The upcoming state visit to China by Turkmen President Serdar Berdimuhamedov will further enhance bilateral ties and inject fresh impetus into economic cooperation between the two countries, analysts said.
Berdimuhamedov will visit China from Thursday to Friday at the invitation of President Xi Jinping, according to the Foreign Ministry.
The visit follows a meeting between Xi and the Turkmen leader in September on the sidelines of the 22nd meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.
It will be the first state visit to China by Berdimuhamedov since he took office as president of the Central Asian nation in March 2022.The two nations established a strategic partnership during Xi’s visit to Turkmenistan in September 2013.
Trade between China and Turkmenistan increased to $10.1 billion in the first 11 months of 2022, a year-on-year rise of 53.2 percent.
Zhao Huirong, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ Institute of Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian Studies, said the visit by Berdimuhamedov to China could be a milestone in bilateral ties.
Turkmenistan has been a key supplier of natural gas to China, and energy cooperation has been a pillar for the bilateral strategic partnership, she said, adding that there is immense room for cooperation in sectors such as petrochemicals, telecommunications and railways.
“The visit will bring the bilateral economic cooperation to a higher and deeper level and further cement the strong relations between China and Central Asian countries,” she said. /// Originally published by China Daily, 4 January 2023