaccination, financing for development, climate change and green development, industrialization, digital economy and interconnectedness. The Chinese side hopes for the formation of international synergy in this regard and giving a new impetus to the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Agenda for the period up to 2030. This important initiative is a Chinese option to promote the cause of global development, which has already received support from international organizations, including the UN, as well as almost 100 countries around the world.
At the starting point of the 30-year development, a new architectonics and a page of comprehensive strategic cooperation between China and Turkmenistan were revealed. Satisfied with past successes, we will make even more efforts. Let’s join our efforts to move towards a bright future of comprehensive strategic cooperation between China and Turkmenistan! /// nCa, 5 January 2022 (in cooperation with Embassy of China in Turkmenistan)