— In 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping took the initiative to create the Silk Road Economic Belt at Nazarbayev University. 5 years have passed since then. How, in your opinion, is the implementation of this initiative progressing and how do you characterize the interaction between China and Kazakhstan in combining the concept of ” Nurly-Zhol “of the” One Belt, One Road ” initiative?

— Yes, it was an official state visit of the President of the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Xi Jinping, to Kazakhstan, and he came up with this idea for the first time at the university. 5 years is a very short time and today we can say that it was a great idea, because it was the 12th year, the world has not yet come out of that crisis, all countries felt difficulties, at that moment this idea was simply necessary for all states that gladly picked it up as an idea that would help get out of the remnants of this crisis.

This stimulated the implementation of our “Nurly-Zhol” program, because the way to Europe lies through Kazakhstan and Russia. The construction of a railway from Alashankou through Kazakhstan to Europe, the construction of the Khorgos dry port and a new railway line that connected the south of Kazakhstan through Almaty and southern cities with Europe, the construction of the Western China-Western Kazakhstan highway. 2700 km through our country – we have completed it, and it is already working.

Together with Khorgos, we received permission from the PRC to create a terminal at the port of Lianyungang in the Pacific Ocean. And now the containers of Southeast Asia, the countries that want to participate, go through this route to Europe in 12-15 days. The sea route takes 2.5-3 times more. And there is a direct benefit here. The number of containers increases by 2 times every year, this makes it beneficial for Kazakhstan to receive appropriate funds. And enterprises are developing along the path of this belt. At the same time, we have signed an agreement for the construction of dozens of new enterprises in Kazakhstan, which we really need.

In addition, this road now allows you to access the Caspian Sea. From it to the south through Iran, we have connected with the Persian Gulf, Chinese goods can safely go there through us. Also, the Caucasus corridor: last year we connected Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, the Caspian Sea, Kazakhstan, and built the Kuryk port specifically, through which cargo can pass through the Bosphorus to Europe. Such a huge amount of work has been done over the years. And we see that this was a very far-sighted idea that works for the benefit of our people.

— In your message to the people, you noted that the era of oil abundance is coming to an end and the Kazakh economy needs new growth points. In his New Year’s greetings, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that China is entering a new era of development. What do you think, against the background of the emergence of new historical opportunities and chances, in which industries can China and Kazakhstan cooperate more closely?

— We have already started this work. In fact, hydrocarbon oil and gas will be used for some time, but the whole world has taken the direction of alternative energy. Alternative energy is an alternative economy, because we are a country rich in oil and gas, and this makes up a large part of our economy, so we need to move away from this. For this purpose, 6 years ago we began to draw up an industrial program, that is, the construction of factories that will provide jobs that are alternative to raw materials. We have already built more than 1,000 enterprises, where hundreds of thousands of new jobs have been created – this is the first option.
The second option is the construction of alternative energy sources such as hydro, wind, solar, and so on. The PRC is also engaged in this, we are cooperating and are now building several such power plants together. Therefore, this direction is very important. But we also cooperate on many other issues of scientific and technological progress, and we can talk about this.

— In January 2018, Kazakhstan took the chair of the UN Security Council for the first time. This event is a great merit of your international authority and the success of Kazakhstan’s diplomacy. What priorities does Kazakhstan set for itself as the chairman of the UN Security Council?

— Yes, we are proud, we are a young country, our independence is only 26 years old, and we are honored to be elected permanent members of the UN Security Council. Last month, I was in New York and chaired a meeting of the UN Security Council. We held a discussion on the topic “Nuclear disarmament and trust between States”, held many new events. Our task is to work for stability and tranquility in our region – Central Asia. And since there is unrest in Afghanistan, what can be done to collectively help the country create its own alternative production and stabilize it, because this is our neighbor, through which we could go to Pakistan and India. There is also weak internal security, they cannot ensure the passage of oil and gas pipelines and highways, so we have a common interest in stabilizing Afghanistan from the inside.

