The Working Trip of the Hero-Arkadag to the PRC
The National Leader of the Turkmen people, Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, being on a working visit to the People’s Republic of China, took part in the Third High-Level Belt and Road Forum.
...Strengthening fruitful ties with the states of the Asia-Pacific region, including the PRC, is one of the key vectors of the foreign policy of the Motherland, pursued under the leadership of President Serdar Berdimuhamedov.
The growing dynamics of the Turkmen-Chinese relations in recent years is conditioned by the desire of the two friendly countries to bring their strategic multifaceted cooperation to a qualitatively new level, which was once again confirmed during the visits of the Head of Turkmenistan to China in January and May of the current year.
At the same time, the confidential dialogue of our states is facilitated by the proximity or coincidence of positions on key issues of the global agenda and their active interaction and mutual support for initiatives put forward within the framework of major international organisations and authoritative regional structures, including in the Central Asia–China format.
Having a favourable geopolitical and geo-economic position at the junction of important transport corridors, Turkmenistan makes constructive proposals and makes every effort to revive this legendary trade route, creating a favourable climate for the successful promotion of a fruitful dialogue among the countries of Asia and Europe. This also directly meets the goals of China, which is the author of the consonant international initiative “One Belt One Road.”
In this regard, the representative event, the motto of which was “High-Quality Belt and Road Cooperation: Together for Common Development and Prosperity,” was intended to further deepen the entire range of fruitful relations of the forum participating countries for the benefit of the friendly peoples in the interests of ensuring security and stability on the Eurasian continent and throughout the world. High-quality Belt and Road Cooperation: Together for Common Development and Prosperity.
The One Belt One Road Conception proposed in 2013 by Xi Jinping, has received a positive response from the global community. Its goal is to intensify international trade and investment projects with the participation of a larger number of countries and to use the capital of interested states. More than 150 countries and over 30 international organisations have already joined it. At the same time, this initiative is aimed at improving existing trade and transport corridors, connecting the countries of Central Asia, Europe and Africa and creating new ones.
Over the past 10 years, it has had a noticeable economic and social impact on the development of its Member States, has promoted the creation of numerous jobs, has contributed to increased investments, trade, transport connectivity and the development of cooperation in the field of culture and tourism and has played a significant role in improving living standards and wellbeing of the population of different countries. Over the years, huge capital investments have been attracted and more than a thousand cooperation projects have been developed.
This initiative fits logically into multilateral efforts to strengthen creative and constructive interaction throughout the international community. In the context of unprecedented changes in the world, it is bringing positive results and is laying a solid foundation for the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
...The car of the National Leader of the Turkmen people, Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov stopped at the central entrance of the Great Hall of the People of the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China. There, the Hero-Arkadag was warmly and cordially greeted by the President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping.
After the joint photographing ceremony, forum participants proceeded to the large hall of the Great Hall of the People of the People’s Republic of China, where the official opening of the High-Level Meeting took place.
Delegates to the large-scale event were representatives of more than 140 countries and 30 authoritative organisations, including government leaders and heads of international organisations, ministries and business circles.
The President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech on China’s trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian cooperation and the goals and objectives of effective and fruitful international cooperation within the framework of the Belt and Road Project. As it was noted, the principles of joint consulting, construction and use, as well as openness, environmental friendliness, integrity, high standards, people’s wellbeing and sustainable development had become important in the high-quality joint formation of this conception.
It was also stressed that after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, that strategy had become the road to life and health. At the same time, Chinese President Xi Jinping said the global network of connectivity formed within the framework of that initiative had helped ensure the millennia-old ancient Silk Road’s shining with new vitality in the modern era.
The Head of the PRC noted with satisfaction that in recent years, cooperation within the Belt and Road format had moved from outlining contours to the stage of carefully elaborating details, and plans had turned into real projects, thereby bringing fruitful results.
As the speakers emphasised, the Forum was taking place under the sign of the tenth anniversary of the initiative put forward by President Xi Jinping – a truly important, global and future-oriented one, aimed at creating a more equitable multipolar world and system of relations. Particular emphasis was placed on the fact that time had proven the relevance of the strategy, considered as a grandiose project on a global scale.
