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Xi Jinping announces USD 500 million for livelihood projects in Central Asian Countries

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Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday announced USD 500 million assistance to support the livelihood programs in five Central Asian Countries and expressed Beijing’s opposition to colour revolutions “fomented” from outside.

Xi along with five Central Asian countries, namely Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan held a summit via video link on Tuesday to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with China.

“I wish to announce that in the next three years, the Chinese government will provide a grant assistance of USD 500 million to Central Asian countries in support of livelihood programs,” Xi said in his address at the summit.

All the five countries share borders with China and are part of the eight-member Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in which India is also a member.

China “firmly opposes attempts by external forces to foment colour revolutions in Central Asia” under the pretext of human rights, Xi said.

He threw his weight behind beleaguered Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev who faced massive public protests early this month.

“Not long ago, Kazakhstan experienced some dramatic developments, which led to heavy casualties and property damage. As a friend and neighbour, China has firmly supported Kazakhstan in its effort to maintain stability and stop violence, and will continue to support and help Kazakhstan to the best of our ability,” he said.

“We must continue to combat terrorist, extremist and separatist forces, deepen cooperation in areas such as border management and control, combating terrorist use of the Internet and joint operation, and work together to strengthen the regional security net,” he said.

He also said that several big projects of strategic importance have been successfully completed, including the China-Central Asia natural gas pipeline, the China-Kazakhstan crude oil pipeline, the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan highway, and the China-Tajikistan expressway. The China-Europe Railway Express which runs through Central Asia has seen rapid growth.

“We need to ensure the steady operation of our oil and gas pipelines, speed up the construction of Line D of the China-Central Asia Gas Pipeline, expand cooperation across the energy industrial chain, and promote low-carbon transition in the energy sector,” he said.

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