May 16 (Xinhua) — The China-Central Asia Summit will be held from May 18 to 19 in the historic Chinese city of Shaanxi. It is of milestone significance in the history of the relations between China and Central Asian countries.
Over the years, the countries have been growing their relations following the principles of mutual respect, good-neighborly friendship, solidarity in trying times and win-win cooperation, yielding fruitful cooperation results. Below are some key figures that illustrate the cooperation and exchanges between China and Central Asian countries in various fields.
— 5 Central Asian countries
In 2013, China proposed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to foster new drivers for global development. The five Central Asian countries have all signed documents under the BRI framework.
— 70 billion dollars
China has been the largest or main trading partner of Central Asian countries for many years. In 2022, the trade volume between China and Central Asian countries registered a record of over 70 billion U.S. dollars.
Central Asian quality agricultural products, such as wheat, soybeans, fruits, dried fruits, beef and mutton, have been exported to China, making the trade between them more balanced and healthier.
— 80 percent
As of the end of 2022, over 65,000 China-Europe freight trains had transported more than 6 million twenty-foot equivalent units of cargo worth 300 billion dollars. Nearly 80 percent of the total trips passed through Central Asia.
— 57.1 million doses
At the beginning of 2020, China was struck by the COVID-19 epidemic. Central Asian countries extended a helping hand when anti-epidemic materials were in short supply in China. Later when COVID-19 hit Central Asia, China offered 57.1 million doses of vaccines to help the five countries battle the virus.
— 62 pairs
There are 62 pairs of sister provinces, regions and cities between China and Central Asia. In 2022, China proposed holding a China-Central Asia people-to-people friendship forum and vowed to bring the number of sister cities with the five countries to 100 pairs in five to 10 years.
— 13 Confucius Institutes
Since 2004, China has established 13 Confucius Institutes and 24 Confucius Classrooms in Central Asia, with over 18,000 students now studying at these learning institutions.
— 29,885 students
From 2010 to 2018, the number of Central Asian students studying in China increased from 11,930 to 29,885, with an average annual growth rate of 12.33 percent. China has become one of the main destinations and preferred countries for students in Central Asian countries to study abroad. The number of Central Asian students studying in China has rapidly increased after the COVID-19 pandemic. ■