It was noted that most states of the world shared the desire for equal and mutually beneficial cooperation in order to achieve universal sustainable and long-term economic progress and social wellbeing, while respecting civilisational diversity and the right of each state to its own development model.
At the end of the official opening ceremony of the Third International Forum, the National Leader of the Turkmen people, Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov met with the First Vice Premier of the People’s Republic of China, a member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China Ding Xuexiang at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse.
Before the start of the meeting, which took place in the format of a business lunch, a photographing ceremony took place against the background of the State Flags of Turkmenistan and the People’s Republic of China.
After warmly greeting each other, the interlocutors expressed satisfaction with the opportunity to discuss the current state and prospects of the development of the Turkmen-Chinese cooperation, which in recent years, thanks to the mutual efforts of the parties, had been given the status of a strategic partnership.
It was noted that the Government of the People’s Republic of China attached special importance to strengthening the multifaceted partnership with Turkmenistan, which demonstrated the stable rates of socioeconomic development and fundamentally new approaches to solving pressing problems of our time. It was also emphasised that the visit of the National Leader of the Turkmen people Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov to China and his participation in the Third High-Level Belt and Road Forum was considered as an important step towards strengthening the traditionally friendly interstate relations.
Speaking about the parties’ firm intention to continue closely interacting both in a bilateral and a multilateral format – within the framework of the largest international and authoritative regional structures, the interlocutors noted with satisfaction the closeness or coincidence of the views of the two states on current issues on the world agenda, which contributed to the establishment of a trusting dialogue, meeting mutual interests.
Particular emphasis was placed on the topicality of the strategy initiated by our country to revive the Great Silk Road in the current conditions and the PRC’s Belt and Road Conception, based on the common historical basis and intended to serve the wellbeing and prosperity of the states and peoples of the world.
A separate topic of discussion was the issues of the Turkmen-Chinese cooperation, which in recent years has received a qualitatively new content. Vivid examples of this are important joint projects, including the grandiose one – the construction of the Turkmenistan–China transnational gas pipeline.
During the meeting, the main approaches of the parties to further building the constructive interstate dialogue were noted. Its achieved level was highly appreciated by President Serdar Berdimuhamedov and Chinese President Xi Jinping during the visits of the Head of Turkmenistan to China this year.
Among the priority areas of the bilateral cooperation were the trade and economic sphere, fuel and energy, transport and communications sectors, industry, agriculture and others. In this regard, noting the impressive potential of the partnership in a variety of spheres, the interlocutors exchanged views on the possibilities of intensifying productive relations in areas where mutual efforts were seen to be most effective.
Much attention was paid to the issues of intensifying traditional cultural and humanitarian ties contributing to strengthening friendship and mutual understanding between the Turkmen and Chinese peoples.
The established close ties between legislative bodies were noted with satisfaction, as evidenced by the establishment of an inter-parliamentary friendly group of the Mejlis of Turkmenistan and the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China. It was stressed that the activities of that structure contributed to the improvement and expansion of the legal framework for the progressively developing interstate partnership.
At the end of the meeting, confidence was expressed in the further progressive development of the established constructive interstate dialogue, based on the centuries-old traditions of friendship and trust between the Turkmen and Chinese peoples.
In the afternoon, the National Leader of the Turkmen people, Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov took part in a high-level conference organised within the framework of the Third International Belt and Road Forum.
After announcing the event open, the First Vice Premier of the People’s Republic of China, member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China Ding Xuexiang greeted those gathered and noted the importance of the forum, being held for the third time in Beijing.
Then the floor was given to the conference participants.
At the beginning of his speech, the National Leader of the Turkmen people Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov expressed gratitude to Chinese President Xi Jinping for the initiative to convene the Third Belt and Road International Cooperation Forum, its excellent organisation, cordiality and hospitality.
As it was emphasised, holding that meeting was a highly topical event in demand. Recent realities such as the pandemic, increasing instability, decreasing trust and predictability had negatively affected global economic activity, had led to problems in connectivity and had reduced the degree of effectiveness of the implementation of plans and programmes in the sphere of sustainable development.
To overcome those negative factors, the unification of the efforts of states and international institutions and their solidarity in establishing a creative and constructive agenda, based on goodwill, responsibility and foresight, were necessary, the Hero-Arkadag said.
