Beijing, 5 May (ZXS) -- How can China and Uzbekistan blossom the "flower of cooperation"?

Authors: Peng Dawei, Zeng Nai, Wu Jiaju

Uzbekistan is one of the five Central Asian countries and an important country along the "Belt and Road". In recent years, cooperation between Uzbekistan and China in various fields has been deepening.

On May 5, Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Uzbek President Mirziyoyev who came to China for a state visit to China at the China-Central Asia Summit. After the talks, the two heads of state signed the Joint Statement of the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Uzbekistan. The statement pointed out that the two sides will comprehensively enhance the level of pragmatic cooperation in various fields and continue to enrich the connotation of China-Ukraine comprehensive strategic partnership in the new era. The two sides will expand mutually beneficial cooperation, consolidate friendship and partnership, and practice a community of common destiny at the bilateral level.

How can China-Ukraine cooperation reach a new level? In the future, how can China and Ukraine expand greater cooperation space in tourism, culture, education and other fields?

In this regard, China News Service invited Zou Tongjun, Vice President of Silk Road International Tourism and Cultural Heritage University and Assistant President of Beijing Second Foreign Chinese University, to have a dialogue with Azamat Akbarov, former Vice President of Silk Road International Tourism and Cultural Heritage University and Chairman of Boursa National.

The two experts pointed out that China and Ukraine have good prospects for cooperation in many fields in the future. Zou believes that in the field of tourism and culture, Uzbekistan's rich tourism resources can be combined with China's vast consumer market, which requires upgrading infrastructure, developing corresponding services and cultivating talents. Azamat believes that in the field of education, China's industry-university-research cooperation model and other practices can be introduced to Uzbekistan.

Excerpts from the conversation are as follows:

China News Agency: In 2018, China and Ukraine reached a consensus in principle on the construction of the "Silk Road" International Tourism and Cultural Heritage University, and President Zou is also the first vice president from China.

Zou Tongjun: This university is an initiative of Uzbek President Mirziyoyev at the 2018 SCO summit. He believes that Central Asia is very rich in tourism resources, and the development of tourism is conducive to promoting the economy of Central Asia and promoting people-to-people exchanges between the SCO, so he proposed the establishment of this university.

The uniqueness of this university is a milestone for tourism and higher education in Central Asia. It has a lot of innovative significance for the education of the world tourism industry in terms of the most important management system or innovative mechanism.

First of all, it made it possible to establish universities according to their types, with bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. At the same time, it was created directly under the State Committee for Tourism Development of Uzbekistan. In addition, its faculty is very international, and its students are also relatively international. In addition, it has done a very good job in industrialization, and the whole university is closely integrated with industry.

China News Agency: Mr. Azamat has made a lot of contributions to the educational cooperation between China and Uzbekistan. What do you think of the experiences of the two countries in higher education? What are the opportunities for further cooperation in the future?

Azamat: China has long been engaged in problem-solving and excellent practices that have developed unique teaching methods that meet the needs of the general public.

Today, China is a leader in science and technology, and universities are testing grounds for technology research and development. If we understand the current mode of industry-university-research cooperation, we can understand the reasons why China has become a global economic power.

Universities have always been incubators for new products, and universities have always gone hand in hand with the industry and absorbed inspiration from new trends in industrial development. I believe that these are good practices from China and should be introduced to Uzbekistan.

China News Agency: How does Uzbekistan view the Belt and Road Initiative?

Azamat: Uzbekistan has supported the Belt and Road Initiative from the very beginning. The priority goals of Uzbekistan's participation in the Belt and Road Initiative are the achievement of sustainable economic development, the implementation of important transport and infrastructure projects, and the positive impact of the initiative on the entire Central Asian region. Uzbekistan's position on the Belt and Road Initiative is in line with the priorities of the two countries to further develop all-round strategic cooperation.

