COVID-19: Uzbek and Chinese experts put their heads together



TASHKENT: Representatives of the Institute of Strategic and Interregional Studies (ISMI) under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan took part in an online expert conference on the topic: “Sino-Uzbek comprehensive strategic partnership in a new context,” correspondent reports.

The event, organized with the support of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Uzbekistan, was attended by the leaders and leading experts of the Institute for Strategic and Regional Studies under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Institute of East European, Russian and Central Asian Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the Department for European-Central Asian Studies of China Institute of International Studies and the Institute of Euraisan Studies of China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.

Cooperation issues in countering the COVID-19 pandemic and overcoming its consequences, prospects for further strengthening China – Uzbekistan cooperation in new conditions, the main areas of cooperation within the framework of Belt and Road Initiative were considered at the event.

 Deputy Director of the Institute for Strategic and Regional Studies under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Sanjar Valiyev noted that during the fight against the epidemiological crisis, Uzbekistan and China showed their best qualities, being responsible states with effective governance, able to mobilize all the important resources for the health of their citizens.

He emphasized that the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev and President of China Xi Jinping discussed in detail, during the telephone conversation on May 7 this year, further steps to strengthen a comprehensive strategic partnership of a multifaceted nature.

Based on the results of these agreements and on the initiatives of the heads of state, joint work has been intensified to minimize the negative consequences of the pandemic and to seek new opportunities for mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation.

First of all, this is an increase in volumes and the achievement of a balanced mutual trade, strengthening of industrial cooperation and implementation of innovative projects, creation of favorable conditions for the growth of freight traffic, promotion of humanitarian programs.

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of China to Uzbekistan, Jiang Yan, emphasized that in a global pandemic, by uniting forces and helping each other, the two countries served as a model for building a community of a unified fate for mankind. According to her, Tashkent was among the first to support China by sending humanitarian aid at the beginning of the pandemic.

In turn, Beijing from the beginning of the spread of infection in Uzbekistan has sent to the Uzbek side over 41 tons of humanitarian supplies, shared its experience in countering COVID-19. All this, as the diplomat noted, became evidence of the high level interstate relations and the establishment of strong friendship between the peoples of the two countries.

IEERCAS CASS Director, Sun Zhuangzhi, noted the important role of Uzbekistan in implementation of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative, the high demand for proposals forwarded by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to develop cooperation within this format for Uzbekistan and Central Asia.

The Chinese expert focused on such priority areas of cooperation as development of new investment projects, intensification of construction of transport corridors through Central Asia, creation of a stable financing system and strengthening humanitarian cooperation.

In his opinion, through the implementation of Belt and Road projects, the parties will be able to restore the economic growth in the coming years to increase the trade turnover, build new chains of industrial cooperation and diversify cargo transportation routes.

At the same time, Director of the Department for European-Central Asian Studies of China Institute of International Studies, Li Ziguo, drew attention to the deterrent effect of the pandemic on the dynamics of development of Uzbekistan – China relations. According to the expert, due to restrictive measures, the supply chain of goods has been violated, the implementation of joint projects has been suspended, the procedure for export and import has been complicated.

In this regard, he called for flexible joint actions at this stage in implementation of cooperation in transport and logistics, ensuring food security, development of medicine and public healthcare, accelerated digitalization of economic sectors, especially the trade and service delivery systems.

According to the Director and Research Professor of the Institute of Euraisan Studies of China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, Ding Xiaoxing, one must also remember to contain security threats. Thus, due to the pandemic in Central Asia, the total number of infected reached 80 thousand people, which complicates the health situation in the region.

In general, the dialogue platform allowed to analyze the best ways to eliminate the consequences of COVID-19 by joint efforts. China and Uzbekistan will pay special attention to the exchange of experience in implementing effective methods of treating infection, taking anti-epidemic measures, developing and manufacturing medical equipment, test systems, drugs and vaccines.