China to promote cooperation with Uzbekistan in economy, trade and energy

SHANGHAI: Chinese President Hu Jintao on Wednesday vowed to strengthen coordination and support for the work of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS).

Mr. Hu made the remarks while meeting his Uzbek counterpart, Islam Karimov, who arrived in the Chinese economic hub on Wednesday to attend the SCO summit scheduled on Thursday.

``To fight the `three evil forces' including the `East Turkistan' force and safeguard security and stability in the region is in the common interests of China and Uzbekistan, as well as all the other countries there,'' he said.

Mr. Hu said Uzbekistan had made an important contribution to the successful start of RATS and to the important role played by it.

RATS, headquartered in Uzbekistan's capital Tashkent, was opened in June 2004 with a mission to step up coordination among SCO member states and international organisations in combating the ``three evil forces'' of terrorism, separatism and extremism.

Hails relationship

Mr. Hu hailed China-Uzbek relationship, saying it features political support, deepening cooperation and close coordination, and it contributes to regional and global peace and stability.

The China-Uzbek treaty on friendly and cooperative partnership signed last year has pushed bilateral relations to a new phase, he said.

``China appreciates the firm support from Uzbekistan on such issues as Taiwan and on the strike against the `East Turkistan' terrorist force. We will also support Uzbekistan along a development road which is in line with its domestic situation,'' Mr. Hu said.

Although bilateral economic and trade ties witnessed fast growth, there is still great potential, Mr. Hu said.

``China will promote friendly and mutually beneficial cooperation with Uzbekistan in economy, trade and energy and continuously push bilateral ties forward.''

Mr. Karimov said Uzbekistan is satisfied with its rising cooperation with China in all fields.

Uzbekistan attaches importance to its relations with China and will enhance cooperation in such fields as politics, economy, trade, education, medicine and the fight against the ``three evil forces.''

Mr. Karimov said the upcoming SCO summit is of historic significance and Uzbekistan will cooperate with host China to make it a success.

After their talks, the two Presidents attended a signing ceremony for some bilateral cooperation agreements.

The SCO, a regional organisation founded in June 2001, groups China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Xinhua