ASTANA, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed here Saturday that China and Central Asia join hands to build a Silk Road economic belt to boost cooperation.
In a speech delivered at Nazarbayev University, Xi suggested that relevant countries enhance communication and green-light regional economic integration in terms of both policy and law.
He proposed that China and Central Asian countries work to improve traffic connectivity, trade and monetary cooperation, and people-to-people exchanges.
The Silk Road boasts a 3-billion population and a market that is unparalleled both in scale and potential, said Xi, urging relevant parties to facilitate trade and investment and remove barriers.
Xi also urged regional countries to realize local-currency settlement so as to improve their immunity to financial risks and their global competitiveness.
The Chinese president also said that China respects the development paths and policies chosen by the peoples of regional countries, and will never interfere with the domestic affairs of Central Asian nations.
China will never seek a dominant role in regional affairs, nor try to nurture a sphere of influence, he added, saying that China and Central Asian nations should be genuine friends of mutual support and trust.
He also called on all sides to support each other on issues concerning sovereignty, territorial integrity, security and other core interests, and jointly crack down on the "three evil forces" of terrorism, extremism and separatism, as well as drug-trafficking and transnational organized crimes.