TASHKENT, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- China and Uzbekistan vowed here Monday to further boost bilateral cooperation and deepen their strategic partnership.
The two countries made the pledge in a joint declaration issued after talks between visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Uzbek counterpart, Islam Karimov.
Xi's visit to Uzbekistan testifies to the political will of both countries to accelerate the development of bilateral practical cooperation in various areas, said the document.
The two countries agreed to maintain regular consultations at all levels, exchange views on bilateral and major global issues in a timely manner, deepen mutual understanding and coordinate their stances on issues of common concern.
They also reaffirmed mutual support for their respective choices of development path as well as positions on core-interets issues, each pledging to stay away from any bloc, activity or treaty that harms the other's sovereignty, security and territorial integrity.
Meanwhile, the two sides pledged to boost law enforcement cooperation, jointly fight the "three evil forces" of terrorism, extremism and separatism as well as other transnational crimes, and safeguard national and regional security.
They also vowed to further promote cooperation within such multilateral frameworks as the United Nations and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to contribute to regional and global peace, stability, security and development.
China, said the declaration, thinks highly of Uzbekistan's efforts to maintain stable economic growth in the face of international financial woes, and is willing to provide further financial and technological assistance for Uzbekistan's socioeconomic development.
The two countries also pledged to further improve their trade structure, diversify bilateral economic cooperation, and expand mutual market access for goods, services and advanced technologies.
In the declaration, the two countries set a target of lifting the volume of two-way trade to 5 billion U.S. dollars by 2017.
Meanwhile, they agreed to strengthen energy cooperation to ensure long-term, safe and stable operation of the China-Uzbekistan gas pipeline, promote joint exploration and development of oil, gas and natural uranium, and tap the cooperation potential in renewable energies.
Uzbekistan urges Chinese enterprises to make greater use of its special economic and industrial zones, which herald a bright prospect for large-scale, mutually beneficial investment projects.
Noting that transportation infrastructure is of particular significance to the fast development of bilateral cooperation, the two countries pledged to continue cooperation in this regard, and called for an early start of the construction of a China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway.
Among many others, the two countries also vowed to broaden cultural and people-to-people exchanges, and agreed to set up a Confucius Institute in the Uzbek city of Samarkand.
Xi arrived here Sunday for a state visit. Earlier in his ongoing overseas trip, he visited Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan and attended a Group of 20 summit in the Russian city of St. Petersburg.
After Uzbekistan, the Chinese president is to pay a state visit to Kyrgyzstan, where he will also attend a SCO summit.
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