|Chinese President Xi Jinping (R, front) visits the ancient Ulugh Beg Observatory with the company of Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov (C) in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, Sept. 10, 2013. (Xinhua/Huang Jingwen)
SAMARQAND, Uzbekistan, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- China and Uzbekistan vowed here Tuesday to boost cultural and people-to-people exchanges.
China and Uzbekistan should strengthen cooperation in people-to-people exchanges and boost mutual learning and dialogue between the two civilizations, Chinese President Xi Jinping said while wrapping up his trip to the Central Asian country with visits to the Amir Taimur Museum in Tashkent and the historic city of Samarqand.
He called on China and Uzbekistan to jointly promote the harmonious development of various civilizations along the Silk Road.
Uzbek President Islam Karimov, for his part, said Xi's trip to Uzbekistan reflected Chinese people's respect for the Uzbek civilization and their friendship toward the Uzbek people.
While visiting the Amir Taimur Museum on Monday, Xi said he was born in the Chinese city of Xi'an, the starting point of the Silk Road, echoing Karimov's remarks that his hometown Samarqand had been a hub city of the ancient Silk Road.
Xi, accompanied by his Uzbek counterpart, toured Samarqand on Tuesday. Samarqand, developed from the seventh century BC, is now the second largest city of Uzbekistan, and was added by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to the World Heritage List in 2001.
The Chinese president is currently in Kyrgyzstan for a state visit, where he will attend a Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit.
Before Uzbekistan, Xi had visited Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, and attended a Group of 20 summit in the Russian city of St. Petersburg.