Chinese President Xi Jinping published a signed article on leading Uzbek newspaper Narodnoye Slove under the title of "A Glorious New Chapter in China-Uzbekistan Friendship" on Tuesday, ahead of his state visit to the Central Asian country.
The English translated version of the article, also carried by the Jahon news agency, is as follows.
A Glorious New Chapter in China-Uzbekistan Friendship
By H.E. Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China
"Grass-covered land is lush green and snow-clad mountains are translucent and silvery," to quote a poem written by a Chinese envoy in Ming Dynasty after his mission to Central Asia over 600 years ago. The magnificent landscape of Uzbekistan is familiar to and admired by the Chinese people since ancient times. I first visited your beautiful country in September 2013 and was deeply impressed by its distinct natural scenery, time-honored history and cultural heritage, and the hard-working and talented people.
At this fascinating time of lush green, I will once again visit Uzbekistan and attend the Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Tashkent at the invitation of President Islam Karimov. This is a visit I am very much looking forward to.
The people of our two countries are diligent, courageous and honest. They cherish friendship and share similar views on personal dedication to the welfare of the nation and the world. Over 2,000 years ago, the ancient Silk Road connected China and Uzbekistan and has since witnessed the growth of two-way trade, mutual learning and people-to-people friendship. Zhang Qian in Western Han Dynasty, Xuan Zang in Tang Dynasty and Chen Cheng in Ming Dynasty traveled to Uzbekistan as an envoy or for a stopover. Renowned historical and cultural figures in Uzbekistan such as Alisher Navoi, Mirza Ulugbek and Muhammad Al Khwarizmi are known in China for their works and thoughts. Central Asia is the meeting place of Chinese and Western cultures, and Uzbekistan has played an important role as a bridge of communication. Over the centuries, China and Uzbekistan have maintained close contacts and fostered a fine tradition of friendly exchanges, thus laying a solid foundation for the good-neighborly relations we enjoy today.
Uzbekistan is a major country in Central Asia. China views its relations with Uzbekistan from a strategic and long-term perspective. China was among the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with Uzbekistan shortly after its independence. Over the past 24 years, bilateral relations have stood the test of time and changes in the international landscape and kept a momentum of sound and steady growth. Our two sides have rendered each other firm support on issues concerning our respective core interests and achieved fruitful results in cooperation in various fields.