Li Zhanshu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China, meets with First President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev in Kazakhstan, Sept. 23, 2019. Li paid an official goodwill visit to Kazakhstan from Sept. 21 to 25 at the invitation of Dariga Nazarbayeva, speaker of the Kazakh Parliament's Upper House, Nurlan Nigmatulin, speaker of the Kazakh Parliament's Lower House. (Xinhua/Zhai Jianlan)
NUR-SULTAN, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- Li Zhanshu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) of China, and Kazakh leaders have agreed here to boost mutually beneficial cooperation in various areas.
During an official goodwill visit from Saturday to Wednesday, Li met with First President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and conveyed Chinese President Xi Jinping's cordial greetings to him.
Li told Nazarbayev that China and Kazakhstan are good neighbors and the most reliable friends and partners.
Li said China and Kazakhstan have decided to develop a permanent comprehensive strategic partnership and build a community with a shared future, and their ties have become a model of interstate relations following 27 years of development since the establishment of their diplomatic relationship.
Both sides need to strengthen political mutual trust and mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields, Li said, adding that China has full confidence in the future of Kazakhstan and will continue to support the Central Asian country in pursuing its development path that suits its national conditions.
Nazarbayev told Li that China is a good friend of his country and China's development is vital to Kazakhstan.
He said strengthening Kazakhstan-China cooperation is in line with the two countries' interests, and Kazakhstan always prioritizes in its foreign policy cementing and developing ties with China.
At a meeting with Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Li conveyed Xi's good wishes to him.
Li said the construction of a Silk Road Economic Belt was first proposed in Kazakhstan, and both countries as permanent comprehensive strategic partners should respect, trust and support each other no matter how the global and regional situations develop.
China and Kazakhstan should improve the alignment of their development strategies and boost cooperation in production capacities, energy, agriculture, inter-connectivity, finance, cross-border e-commerce, high-technology, education, sports, culture and tourism, Li said.
Tokayev said that Kazakhstan, located in the center of the Eurasian continent, will always be a friendly neighbor of China. He praised China's key role in maintaining global security and stability.
The Belt and Road Initiative is significant to Kazakhstan, which is ready to strengthen cooperation with China, implement bilateral agreements and achieve more outcomes.
At talks with Dariga Nazarbayeva, speaker of the Kazakh parliament's upper house, and Nurlan Nigmatulin, speaker of the lower house, Li said the two legislatures should implement the important consensuses reached by the heads of state and facilitate bilateral cooperation with legislation and favorable policy.
Li said the two legislatures should push for the signing of an updated version of the China-Kazakhstan investment protection pact, streamline procedures for customs clearance and work permits, and create a sound investment environment.
Nazarbayeva said that strengthening Kazakhstan-China cooperation has particular significance as the world is fraught with risks and challenges, and that she expects better quality in such cooperation.
Nigmatulin said the Kazakh parliament is willing to compare notes on legislation and supervision with the NPC of China.
During his visit, Li and Kazakh Prime Minister Askar Mamin attended the opening ceremony of the China Construction Bank's Astana office.
Li listened to a report about the Astana International Financial Center and encouraged financial institutions in the center to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative.
The Chinese top legislator also visited the site of the 2017 Astana Expo and the national museum.