Energy partners boost gas supplies

Updated: 2013-09-04 01:41

By Wu Jiao and Li Xiaokun (China Daily)

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Yang Cheng, deputy director of the Center for Russian Studies at East China Normal University in Shanghai, said Turkmenistan plays an important role in diversifying China's energy imports.

In addition, Turkmenistan helps restructure energy consumption in China, which is troubled by severe air pollution, partially as a result of coal burning, Yang said.

Former ambassador to Turkmenistan Wu Hongbin said that in recent years more and more Turkmenistan students are sent to study in China, especially in fields like high-tech.

"Turkmenistan is confident in China's economic and high-tech development," Wu said.

Shi Ze, a researcher on Central Asian studies at the China Institute of International Studies, said resource-based economies of Central Asian countries have placed high expectations on China as their export market.

"They are also in need of Chinese investment to upgrade their economies," Shi said.

Shi said aside from the huge potential in economic cooperation, Central Asia's location also grants the region a key role in geopolitics.

In addition to China, the United States, Russia and the European Union have all raised their strategies to explore relations with the region, Shi said.

Wang Lijiu, an expert at China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said security cooperation with Central Asian nations, including Turkmenistan, bears great significance for stability in western China.

China and Central Asian countries must enhance cooperation on security to prevent terrorists spreading into Central Asia and China after US troops retreat from Afghanistan in 2014.

Xi's Central Asia tour is his third international trip since taking office in March, and the first to this neighboring region.

The trip, lasting until Sept 13, will also take him to Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Xi is also scheduled to attend the eighth Leaders' Summit of the G20, scheduled in Russia's St Petersburg from Thursday to Friday, as well as the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan, on Sept 13.

Mo Jingxi contributed to this story.


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