Interview: Xi's visit to reaffirm China's policy toward Kazakhstan: Kazakh expert

Chinese President Xi Jinping will stress the continuity of Beijing's policy toward Kazakhstan during his first state visit to the Central Asian country on Saturday, a Kazakh expert said.


Xi's first official visit to a country has a meaning, said Valikhan Tuleshov, director of the Institute for Regional Development of the Kazakhstan's International Academy of Business.


This visit does not mean that countries are just beginning to engage, but this is in fact the continuation of a long-term policy of China, Tuleshov said here in a recent interview with Xinhua.


In this sense, both countries and peoples will focus on the implementation of the agreements reached, the further development of their relations, as well as more practical issues, he said.


One of the important issues to be discussed is Kazakhstan's wheat exports to China and the establishment of a joint agricultural model facility in Kazakhstan using the latest technology, he said.


There is also a very important transcontinental project on the construction of a transport route from Western China to West Europe via Kazakhstan, Tuleshov said, adding such a route will dramatically accelerate the speed of trade.


Kazakhstan has an intention to declare the year 2017 a Year of Tourism of China in Kazakhstan, said Tuleshov, noting the two countries are expected to strengthen their cultural and people-to-people exchange, including mutual visits of students, teachers, writers, poets and musicians, etc.


The expert also encouraged Kazakh people to learn more about contemporary China and Chinese culture, and share their experiences.


Many Kazakh people, including well-known cultural celebrities, still have little knowledge of how Chinese people live now, he said, adding it is very important that the two countries enhance their cultural cooperation.


In recent years, Kazakhstan and China have witnessed rapid expansion of cooperation, especially in the field of oil and gas, he said.


"Oil and gas field is the engine of our cooperation. We also cooperate in the field of high technologies," he said.


Kazakhstan is considering its lease at the Baikonur cosmodrome with Russia and a change of cooperation format in space when Baikonur becomes an independent international space logistics center, Tuleshov said.


Kazakhstan and China could exchange their experiences and technologies in space area, he noted.


"We could very well interact in the field of nuclear energy; we know that China is also developing nuclear power. By 2050, Kazakhstan sets out to become one of the developed countries in the world in terms of the quality of life. We can not do that without nuclear power," the Kazakh expert said.