ASHGABAT, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao and his Turkmen counterpart Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov agreed here Sunday to continually advance bilateral cooperation in an all-round and sustainable way.
The Chinese president, who arrived here earlier in the day for a working visit, held talks with Berdymukhamedov in Ashgabat, capital of this Central Asia nation in the afternoon.
Hu said the Chinese and Turkmen economies are highly complementary to each other, and bilateral cooperation in all dimensions and various fields accords with the needs of economic development of both countries.
Hu outlined four areas that the two countries should focus on to advance practical cooperation.
Firstly, the two countries should start as soon as possible the mechanism of Sino-Turkmen cooperation committee so as to better guide and coordinate practical cooperation between the two countries.
Secondly, the two countries should continue to deepen cooperation in the energy sector. Hu said the China-Central Asia natural gas pipeline is a cooperative project that benefits the two countries and the whole region.
China is ready to work with Turkmenistan to secure smooth operation of the gas pipeline, and further advance bilateral cooperation in the oil and gas sector in line with the principle of equal consultation and mutual benefit, Hu said.
Thirdly, the two countries should also strengthen cooperation in non-energy fields. Hu said China is ready to expand cooperation with Turkmenistan in transport, telecommunications, building materials and infrastructure development. He proposed that the two countries should study and draft a plan of middle- and long-term cooperation in non-energy fields.
Fourthly, the two countries should earnestly implement the credit projects they agreed upon by accelerating the inauguration of relevant projects.
After the talks, Hu and Berdymukhamedov attended the signing ceremony of a number of cooperation documents in trade, investment, and telecommunications.
Hu said the activities of the "three evil forces" of terrorism, separatism and extremism in Central Asia have posed a serious threat to the stability of all countries in the region.
China is ready to strengthen communication with Turkmenistan and work together to crack down on the "three evil forces" and cross-border crimes so as to effectively maintain regional security and stability, he said.
Hu emphasized that cooperation in the fields of humanities and culture is an important part of bilateral relations. He said expanding cultural cooperation is conducive to reinforcing the foundation of bilateral friendship and expanding mutually beneficial cooperation in all fields.
China is ready to work with Turkmenistan to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in culture, sports, education, press, health and tourism. The two countries should actively carry out exchanges in the fields of humanities and culture, promote contact between their art groups, non-government organizations, media organizations and academic institutes and step up cooperation in education, he added.
Hu announced the decision to double the number of annual scholarships offered by the Chinese government to Turkmen students studying in China from the current 45 to 90. Hu also expressed China's readiness to provide assistance to Turkmenistan on Chinese language learning.
Hu said since the two countries established diplomatic links 17years ago, the two sides have maintained a high level of mutual trust and firmly supported each other on major issues concerning each other's core interests. He noted that the two countries have carried out vigorous cooperation in trade, energy and culture.
Hu said China has always placed importance on its relations with Turkmenistan, regarding it as a reliable friend and major partner. He said strengthening practical cooperation in all areas is in the common interests of both countries and peoples.
Hu said China is ready to work with Turkmenistan for the all-round, in-depth and rapid development of their bilateral ties.
Berdymukhamedov fully agreed with Hu's proposals for developing bilateral ties, saying Hu's visit is of special significance. He said Turkmenistan attaches great importance to China and its relations with China.
The long-term strategic partnership between the two countries is based on a high degree of mutual trust, mutual respect and friendship. Despite the changes in international situation, the Turkmen government and people will always firmly push forward cooperation with China, he said.
Berdymukhamedov spoke highly of the rapid growth of bilateral trade in recent years, saying China has become one of the biggest trade partners to Turkmenistan.
Despite the impacts of international financial crisis, trade between China and Turkmenistan increased 135.5 percent in 2008 and38.7 percent in the first 10 months of 2009.
Berdymukhamedov said Chinese companies have made investment in oil and gas, transportation and other sectors in Turkmenistan and won respect of Turkmen companies.
He said the China-Central Asia natural gas pipeline is an example of sincere cooperation under the strategic partnership of the two countries. He said the project is not only in the long-term interests of both countries and their peoples, but is also conducive to maintaining stability of the global energy market.
President Hu will fly to the border town of Turkmenabad Monday to attend a ceremony to inaugurate a natural gas pipeline linking China, Kazakstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.
Berdymukhamedov said that under the new circumstance the two countries share a broad prospect of cooperation in all areas. Turkmenistan is ready to strengthen political dialogue and carry out practical cooperation with China in the fields of chemical industry, building material industry, science, culture and education.
The president said China is an important force for promoting world peace, stability and development. He expressed satisfaction with the effective cooperation between the two countries in multilateral organizations, saying the two sides share broad common interest and hold similar stances on international affairs.
Before the talks, Hu presented Berdymukhamedov with a list of books donated to the National Library of Turkmenistan.