We are proud that Kazakhstan is doing this work and is rated very highly. At the initiative of our country, representatives of all countries in the UN went to Kabul, held talks and studied the situation inside the country. Trust between States, which has recently weakened, is very important for the fight against terrorism and extremism. This can only be dealt with jointly. Terrorism is an evil that occurs everywhere. He has no differentiation of the front of the struggle. You don’t know when and from where it will arise, so the relationship between states and special services is very important. We are working in this direction.

– International terrorism is a threat that all countries need to fight together. In what aspects do China and Kazakhstan need to strengthen cooperation in order to effectively combat terrorism?

— In the People’s Republic of China, the leadership makes proposals to combat three evils: extremism, terrorism, separatism. We support this and work together. Terrorism has manifested itself strongly in Syria, ISIS has made everyone feel that this is a real evil, it must be resisted. One coalition and led by America fought. And led by Russia, it fought. Now the state, as they called it, has been destroyed there, they have no territory, but they are moving their fighters to other regions, including Afghanistan, which worries us very much. And the countries of Central Asia, which are members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, should work together to combat this.

Kazakhstan provides serious support to Afghanistan. We are teaching the youth of Afghanistan to get a profession at the expense of Kazakhstan, and we are ready to build social infrastructure facilities to give people jobs. There has been a civil war going on for 40 years, people do not know how to do anything but fight and are engaged in the production of drugs that fuel terrorism. Therefore, in order to fight this, it is necessary to give people a job. And it can be given if we develop production in Afghanistan.

— In June of this year, the summit of the heads of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will be held in Qingdao. And as you said, the SCO is much more than just an international organization for stability and security in the region. What do you think are its prospects and what role does Kazakhstan plan to play in it in the future?

– Today the SCO is one of the most important collective bodies that are recognized all over the world. It was created by states that had common borders, and we decided to describe these borders. You remember, there was the Soviet Union and China. Common borders were not delimited, not painted, there were places where there was no agreement and conflicts arose in general between states. Therefore, we, 6 states, described the border, signed it, said that this is the border of friendship, withdrew the armed forces and decided to continue this meeting. Then the Shanghai Cooperation Organization was created. Kazakhstan was one of the initiators, so I am very actively supporting the SCO, which is now becoming not only a political, but also an economic community.

We are developing the economies of the countries together. More than 65 states are currently participating in the Silk Road, about $ 600 billion is being sent there. The Asian Infrastructure Development Bank has been established with a capitalization of $ 100 billion. This works for the benefit of all peoples and takes place within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The joint fight against the three evils is very important, and here our special services and law enforcement agencies work closely together.

We have a special organization – the fight against terrorism. The next issue is the fight against drugs, not to allow them to destabilize our state and not spoil the health of young people. I can note that now we will meet in Qingdao as the Shanghai Eight, because it was in Astana that India and Pakistan were admitted to our organization during our chairmanship.

I think that under the chairmanship of the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Xi Jinping, as always, there will be a very successful meeting and we will outline new plans for the further development of our organization.

— At the 19th Congress of the Communist Party of China, the results of the last 5 years of the country’s life were summed up. How do you assess the success of China over the past 5 years under the leadership of Chinese President Xi Jinping?

— I am very familiar with the chairman, we meet annually, exchange opinions, check our watches. And I am very proud that we have such trust, which helps both countries to live in peace.
China is a huge country. And the 19th Congress of the Communist Party of China is an event of global significance. And under the presidency of Xi Jinping, the economy has grown from 53 to 80 trillion in just 5 years.

The task set is to achieve the Chinese dream of developing the nation. This is important for all States. As neighbors, friends, we want all these plans to come true. Socialism with Chinese characteristics expresses our Eastern mentality, ideas, thoughts of our people, and it will seriously promote your country. The achievements of China’s scientific and technological progress are also important: the world’s largest telescope, the largest wind tunnel have been launched, and great achievements have been made in the defense complex.

