MOSCOW, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- The Belt and Road Initiative has created opportunities for China and Central Asian countries to strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation and achieve common development and prosperity in the past five years, the Chinese ambassador to Russia has said.
The trade volume between China and Central Asian countries has been growing over the past years, Chinese Ambassador to Russia Li Hui said in a signed article published by Nezavisimaya Gazeta (Independence Newspaper) recently.
China and Central Asian countries have made progress in cooperation in such areas as production capacity, technology and finance, Li said, adding that China has become the largest investor in Central Asian countries and their major trade partner.
China-Europe freight trains and construction of logistics projects, expressways and natural gas pipelines have contributed significantly to the economic development in Central Asia, Li said.
Cultural exchanges between the two sides have seen robust growth. The number of Central Asian students studying in China has increased rapidly in the past years and the Chinese government has set up a "Silk Road" scholarship for them, Li said.
Li said it is a tradition for the Chinese people to help neighbors and friends to seek common development and Chinese enterprises in the region abide by the law and never make trouble.
The Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by China in 2013, aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa on and beyond the ancient Silk Road routes. The initiative comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.