Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with his Tajik counterpart Emomali Rakhmon in Shanghai, east China, May 19, 2014. (Xinhua/Zhang Duo)
SHANGHAI, May 19 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping met his Tajik counterpart Emomali Rakhmon here on Monday, and the two leaders vowed to push ahead with bilateral cooperation in a variety of areas.
Rakhmon is in Shanghai to attend the fourth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia slated for Tuesday and Wednesday.
Hailing Tajikistan as a good neighbor, a good friend and a good partner, Xi said China supports the Central Asian country's efforts to safeguard its stability, boost its economic growth and better its people's lives.
Bilateral ties have developed to a new stage, with cooperation in various areas gaining good momentum, since the two countries established a strategic partnership in 2013, Xi noted.
The Chinese leader called on the two sides to press on with mapping out a cooperation plan for the 2015-2020 period to further develop their strategic partnership.
Xi expressed his hope that the China-Central Asia natural gas pipeline project and other cooperation schemes with Tajikistan on electricity, transport and infrastructure construction at border ports could all be advanced.
Xi urged bilateral collaboration in culture, education and tourism.
He also called for strengthened cooperation between China and Tajikistan on law enforcement security and defense, as well as joint crackdowns on the "three evil forces" of separatism, extremism and terrorism, and drug trafficking and cross-border crimes.
Xi meanwhile vowed Beijing's all-out support for and coordination with Tajikistan in hosting the 2014 Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in its capital Dushanbe in September.
Rakhmon said his country is determined to cement its good neighborly cooperation with China and deepen their strategic partnership.
Tajikistan looks forward to President Xi's visit to the country and his participation in the SCO summit, said Rakhmon, who believes the visit could be a milestone in bilateral relations.
The Tajik side is grateful to China's support and assistance in its preparation for the summit, and is willing to work with China to carry forward the SCO's spirit so as to play a greater role in promoting regional peace and stability, Rakhmon said.
He added that Tajikistan is a reliable partner of China in cracking down on the "three evil forces", and is ready to strengthen bilateral cooperation on issues including security and law enforcement so as to improve their capabilities of jointly responding to complicated situations.
Dushanbe will do its best in the construction of the natural gas pipeline between China and Central Asia, and wishes to see China's continued involvement in helping develop Tajikistan's economy and improve its people's livelihoods, the Tajik president said.