Kazakh Ambassador in China Shakhrat Nuryshev Photo: Courtesy of the Embassy of Kazakhstan in Beijing
“Strong mutual trust,” “reciprocal security guarantees” and “a complete settlement of the border issue” are the three key phrases that have defined the major achievements of China-Kazakhstan relations over the past three decades, Kazakh Ambassador to China Shakhrat Nuryshev told the Global Times at a meeting with the press on Friday.
This year carries unique significance for both countries as it marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties, while domestically, the Communist Party of China (CPC) held its 20th National Congress, and Kazakhstan will hold its presidential elections in November.
Over the past decades, the ties between the two countries have reached unprecedented heights – a permanent comprehensive strategic partnership based on the spirit of mutual trust and benefit as neighboring countries, said Nuryshev. “This is unique for the diplomacy of both countries, and it is an exemplary state-to-state relationship,” he said.
Specifically, the boundary dispute between the two countries has been completely resolved; good cooperation has been established in various fields such as economy and logistics; culture and people-to-people exchanges became the pillars of our friendship and dialogue, and we also support each other in many multilateral mechanisms, the ambassador told the Global Times.
Nuryshev said that Kazakhstan was impressed by the 20th National Congress of the CPC, saying it was enlightening for the development of neighboring countries and even the whole world.
“We are eager to know the next step of China’s development policy, so we read the report carefully. We also look forward to learning more about China’s grand blueprint through the two sessions next year,” Nuryshev told the media.
Chinese President Xi Jinping picked Kazakhstan as the destination of his first foreign trip since the COVID-19 pandemic on September 14 this year, which experts said underscored the fact that he highly values bilateral relations with the Central Asian country and indicates that such a visit will inject new growth momentum for the country.
Xi reiterated that the Chinese government attaches great importance to China-Kazakhstan ties and always supports Kazakhstan in maintaining national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
It is worth mentioning that the meeting between the two leaders was held ahead of the most important domestic political events in both countries – the 20th National Congress of the CPC and the presidential elections in Kazakhstan, according to Nuryshev.
Kazakhstan and China are on the path of modernization and rejuvenation, committed to the same goal of improving people’s well-being, and committed to the strategic task of developing good-neighborly friendship, the envoy said.
“Our two countries were among the first to resolve the border issue, turning our common border into a solid bond of friendship. There are no outstanding questions between us, and all the problems that have arisen have been resolved jointly through friendly negotiations on the basis of mutual benefit,” Nuryshev noted.
Kazakhstan and China are among the earliest states to start cooperation in production capacity and investment, setting a model for coordination within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, he added.
China is Kazakhstan’s largest trading partner. In the past 30 years, mutual trade has increased more than 70-fold, reaching $25.2 billion in 2021, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
Moreover, Nuryshev expressed hope for a quicker resolution of the Russia-Ukraine conflict through peaceful negotiations.
He told the Global Times at the meeting that Russia is also an important strategic partner of Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan has maintained good cooperation with the European Union, Russia and China on many multilateral platforms, as Kazakhstan has always pursued a multivector and balanced foreign policy, Nuryshev reiterated, refuting the smears on Kazakhstan-Russia relations made by some media.
The ambassador said Kazakhstan continues to communicate with both Russia and Ukraine, while providing channels for solutions to the conflict, as it concerns the restoration of a stable economy across the Eurasian continent.
“Amid the current geopolitical complex situation, mutual trust between major powers is drastically declining. That means meetings and consensus between states’ leaders on pressing issues are crucial,” he said.
Nuryshev believes that it is important for China and Kazakhstan to support international initiatives launched by each other, as the two countries share many similar positions on global development and security issues.
“Kazakhstan and China continue to carry out close cooperation under the framework of multilateral organizations such as the UN, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) and the Central Asia-China model. The SCO and CICA are complementary rather than contradictory and not competitive as some media have claimed,” said the ambassador.
Kazakhstan will hold presidential elections on November 20, and a legislative election is set to be held in Kazakhstan in early 2023, which means that, according to Nuryshev, all the major political organs will be updated by the first half of 2023. He said he believes the newly elected Kazakh president will continue to be committed to the development of the China-Kazakhstan friendship.
The diplomat, who has been in China for a total of 19 years, said he hoped to work with Chinese counterparts to push bilateral cooperation to a new height, and make the new decade a “golden chapter” in the history of bilateral cooperation just like the past 30 years.