All this makes China an absolute major player in world politics and a great power in the literal sense of the word. Therefore, we are also cooperating in the scientific and technical issue, and China is helping Kazakhstan to build the same important facilities for technological progress.

— You, like President Xi Jinping, were engaged in grassroots work in your youth, went through many difficulties, and we know that you worked as a metallurgist for 9 years. How does this experience help you in public administration and what advice do you give to young people to achieve their own goals?

— It is difficult for modern youth to understand that now it is not necessary to start with a worker. But I believe that in young states, as we are, when they were formed, the leaders should have known and felt. My parents were simple peasants, I myself started as a worker.

When I travel around the country, I talk, I know what the worker is thinking about, I can understand their problem and work to do good. And President Xi Jinping is helping me in this. Now, of course, the amount of work, the level is very large. But all the same, the experience that has been acquired always sits in us and helps us make the right decisions. Because the goal of every head of state is the good of the people.

And the people, the one who sows-cleans on the land or in factories, creates industrial enterprises for the development of the country. This helps, but now the world is developing so rapidly that we need to work at a new level. A person must study all his life in order not to fall behind.

– Let me ask you a personal question: you look good. Reveal the secret of how you do it and what kind of hobby do you have that you do in your free time?

— I often hear such a question, and it seems to me that they want to ask: “You are so old, and you are still here.” I often have to answer this question and there are banal answers: I do physical education, I run, I have been doing sports since my youth and continue to do so. But for a politician, the main happiness is that you came to this job to do something. That is, he offered his plan to the people. And the politician who implemented the idea is happy. And it’s inspiring.

They say, ” find a job you like and you won’t work.” Similarly, those who work with enthusiasm. This work suits you, and you succeed, it gives inspiration, strength and energy. In your head, you need to understand that people believe you, they look at you, you must be in shape — then you will always be young.

We conducted a study at the University of London on the subject “what is happiness?”. When interviewing thousands of people, children were in the first place, then friendship, family, work. That is, meetings with children and grandchildren are of great importance in the family. Although there is not much time for this, but it is very important. We are the same people. Everyone sees the external side of the president’s activities: we go somewhere, meet. This is a piece of work. The main emotional part is to think every day about what else to do to make the country better, to make your country more respected, to make life easier for people. These thoughts always give you no rest and make you work, it’s almost creativity. They say, ” creative people live a long time and are in a good mood.” That’s how we are.

— On February 15, China celebrates the Chinese New Year, and we would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Chinese people on camera. And we, in turn, will definitely tell our viewers.

— During these years of independence of Kazakhstan, I have visited China many times — in different regions, provinces. I have met many times, started working with Chairman Jiang Zemin, then with Hu Jintao, we have been working with President Xi Jinping for the 6th year and we have had a huge interaction.

I admire the great willpower that comes from President Xi Jinping, his desire to bring the Chinese people to the most advanced frontiers. And his restless life in this regard and very calm moderate diplomatic work at the international level. All this is visible and causes respect. And so, as a neighbor, a friendly close neighbor of China, we, Kazakhstanis, congratulate you on the New Year according to the Chinese calendar.

We wish the Chinese people health, well-being, peace of mind and work to implement the decision of the 19th Party Congress, which will bring China to a completely new level both inside the country and around the world. And we, Kazakhstan, which lives nearby, cooperates, trades, communicates, will develop together with the PRC.

We are absolutely interested in the well-being of China, because we have a lot in common. From scratch, we raised trade by more than $ 14 billion. I have told you how many roads have been built, and the Khorgos dry port is a whole city. There is still a lot to work together for this well-being. The happiness of the Chinese people is very important to us. I sincerely congratulate you on the New Year! On behalf of the people of Kazakhstan, I wish all the best to every family, every citizen of China, all the best.

Number of shows: 2048