From this point of view, as it was stressed, the content of the Turkmen strategy “Revival of the Great Silk Road” met Turkmenistan’s ideas about the future of the geo-economic landscape of Eurasia, and also corresponded to China’s strategy “One Belt One Road”, where the main principles were equality, the consideration and recognition of partners’ interests, mutual benefit and respect for the diversity of cultural and spiritual values. Important elements of the Turkmen approach are the depoliticization of cooperation, moving away from the one-sidedness of energy and transport flows in favour of their diversification and accessibility to broad international participation.
Reliance on the rich historical experience of friendship and good neighbourliness between the Turkmen and Chinese peoples and the current availability of objective mutual interests allow Turkmenistan and China to successfully build up their partnership in the context of the implementation of these two strategies, their compatibility and mutual complementarity. Particular emphasis was placed on the fact that they were intended to give a powerful stimulus to economic development in Eurasia, uniting spaces from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean on modern criteria, forming interconnected production and technological cycles and industrial belts, helping solve many social problems and improve the quality of life and the wellbeing of peoples.
The Turkmen-Chinese energy partnership was mentioned as a striking example of this approach. In particular, the commissioning of a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to China in 2009 marked the beginning of the formation of a new architecture of relations in the energy sector on the continent and opened up prospects for other states to join the project on a mutually beneficial and equal basis.
The same logic is followed by the implementation of another major international project – the construction of the Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan–India gas pipeline.
The Hero-Arkadag continued we were working to expand the geography and volume of international supplies of Turkmen natural gas and electricity. Power transmission and fibre-optic communication lines have been laid from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan and Pakistan. There are a number of other major projects on the agenda of cooperation in these segments.
Another important area was transport, the National Leader of the Turkmen people said, noting that our country, together with its partners, was creating an extensive network of transport and logistics infrastructure of a combined type along the East–West and North–South lines, which then would include transit corridors covering the regions of the Caspian Sea, the Black Sea basin and the Baltic Sea. This seems especially relevant in connection with the implementation in Turkmenistan of large national projects in the transport and communication spheres and the creation of new port infrastructure on the Caspian Sea.
In particular, what is at issue is a transport corridor from China through the territory of Central Asia to the Turkmen coast of the Caspian Sea and to Iran and the Near and Middle East, which can also be used in the opposite direction – to the Asia-Pacific region and the countries of South Asia.
Our efforts were aimed at the full realisation of the potential of transcontinental transportation by all modes of transport, including railways, motor roads and air routes, and the creation of logistics terminals at hubs, one of which could be the Turkmenbashi International Seaport, Arkadag Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov emphasised, expressing our readiness to provide its facilities for use in the interests of partners.
Coordinated transport diplomacy, aimed at consolidating common efforts in improving the efficiency of international corridors and logistics systems is becoming increasingly topical. In this context, it was noted that Turkmenistan, being one of the initiators of the global dialogue in the field of sustainable transport, had been taking consistent practical steps in that direction for many years.
The persistent and purposeful work of our country was marked by the adoption by the General Assembly of six resolutions in the field of transport, initiated by the Turkmen party in recent years alone.
The transport strategy of Turkmenistan kept pace with modern trends and the objective needs of the world economy, the National Leader of the Turkmen people stressed, expressing the conviction that it met the interests of the majority of states interested in creating an effective, stable and fair system in that key sphere.
One of the priority tasks of our country’s international cooperation is to achieve a reasonable balance between production activities and environment protection, ensuring environmental safety. Our understanding of the essence and meaning of the Green Silk Road is based on this.
In that context, we believed that Turkmenistan’s proposal to establish a specialised structure – the Regional Centre for Technologies Related to Climate Change – was a logical and timely step, the Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted, confirming his readiness to provide all the necessary technical and organisational conditions for the work of the Centre in the capital our country – the city of Ashgabat.
An integral part of Turkmenistan’s environmental strategy is also the reduction and eradication of the negative consequences of carbon dioxide and methane emissions into the atmosphere. What is at issue is, first of all, a phased transition to the introduction and use of modern environmentally friendly and resource-saving technologies, especially in the spheres of energy, industry and transport.