Now that China is Uzbekistan's largest trading partner, as a landlocked country, Uzbekistan can use the Belt and Road Initiative to follow transit and transport rules and open up to the world. In addition to economic benefits, the Belt and Road Initiative has also promoted cultural exchanges between Ukraine and China, such as art festivals, cultural promotion activities, student exchanges, etc.

In addition, human resource development is important. At present, there is a shortage of talent in Uzbekistan. Within the framework of the "Belt and Road", Uzbekistan hopes to establish a complete cooperation system in the private sector and in the field of science and innovation, which means that the country will invest a lot of financial resources to promote scientific research and innovation.

China has been an example for Uzbekistan from the very beginning, and Uzbekistan will benefit greatly from the Belt and Road Initiative that not only drives the development of the economy or logistics industry, but also promotes educational and cultural exchanges.

China News Agency: Under the Belt and Road Initiative, what new cooperation space does China and Uzbekistan have in the field of tourism and culture?

Zou Tongjun: I think the space for cooperation between the two countries in the field of tourism and culture is very extensive. On the one hand, Uzbekistan is rich in cultural and tourism resources; On the other hand, China is the world's largest source of outbound tourists and has a large consumer market.

In order to develop tourism, tourism infrastructure needs to undergo a lot of transformation. If China's high-speed rail can be introduced to Uzbekistan, the infrastructure will be greatly improved and tourism development will be promoted. I believe that after the opening of the China-Kyrgyzstan-Ukraine railway, the transportation will be greatly improved. At the same time, catering and related services that are more suitable for Chinese tourists can be developed. Improve the payment methods of tourists and promote the intelligent and digital construction of the industry.

In the process of development, what is most needed is to cultivate talents. Whether it is tourism infrastructure, or tourism upper facilities, whether it is hotels, restaurants, restaurants, or payment technology, 5G technology, Wi-Fi, etc., the key is the people behind it. At the same time, a group of Chinese-speaking tour guides and managers can be trained, and if they have an understanding of China's customs and customs, they can provide services that Chinese tourists like.

In addition, over the years, China has extended its experience in the management of tourist attractions to many places around the world, such as 5A-level scenic spots and five-star hotel standards. Over the years, China's tourism poverty alleviation has also played a great role in the development of many regions, and these experiences can be introduced to Central Asia, with good prospects for cooperation.

China News Agency: As President Zou said, whether in cultural tourism or other fields, "people" are crucial to the cooperation between China and Ukraine. Mr. Azamat, what do you think of this view?

Azamat: I couldn't agree more. Language is the cornerstone of culture. Looking back at history, we find that the promoters of Ukrainian-Chinese diplomatic relations are translators, historians, linguists, businessmen, etc. If you speak the local language, it is easier to touch the hearts of local people and convey the message.

I believe that learning Chinese by Uzbek students will help build a bridge of communication between Uzbekistan and China. If we want to learn from China's technology and best practices, we need to train Uzbeks who can be proficient in Chinese, because language plays an important role in economic development and scientific research.

I hope that in the coming years, the Chinese language will become popular in Uzbekistan and play a role in the economy and education, and we will benefit from it.

China News Agency: China and Ukraine have established diplomatic relations for more than 30 years, what are your expectations for future China-Ukraine cooperation?

Azamat: Uzbekistan is a landlocked country, and the construction of the China-Kyrgyzstan-Ukraine railway will promote the interconnection between Ukraine and China, and Ukraine and China will continue to deepen cooperation in trade, economy and other fields. At the same time, Uzbekistan will adopt a more open foreign policy and promote multi-party cooperation.

I hope that the long-standing friendly relations between the two countries will continue to strengthen in the future, and there will be more cooperation.

Zou Tongjun: I think that in the future, the cooperation between the two countries may be more advanced in terms of infrastructure and bilateral projects, and at the same time, in terms of digital technology, the two countries also have very good prospects for cooperation.

For Uzbekistan, this includes the infrastructure and application of digital technologies. For example, at present, the cost of Wi-Fi in this country is relatively high. The coverage of 5G and Wi-Fi is very important for both the economy and the development of tourism. (End)