Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to Visit China as Tashkent and Beijing Deepen Ties

Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev will pay a visit to China at the invitation of Chinese leader Xi Jinping from January 23 to 25, as the two countries continue to deepen cooperation, Xinhua News, China’s official state news agency, reported on Friday.

Ties between Uzbekistan and China have been strengthening since Mirziyoyev came to power in 2016. The Uzbek leader has focused on improving diplomatic relations with global economies and has launched policies aimed at enhancing the business climate to attract foreign investment in this former Soviet republic in Central Asia.

President Mirziyoyev’s visit to China will demonstrate the high level of the countries’ bilateral relations and the profound friendship between the two heads of state, China’s foreign ministry spokesman said, according to Xinhua.

Shavkat Mirziyoyev visit to China

During Mirziyoyev’s visit to China, the two sides will hold a series of meetings and supporting activities in the fields of culture, education, as well as sub-national cooperation. These efforts aim to deepen cooperation and benefit the peoples of the two states, the foreign ministry’s spokesman said.

In recent years, China has become the largest source of foreign investment in Uzbekistan, with over $10 billion invested since 2017. This became possible after Mirziyoyev became president, enjoying overwhelming support among his people and taking bold actions to increase the global role of Uzbekistan.

Mirziyoyev’s approach, focused on friendly diplomatic relations and mutually beneficial investment and economic policies, has led to a boom in foreign investment in Uzbekistan. Currently, over 120 fully Chinese-capitalized companies and more than 2,000 joint ventures operate in the country, including major firms like Huawei and ZTE. These investments span multiple sectors, including energy, infrastructure, telecommunications and others.

Recently, green energy has also been a hot topic for both Uzbekistan and China. During the 2023 summit involving Central Asian countries and China, Tashkent and Beijing forged an agreement to build 11 power stations harnessing solar and wind energy. These facilities are projected to have a combined capacity of 4.8 gigawatts, with an estimated investment of around 4.5 billion dollars. In 2023, in a move underscoring this commitment, Chinese firms declared their plans to channel 2 billion dollars into renewable energy projects in Uzbekistan.

The pivotal role of Uzbekistan in Beijing’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative further underscores the growing importance of this Central Asian state as a trade partner and investment destination for China, a trend that is likely to continue with Mirziyoyev’s re-election in July 2023.

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