Our country is also actively pursuing international cooperation in the field of hydrogen energy. We considered those steps of Turkmenistan to be an important practical contribution to the creation of “green corridors” of cooperation, including those within the framework of the strategies “Revival of the Great Silk Road” and “One Belt One Road”, the Hero-Arkadag emphasised.
Connectivity in the economy and international exchange of technologies, experience, skills and techniques are objective trends in global development. They involve closer cooperation in production and the creation of integrated technological and digital platforms and joint communication systems.
All that, the National Leader of the Turkmen people noted, was intended to form a holistic and sustainable logistics of cooperation on a global scale. And not only in the technical sense.
In our opinion, the concept of political logistics was in demand, Arkadag Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov continued, stressing he viewed it as a multi-level system of interaction among states that shared ideas and prospects of economic development and cooperation, free from politicization and ideological clichés, based on equality and mutual respect and taking into account each other’s interests.
In conclusion, the National Leader of the Turkmen people expressed confidence that the representative and authoritative forum, which brought together envoys from dozens of states with an enormous potential, was capable of giving the necessary impetus to that process and achieving the goals set.
Thanking the Hero-Arkadag for his informative speech, the First Vice Premier of the People’s Republic of China, member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China Ding Xuexiang noted the importance of the constructive proposals put forward.
According to the unanimous opinion of the participants of the High-Level Meeting, the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative, which gave an impetus to the revival of the Great Silk Road, is helping give a new impulse to global economic growth and has opened up a new space for global development. Particular emphasis was placed on the importance of the joint work of all parties to identify cooperation priorities and to focus efforts on strengthening connectivity across all dimensions.
As it was noted, that megaproject had become an effective platform for unprecedented large-scale international cooperation. The work carried out as part of its implementation makes an invaluable contribution to the development of cultural and humanitarian ties and the strengthening of good neighbourliness, friendship and mutual understanding among the project countries.
At the end of the High-Level Conference, the National Leader of the Turkmen people, Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov headed to the temporary residence allotted to him.
During the event, three high-level subforums, on the development of transport communications, environmental projects and the digital economy, were held. In addition, six conferences, the topics of which covered foreign trade relations, cultural and humanitarian ties and issues related to interaction among think tanks and the promotion of interregional cooperation and maritime projects, and a large meeting of representatives of the business community were organised. Along with this, presentations of specific investment projects and the conclusion of new agreements in different sectors of the economy took place.
As a result of the Third High-Level Belt and Road Forum, the following were adopted: the Beijing Initiative for Deepening Cooperation on Connectivity, the Beijing Initiative on the Belt and Road International Digital Economy Cooperation, the Beijing Belt and Road Green Development Initiative, the Initiative on International Trade and Economic Cooperation for Digital Economy and Green Development.
A Memorandum of Cooperation on the joint implementation of the Action Plan for the development of “green” science and technologies in the Central Asian region was also signed.
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The wife of the National Leader of the Turkmen people, Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty of Turkmenistan Ogulgerek Berdimuhamedova, who accompanied the Hero-Arkadag during his working visit to the People’s Republic of China, took part in the cultural events organised there, in particular, visiting the National Arts and Crafts Museum in the morning.
This Museum was founded in 1990, and a new building was built for it in 2021. The Museum displays various styles of ancient and modern practical crafts of China. In particular, there is a rich collection of artistic ceramics, embroidery, ivory and jade articles, wood and stone carvings, gold, silver and copper jewellery, painted vases and artefacts.
The wife of the Hero-Arkadag was warmly greeted by the wife of the Chairman of the People’s Republic of China Peng Liyuan in the foyer of the building, where they took a photograph for memory.
Then the guests of honour, together with Mrs Peng Liyuan acquainted themselves with the exhibits. Among them were samples of Suzhou and silk embroidery, handicrafts and other exhibits of intangible cultural heritage.
In the hall, a melody was performed by the national musical instrument – bianzhong. It is a set of bells of different size, which are mounted on wooden frames. By hitting the bells with a special hammer, a melodic sound is produced. This ancient representative of percussion instruments is still used in orchestral sound. For residents of the Celestial Empire, the sound of Chinese bells notifies the time of prayer and is an integral part of religious ceremonies.
