Sister cities Shanghai and Tashkent look to further people-to-people exchanges as China and Uzbekistan celebrate the 30th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties this year.

Chen Jing, chairman of the Shanghai People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, suggested the two cities enhance cooperation in various fields under the Belt and Road Initiative and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization during a recent video meeting with Rustam Kurbanov.

Kurbanov is chairperson of the committee on inter-ethnic relations and friendly ties with foreign countries under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Chen said Shanghai economy is riding a steady upward trend of development and many enterprises, including foreign ventures, show strong confidence in its economic recovery and revival.

He pointed out that Shanghai and Tashkent can promote friendship ties, communication between youth and cooperation in ethno-medicine.

He mentioned that the institute of traditional Chinese medicine at Shanghai’s Fudan University signed a memorandum of understanding with the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan in October 2018 for strategic cooperation in promoting traditional medicine over the next three years.

“There is a bright future for ethno-medicine and we hope such cooperation can be pushed forward continuously,” he said.

Kurbanov said China is playing an important role in global security, sustainable development and control of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our two countries have reached important consensus under the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to further deepen the friendship and mutual trust between our peoples,” he said. “Due to the pandemic, we have to meet online now. I’m looking forward to communicating with my Shanghai friends face to face when the pandemic is over and our exchanges and cooperation will get better and better.”

Jiang Yan, Chinese ambassador to Uzbekistan, mentioned Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent state visit to Uzbekistan and his meeting with Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

She said the two leaders had charted the blueprint of bilateral cooperation for the two countries by announcing that the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Uzbekistan has reached a new era and the two sides will jointly implement the concept of “a community with a shared future.”

She said the Chinese embassy in Uzbekistan would like to provide support for the Shanghai People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and the Uzbek committee on inter-ethnic relations and friendly ties with foreign countries to implement the consensus reached by the presidents to further promote people-to-people exchanges.

Farhod Arziev, ambassador of Uzbekistan to China, said the two leaders have met four times this year alone and had fruitful talks.

He said Shanghai and Tashkent have been playing important role in promoting bilateral relationship between the two countries since they established friendly ties as sister cities in 1994, especially in cultural and economic cooperation.

He said Uzbekistan is playing close attention to the upcoming China International Import Expo, which will run from November 5 to 10 in Shanghai, and the ambassador is also keen to make contributions to enhancing bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

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