1. How would you evaluate Turkmenistan’s relationship with China, in particular the energy cooperation between the two countries? What outcomes do you expect to achieve from this visit?
The friendly relationship between China and Turkmenistan dates back a long time. The commercial and cultural exchanges along the ancient Silk Road have laid a solid foundation for the traditional friendship between the two countries. Since the establishment
of diplomatic ties in 1992, bilateral relations have come a long way. Last year, two-way trade reached a new record of US$10.3 billion, registering a growth of over 100 folds in seven years. The two sides have maintained close communication and coordination in the United Nations and on Central Asian affairs and firmly upheld their common strategic interests. China is satisfied with the achievements in its relations with Turkmenistan.
Energy cooperation is a highlight in China-Turkmenistan relations, which fully testifies to the high level of political mutual trust between the two sides. The two countries successfully carried out major cooperation projects such as trade in natural gas and construction of the China-Central Asia gas pipeline. The China-Central Asia gas pipeline is now linked up with the second line of China’s west-to-east gas transmission project. Together, they form the longest natural gas pipeline in the world. The natural gas from Turkmenistan at the heart of Central Asia could now be transferred through a distance of over 8,000 kilometers, crossing mountains and rivers, to reach the Pacific coast. It is a fine example of international energy cooperation and an epitome of the friendship between the Chinese and Turkmenistan people.
China, a major energy consumer, and Turkmenistan, a major energy producer, enjoy a natural advantage and huge potential in energy cooperation. China is ready to expand the current pipeline construction and natural gas trade with Turkmenistan in line with the principle of equality, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation. The two sides may launch all-dimensional cooperation, including in areas of exploration, development and oil and gas chemical industry, and be each other’ s long-term, stable and reliable strategic partners in the energy field.
Now, the Chinese people are working hard to realize the Chinese dream of the great renewal of the Chinese nation, and the Turkmenistan people are striving to bring about an epoch of power and happiness. This makes the development strategies of the two sides all the more compatible.
I am looking forward to the visit during which I will have in-depth exchange of views and jointly make some important decisions with President Berdymukhamedov on how to plan for the third decade of bilateral relations and how to coordinate development strategies of the two sides and realize common prosperity. I am confident this visit will achieve the goal of lifting the overall bilateral relationship, facilitating large projects and cooperation in priority areas and promoting lasting friendship from generation to generation, so as to inject a strong impetus into the relationship between the two sides.
2. How does China view its current economic slowdown? What are the future prospects of China’s economy? Will China adopt any new measures to stabilize economic growth?
The fundamentals of the Chinese economy are sound. In the first half of this year, China’s GDP grew by 7.6%, which was relatively high compared with other countries. In fact, the growth rate could have been higher had we continued with the past development model. However, we have chosen to implement a macroeconomic policy under which we will press ahead with the adjustment of economic structure in order to transform and upgrade the economy. We would rather bring down the growth rate to a certain extent in order to solve the fundamental problems hindering our economic development in the long run. In this sense, such a growth rate is the result of sound adjustment.
3. You will have a bilateral meeting with President Putin on the sidelines of the G20 St Petersburg Summit. What expectations do you have for this summit? How do you see the work Russia has done in hosting the summit?