Then representatives of foreign delegations listened to an a cappella song performed by the Don Chinese Children’s Ethnographic Ensemble. There, memorable photographs were taken together with the young participants.
Next, the guests of honour were acquainted with the exhibits of Chinese national theatrical costumes.
Then the wife of the President of the People’s Republic of China Peng Liyuan invited the first ladies of foreign countries and the spouses of the heads of delegations to jointly watch a performance of the Peking Opera.
Peking Opera is the most famous form of theatrical art and a recognised national treasure of China. It combines colourful costumes, makeup, dramatic performances, singing, dialogues, pantomime, acrobatic combat and dancing. All this helps show different characters and their emotions.
In 2010, this classic art form of the Celestial Empire was included in the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage, which still preserves the artistic and educational value of not only Chinese, but also of universal human culture.
At the end of the spectacular performance, the guests were invited to go up to the stage and to take a souvenir photo with the actors.
Then, the wife of the Chairman of the People’s Republic of China Peng Liyuan warmly said goodbye to the wives of the heads of foreign delegations, wishing everyone good health and prosperity.
…In the afternoon, Ogulgerek ene visited the Chinese Museum of Women and Children.
Then, the wife of Hero-Arkadag had a conversation over a cup of tea with the Vice Chairwoman of the People’s Political Consultative Conference of China, President of the All-China Women’s Federation Shen Yueyue.
Expressing sincere gratitude for the warm welcome and hospitality, Mrs Ogulgerek Berdimuhamedova noted that for the first time she was lucky enough to be a guest in the Chinese land. It was emphasised that the Turkmen-Chinese relations had a rich history, dating back to the times of the Great Silk Road, and the bilateral ties were developing in all directions.
Thanking the Chinese party for the opportunity to organise the exhibition entitled “Turkmenistan – the Heart of the Great Silk Road” in Beijing as part of the major international forum, which would acquaint visitors with the national values of the Turkmen people, the carpet weaving master Ogulgerek ene stated it presented magnificent carpets and examples of handicrafts – a unique art inherited from our grandmothers and mothers.
During the conversation, it was stressed that the art of carpet weaving was an integral part of the priceless heritage of the Turkmen. Their ornaments and bright colours capture our glorious history, the heroic path, wisdom and spiritual values of our ancestors and embody the identity of our people.
Continuing, the emphasis was placed on the issues of education and the development of labour skills among the younger generation. It was emphasised that, under the wise leadership of the President of Turkmenistan, large-scale work was being carried out to study the national values, created by our people throughout its history, and to transfer the cultural heritage to descendants.
As it was noted, girls’ capability to do needlework showed their upbringing. The subtle secrets of carpet weaving are passed down from one generation to another in every Turkmen family. Our women, with their talent and diligence, have created wonderful examples of decorative and applied arts.
Those present expressed their sincere gratitude to the wife of the Hero-Arkadag Ogulgerek Berdimuhamedova for the interesting conversation, at the end of which a joint memorable photo was taken.
Next, with the participation of the guest of honour and Ms Shen Yueyue, the opening of the National Exhibition of Turkmen carpets and handicrafts, representing in their entirety the types of national decorative and applied arts and folk crafts, took place, and it became vivid evidence of the multifaceted creative talent of the Turkmen people.
Huge monitors showed footage of international forums held in our country on the occasion of honouring carpet weavers, proving that in our sovereign Motherland special attention is paid to the development of the world-famous art of carpet weaving, and the necessary conditions are created for its widespread popularisation and improvement, the restoration and preservation of ancient carpets.
It is noteworthy that the art of Turkmen carpet weaving takes a special place in the treasury of universal human values. Of course, the inclusion of this craft in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity contributes to its even greater promotion and popularisation abroad. Last year, the List, on the initiative of Turkmenistan, was supplemented with such types of intangible heritage as “Turkmen art of embroidery” and “Sericulture and traditional production of silk for weaving”.
The exhibition consists of three sections: 1 – wool carpets and carpet weaving, 2 – silk carpets, 3 – keteni – national embroidery and fabrics.
