Chinese President Begins Visit to Kazakhstan

Posted June 12th, 2011 at 7:30 pm (UTC-5)
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Chinese President Hu Jintao has begun a state visit to Kazakhstan, aimed at boosting ties with the central Asian country and a regional cooperation group.

Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev met Mr. Hu and his wife Sunday on arrival at the airport in the Kazakh capital Astana.

Before his trip, the Chinese leader issued a statement praising the relations between China and Kazakhstan since 2005 when the two countries agreed on a strategic partnership. He said during this visit he would discuss the future of bilateral relations with the Kazakh president and Prime Minister Karim Masimov.

China and Kazakhstan are expected to sign several cooperation agreements during Mr. Hu's three-day visit.

Mr. Hu will attend the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Astana Wednesday. The regional grouping that also includes Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan marks its 10th anniversary.

Iran, India, Mongolia and Pakistan hold observer status.

Regional leaders are expected to set goals for the group's development in the next decade.

Chinese official media say after Kazakhstan, President Hu will travel to Russia and Ukraine. While in Russia, he will meet with President Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow and attend the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg.