Chinese President Hu Jintao's upcoming visit to central Asia is significant to promote a sustained, healthy and stable development of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and comprehensively boost China's ties with Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, a senior Chinese diplomat said in Beijing Friday.
The remarks were made by Assistant Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping at a press conference on Hu's scheduled visit to central Asia.
At the invitation of Uzbek President Islam Karimovm, Hu will pay a state visit to Uzbekistan and attend the annual SCO summit in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent from June 9 to 11. As a guest of Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Hu will also visit Kazakhstan from June 11 to 12.
Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, as China's good neighbors and major partners, enjoy deep and traditional friendship, pragmatic cooperation and close personnel contact with China, Cheng said.
Cheng also said that it is China's unswerving policy to continuously consolidate and enhance politically mutual trust and friendly cooperation with Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, which is also in the common interests of the peoples in all of the three nations.
Hu's visit is conducive to deepening China's cooperation with the SCO members and observers in various fields, safeguarding the international and regional security and stability, as well as building a harmonious region featuring lasting peace and common prosperity, said Cheng.
Founded in 2001 in Shanghai, the SCO groups China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, covering an area of more than 30 million square km with a population of about 1.5 billion. Since the SCO initiated an observer mechanism in 2004, Mongolia, Pakistan, Iran and India have become observer states of the bloc.