The exhibition presents classic ornamental carpets, wool and silk, landscape panels and magnificent subject pictures. All of them are remarkable for the stunning harmony of colours, unique sophistication and individual creative approach.
There is a wide variety of carpet weaving items, tapestries, a large collection of all kinds of souvenirs, bright handbags, colourful samples of national embroidery and decorative patchwork art made of shiny silk fabric – keteni.
The colourful panorama of the exposition makes it possible to become acquainted with the extraordinary variety of trends in the world-famous art of Turkmen carpet weaving and to get an idea of the origins of national traditions, features and character of the original culture of the Turkmen people.
Wool carpets are woven from the spring wool of Saraji sheep, which are bred in Turkmenistan. Wool carpets are very good for health. Our women and girls weave them thinly and tightly. There are over a million knots in one square metre of the carpet, which explains why such carpets are considered waterproof.
It should be noted that the fundamental works of the National Leader of the Turkmen people, Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov Living Legend and Heavenly Beauty about the richest layer of spiritual and material culture of the Turkmen people, became a historical milestone in perpetuating the glory of national carpet weaving.
Unlike wool carpets, silk ones are made of silkworm silk. It is noteworthy that exclusively natural dyes are used, so the colours and radiance of Turkmen carpets become brighter year after year and do not lose their quality.
During the event, the granddaughter of the Hero-Arkadag skilfully demonstrated the method of weaving alaja to visitors to the exhibition. This was vivid evidence that the ancestral traditions of our people are passed on with dignity from one generation to another.
Those invited to the exhibition watched with great interest and admiration how the granddaughter of the wife of the National Leader of the Turkmen people Ogulgerek Berdimuhamedova was skilfully weaving alaja.
Turkmen carpets, which have gained fame all over the world, were and remain one of the wonders of the world. Looking at them, one can study not only the history of the people, but also geography. After all, the products of Turkmen craftswomen have long ago spread across the globe thanks to collectors, scientists, travellers and connoisseurs of man-made splendour.
In 1949, on the Pazyryk peak in the Altai Mountains, the oldest pile carpet, preserved thanks to the permafrost of the Pazyr mounds, was discovered. It dates back approximately to the 5th–4th centuries BC and is considered the ancestor of the famous Turkmen carpets. It is made using the characteristic Turkmen carpet weaving technique.
On the carpet, 24 patterns were depicted in a symmetrical arrangement, which symbolised the family tree of Oguz Khan, having 24 branches according to the number of his grandchildren.
It should be noted that among the exhibits of the current exhibition is the first amazing silk specimen, which almost completely repeats the pattern of its famous “ancestor”.
Handicrafts, national costumes and jewellery take a significant place among the primordial values of the Turkmen people. Basically, the outfits of Turkmen women are made of silk fabric, keteni. By embroidering their attires, they raised embroidery to the level of an art, passing on their skills and secrets of craftsmanship to young people. This noble tradition of continuity is inextricably linked with the labour and aesthetic education of the younger generation.
National dresses and jewellery give our women a special charm. By the way, their total weight can reach 36 kilograms.
In the old days, trade caravans transported exquisite handmade carpets along the Great Silk Road, which is being revived in our time in a new format, contributing to the spread of this magnificent art in the East and West. Now our partners continue this important work – they popularise, preserve and develop the traditions of carpet weaving in various parts of the world.
The wife of the National Leader of the Turkmen people, Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty of Turkmenistan Ogulgerek Berdimuhamedova expressed gratitude for the warm welcome, hospitality and opportunity to organise the National Exhibition of Turkmen carpets and handicrafts at the Chinese Museum of Women and Children, allowing visitors to acquaint themselves with the national values of the Turkmen people.
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On the final day of the working visit, Hero-Arkadag Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov met with the President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping.
The National Leader of the Turkmen people, Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty of Turkmenistan arrived at the Great Hall of the People, where he was warmly welcomed by the leader of the friendly country.
Before the meeting, the Hero-Arkadag and the Chairman of the People’s Republic of China were photographed against the background of the State Flags of Turkmenistan and the People’s Republic of China.
Thanking the National Leader of the Turkmen people, Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov for participating in the Third Belt and Road Forum and noting that he was very pleased to welcome him to China, President Xi Jinping highlighted the progressive dynamics of interstate cooperation, based on the historically established ties of friendship and having a solid multifaceted potential.
