Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli (R) meets with Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon in Beijing, capital of China, May 20, 2013. (Xinhua/Xie Huanchi)
BEIJING, May 20 (Xinhua) -- China and Tajikistan are ready to add substantial content to their strategic partnership, top Chinese leaders said as they met with Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon on Monday.
Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), and Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli held separate meetings with Rakhmon in Beijing's Great Hall of the People on Monday afternoon.
During the meeting, Zhang Dejiang said Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Rakhmon had declared the establishment of a China-Tajikistan strategic partnership as they held talks in Beijing earlier on Monday.
He said this signaled that bilateral relations have reached a higher level and entered a new stage of development.
According to the Standing Committee chairman, China is ready to join hands with Tajikistan to earnestly implement all the important consensus and cooperative agreements that the leaders of the two countries have reached. He said the two sides will carry out strategic cooperation in all dimensions so as to advance China-Tajikistan relations in an extensive way.
Zhang Dejiang, head of China's legislature, said inter-parliament cooperation has helped reinforce the political and social basis of good-neighborly friendship and advance bilateral relations between the two countries. He noted that the Tajik side places importance on exchanges with the NPC. He also expressed hope that the opportunity of the establishment of the strategic partnership could be taken to lift bilateral links to higher levels.
In his meeting with Rakhmon, Zhang Gaoli made a five-point proposal on stepping up bilateral pragmatic cooperation.
He called for stronger trade cooperation, suggesting a better mode of cooperation and higher trade volume.
The vice premier proposed the implementation of aid and loan projects and the financing of big projects.
He also encouraged Chinese businesses to expand investment in Tajikistan, and appealed for cooperation in energy -- like supporting Tajikistan's oil and gas exploration and joint work in coal gas, electric power and new energy.
Zhang Gaoli also proposed deeper cooperation between regions and in telecommunications.
China expects Tajikistan to create a good environment for Chinese businesses to invest and operate in the country, he told his guest.
Rakhmon hailed China as Tajikistan's most important trade partner, pledging closer coordination and a fleshing-out of the bilateral strategic partnership.