DUSHANBE, June 23, 2016, Asia-Plus – Tajik President Emomali Rahmon today met in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent with Chinese President Xi Jinping ahead of a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

According to the Tajik president’s official website, the two sides discussed a broad range of issues related to state and prospects of further expansion of bilateral cooperation between their countries.

Rahmon reportedly expressed satisfaction with the current level of cooperation between Tajikistan and China, noting that “expansion of strategic cooperation with China is one of priorities of Tajikistan’s foreign policy.”

Rahmon and Xi, in particular, discussed cooperation between Tajikistan and China in the energy and agrarian sectors, attraction of investment for development of Tajikistan’s economy, and activities of joint ventures operating in Tajikistan.    

A special attention was paid to seeking ways to finance construction and rehabilitation of the Dushanbe-Kulob-Khorog-Kulma-Kashgar highway, construction of new power transmission lines in Tajikistan, etc.

They also exchanged views on issues of jointly addressing modern challenges and threats.

Over the first three months of this year, a two-way trade between Tajikistan and China has valued at more than 200 million U.S. dollars and Tajik and Chinese leaders expressed hope that the volume of an annual trade between their countries may be brought to 3 billion U.S. dollars by 2020.

Meanwhile, China’s news agency Xinhua reports that Tajik President Emomali Rahmon said on Thursday during a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Tashkent that Tajikistan fully understands and firmly supports China''s positions on the South China Sea issue, opposing any attempt to internationalize it.