As it was noted, a new effective step towards the development of bilateral relations had been the state visit of President Serdar Berdimuhamedov to the People’s Republic of China in January.
As a result of the negotiations held in Beijing, important agreements were reached and an impressive package of documents was signed. Taking the opportunity, the leader of the People’s Republic of China conveyed warm words of greetings and best wishes to the Head of Turkmenistan.
Once again thanking the National Leader of the Turkmen people Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov for accepting the invitation to visit Beijing, President Xi Jinping emphasised China attached great importance to cooperation with Turkmenistan, highly valued and supported its creative international initiatives.
Expressing gratitude to President Xi Jinping for the invitation to visit the PRC, the Hero-Arkadag said the traditions of the Turkmen-Chinese friendship could be traced for more than two thousand years, being rooted in the distant past. Both countries and their peoples were closely connected by the Great Silk Road. It is well known that this legendary route, which ran through the territory of Central Asia from China to Europe, became a factor in the development and progress of the entire world civilisation.
Focusing on the topic of ensuring sustainable development in the region, the National Leader of the Turkmen people stressed the importance of efforts to combine Turkmenistan’s strategy “Revival of the Great Silk Road” with China’s One Belt One Road Initiative. Over the years, this initiative has contributed to strengthening trade and cultural ties in the Eurasian space.
Thus, the peoples of Turkmenistan and the PRC have centuries-old friendly relations and great experience of interaction and good neighbourliness. Starting from Oguz Khan, considered the ancestor of our people, there had been a custom in the Turkmen states to meet foreign ambassadors with “paradise” Ahalteke horses at the border, Hero-Arkadag Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said. So, the Parthians met at the border a delegation led by Zhang Xiang, the ambassador of the Chinese Emperor Wu Ding, with 20,000 horsemen.
Continuing the topic, the National Leader of the Turkmen people noted that among diplomatic gifts, the horse had been the most valuable gift. At that time, the ancestors of the world-famous racers, called “heavenly” horses, were sent as a gift by Parthia to the emperors of China, called the Celestial Empire.
The ancient Turkmen-Huns were the descendants of Gun Khan, the eldest son of Oguz Khan. The Huns in Europe were called Kuns. The words “gun” and “hun” mean “sun”. The Huns occupied great territories from the vast deserts of north-western China to Siberia. Mete Khan, the ruler of the great Xiongnu state of the Oguz Turkmen, had had good relations with the Chinese emperors, the Hero-Arkadag emphasised.
In addition, the Göktürk state, which existed in the 6th century, maintained close ties with the people of China. Led by Bilge Khan, this state achieved even greater prosperity. Then the Chinese ambassador Meiluzhou suggested that Bilge Khan should strengthen close and fraternal relations. The Tang Emperor Xuanzong also wanted to conclude an agreement with Bilge Khan.
History also shows the existence of trade relations between the Huns, who lived next to China, and the Chinese Han dynasty. During the reign of Mete Khan, relations had been established between the two countries in terms of studying each other’s experience, the National Leader of the Turkmen people noted.
As a specific example, Hero-Arkadag Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov cited the fact that in 49 BC, the Huns, ancestors of the present-day Turkmen, had signed an agreement with the ruler of China, called the Oath Treaty. It regulated relations between two powerful states. In the treaty, it was said that the Huns and Chinese were like one family, it stated, “Let our sons and grandsons be faithful to this treaty from one generation to another.”
Speaking about this, the Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty also noted China and the Huns had established diplomatic correspondence to ensure the implementation of previous agreements. Chinese sources preserve some letters from the great Xiongnu ruler Mete Khan, which he wrote to the Chinese ruler Xiaowen.
One of the literary proofs of the ongoing ties between the Turkmen and Chinese peoples, starting from the era of the Great Silk Road, are the following lines from the famous destan of our people Hyurlukga-Hemra, “A caravan has arrived from the province of Chin-Machin.”
Stressing once again that our countries and peoples were united by the centuries-old ties of friendship, Hero-Arkadag Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov thanked President Xi Jinping for the opportunity to meet and for the cordiality and hospitality provided.
