|Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) arrives in Ashkhabad for a state visit to Turkmenistan, Sept. 3, 2013. (Xinhua/Ju Peng)
ASHKHABAD, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived here Tuesday for a state visit to Turkmenistan, first stop of his maiden trip to Central Asia since he took office in March.
Calling China and Turkmenistan as friendly neighbors and important strategic partners, Xi said in a written statement upon his arrival that the timing and conditions for a strategic upgrade of bilateral relations are mature, as the ties enjoy solid foundation and increasingly rich content while bilateral cooperation mechanism is constantly improving.
"I hold the belief that my visit will push China-Turkmenistan relations to a new level," Xi said.
During his two-day stay in Turkmenistan, Xi is expected to hold talks with his Turkmenian counterpart Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov on lifting bilateral relations and furthering cooperation.
Xi's visit is aimed to deepen China-Turkmenistan strategic cooperation, and advance their cooperation in various fields such as trade, economy, energy, transportation, law enforcement, security and culture.
Turkmenistan is the first leg of Xi's four-nation Central Asian trip, which will also take him to Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.
He will also attend the eighth summit of the Group of Twenty in the Russian city of St. Petersburg and the 13th meeting of the Council of Heads of Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Kyrgyzstan.
Prior to Xi's visit, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping said the president will comprehensively lift China's level of cooperation with those countries in the region and raise new proposals.