As the Chairman of Halk Maslahaty noted, meetings with the Head of the People’s Republic of China were always significant events in relations between Turkmenistan and the People’s Republic of China. They provide an opportunity to exchange views on the state of the interstate relations, to identify the most important topics that require special attention and to give the bilateral contacts the necessary impetus.
The Hero-Arkadag noted with satisfaction the high level of mutual trust, mutual understanding and openness achieved in recent years under the leadership of Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Turkmen-Chinese relations. The strategic partnership between our countries is characterised by a progressive, steady and targeted nature across the entire spectrum of areas. By developing and expanding it, we invariably rely on the historical bonds of friendship and good neighbourliness of the Turkmen and Chinese peoples, their deep mutual sympathy and respect for each other, the closeness of the positions of the two states on key issues of modern international politics, a strong legal basis for cooperation and a powerful mutual economic potential, the Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty noted.
This nature of interaction, meeting the fundamental interests of Turkmenistan and China, makes a noticeable constructive contribution to the preservation and strengthening of international stability and security, contributes to the solution of a number of pressing regional issues and is an important factor in accelerating and expanding trade and economic processes on the Asian continent.
At the same time, the National Leader of the Turkmen people, Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty confirmed that Turkmenistan was firmly committed to further strengthening fraternal and friendly ties with China and was ready to continue joint work in the political, economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres.
Taking this opportunity, the Hero-Arkadag conveyed cordial greetings from the President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov to President Xi Jinping and also addressed wishes for peace, prosperity and wellbeing to the Chinese people.
Continuing the meeting, the National Leader of the Turkmen people and the Head of the People’s Republic of China discussed the key vectors of Turkmen-Chinese interaction, built for a long term and developing in an ascending line, both on a bilateral and a multilateral basis, including the Central Asia–China format.
In the context of the optimal use of the existing impressive potential in the trade and economic sphere, the role of the Turkmen-Chinese Intergovernmental Committee, established to promote the expansion and diversification of productive partnerships, was noted.
The sector of transport and logistics was also identified as a priority area of cooperation. In this regard, President Xi Jinping highlighted the topicality and relevance of the initiatives put forward by Turkmenistan and aimed at building up effective regional and international partnerships in that strategic area. At the same time, the importance of interaction was noted in the context of the implementation of the Revival of the Great Silk Road and Belt and Road Strategies, their coupling and complementarity.
An integral component of the Turkmen-Chinese relations is also the cultural and humanitarian area, where there is long-lasting positive experience of joint work.
Noting that he always remembered his visit to Turkmenistan with warmth, the Head of the PRC invited the Hero-Arkadag to visit China again.
At the end of the negotiations, in the presence of the National Leader of the Turkmen people, Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and the President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping, bilateral documents were signed.
In particular, the parties signed the following: the Agreement between the Government of Turkmenistan and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on technical and economic cooperation and the Memorandum of Understanding between the State Customs Service of Turkmenistan and the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China on cooperation in strengthening the potential of the Authorised Economic Operator Programme.
From the Great Hall of the People, the National Leader of the Turkmen people, Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty of Turkmenistan proceeded to Beijing Capital International Airport. At the air harbour, the Hero-Arkadag was seen off by the Minister of Natural Resources of the People’s Republic of China Wang Guanghua and other officials. After saying a warm goodbye to the representatives of the Chinese party, the National Leader of the Turkmen people Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov boarded the plane waiting for him, by which he departed for his Motherland.
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As part of the working visit of the National Leader of the Turkmen people, Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov to the People’s Republic of China, meetings of members of the official delegation of our country with the heads of the relevant ministries and departments of the PRC, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the fuel and energy sector and transport and communications, education, science, health and sports spheres, took place.
It was noted that China, being a major trading partner of Turkmenistan, intended to continue to develop the bilateral relations in order to promote the multifaceted partnership and to maintain close ties at a high level.
A wide range of issues of political and diplomatic interaction and cooperation in the trade and economic sphere, were considered.
The parties were unanimous in their opinion on the need to establish regular meetings to maintain an active dialogue and to practically implement joint initiatives in the field of trade, transport and communication systems, medicine and health care, scientific and technological innovations, digital economy and others.