The foreign policy schedule of the Head of State in 2022 opened with a working trip to the People’s Republic of China, the official purpose of which was to participate in the opening ceremony of the XXIV Winter Olympic Games. During the visit, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks and discussed prospects for further development of a comprehensive Kazakh-Chinese strategic partnership.

The meeting of the heads of Kazakhstan and China in person, after a forced long break, allowed the resumption of personal relations between K.K.Tokayev and Xi Jinping, which are of particular importance for Chinese diplomacy. These talks between the two leaders on the sidelines of the Winter Olympics became their third face–to-face meeting – the first took place in June 2019 during the CICA Summit in Dushanbe, the second in Beijing in September of the same year during the state visit of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan to China. In a confidential atmosphere, the parties were able to discuss all issues of concern to both countries on the world agenda, find out the positions and interests of an important partner, as well as share views on the further development of Kazakh-Chinese relations.


What results can be identified based on the results of the negotiations?

First. During the face-to-face meeting, the heads of Kazakhstan and China checked their watches on topical issues of the world agenda and bilateral relations. In the rapidly changing international situation, the degree of geopolitical tension is significantly increasing, contradictions are growing in various regions of the planet and new security risks are emerging. The pandemic has not ended and still continues to have a negative impact on the sustainable development of the world community, all countries of the world face various challenges. In conditions of global uncertainty, no State can cope with a series of crises alone. Apparently, this is why the 2022 Winter Olympics in China are held under the motto “Together for a common future.”

Why does such a lively and direct exchange of positions between the leaders of Kazakhstan and China matter? First of all, because the two countries are implementing many transnational projects in the field of trade, transport and energy, which have a multiplicative effect that goes far beyond bilateral relations and changes the configuration of geo-economics at least in Eurasia.

Second. Kazakhstan and China have reaffirmed the principles of mutual support in bilateral relations. Against the background of the tragic events in our country in January of this year, China expressed support for the actions of the leadership of Kazakhstan and offered the republic any necessary assistance. Then Chinese President Xi Jinping noted that “China resolutely opposes external forces that deliberately provoke unrest in Kazakhstan.” During the meeting with President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the Chinese leader stressed the importance of China-Kazakhstan relations for peace and stability in the region and around the world. Xi Jinping said that an independent, secure, stable and prosperous Kazakhstan serves the common interests of the Kazakh and Chinese peoples.

What can such a statement say? First of all, that, as the January events showed, Kazakhstan has truly reliable and friendly partners, and that all the efforts and forces invested in the development of Kazakh-Chinese relations bring real political dividends.
Behind these diplomatic messages, one can also read that in the modern geo-economic situation in Eurasia, thanks to a pragmatic policy, Kazakhstan has managed to occupy a really important and profitable place, becoming an effective hub between Asia and Europe. And now many countries of the continent are interested in a stable and prosperous Kazakhstan.

The third. The meeting of the two leaders in the jubilee year marked a new period of further development of bilateral relations between Kazakhstan and China. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations 30 years ago, cooperation between China and Kazakhstan has consistently risen to a new level, having gone from recognition in 1992 and the establishment of good-neighborly relations to the level of eternal and comprehensive strategic partnership in 2019. As the Leader of the People’s Republic of China stressed, the meeting with the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in Beijing opened a “new golden 30th anniversary of relations” between Kazakhstan and the People’s Republic of China.

Behind this traditional, Oriental symbolic formulation lie new development opportunities. In particular, this period will take place against the background of continuing modernization of the Republic of Kazakhstan, which has entered the fourth decade of independence and has begun a new stage of reforms and qualitative renewal, which is conceptually framed as the construction of a “new Kazakhstan”. And also characterized by the further global rise of China, which, according to analysts, could become the first economy in the world by 2028.

Fourth. During the talks between Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Xi Jinping, special emphasis was placed on joint efforts to increase trade and economic ties. The positions of the parties completely coincided on the need to intensify joint work on the further construction of the “One Belt, One Road” initiative, including through the implementation of large projects with high added value. Kazakhstan and China will continue to diversify transit and transport routes and introduce integrated logistics solutions, including through the launch of new land corridors. Earlier, at the Central Asia-China summit, President of Kazakhstan Kassymzhomart Tokayev said that Kazakhstan, for its part, plans to invest $ 20 billion for these purposes by 2025.

The infrastructure upgrade will expand transit flows from China, as well as meet the growing needs of the countries of the region. According to the forecasts of the World Bank, further development of transport communications in Central Asia can provide additional GDP growth of up to 15% in the five republics. This will further strengthen the position of our region in the Eurasian trade, transport and technological exchanges.

For information, mentioned by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan K.Tokayev’s extended study of the World Bank “Economy of One Belt, one Way” with calculations and scenarios can be found at the link:…/211392RU.pdf  … 

Fifth. Among the interesting and very pragmatic ideas voiced at the meeting of the two leaders was the question of the possible opening of a branch of one of the Chinese technical universities in Kazakhstan. Recall that at a meeting with domestic entrepreneurs in January this year, the Head of State voiced the need to open several branches of leading foreign technical universities in Kazakhstan for the qualitative development of national education in engineering and technology.

China has long secured the title of an industrial power with strong positions in innovative areas – China has the largest robotics market, the country is leading in the implementation of the 5G standard, three Chinese companies are among the top 5 global smartphone manufacturers, and many Chinese technical universities have an internationally recognized reputation.
In addition, taking into account the wide spread of Chinese technologies in the world and the implementation of a number of joint industrial projects with China on the territory of Kazakhstan, the study of Chinese technical standards in Kazakhstan will increase the competitiveness of our graduates.

And finally, the sixth. A significant political result of the meeting was the acceptance by Chinese President Xi Jinping of an invitation to visit Kazakhstan this year. The Chinese leader announced plans to make a state visit to our country in September 2022, and also expressed readiness to maintain regular contacts with the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassymzhomart Tokayev.

In our opinion, the visit of the Chinese President in the year of the 30th anniversary of bilateral relations and the first in the past 5 years (Xi Jinping visited Kazakhstan in June 2017) will give a serious impetus to further strengthening the strategic partnership between the two countries. After all, taking into account the anniversary year, the long break between visits to Kazakhstan and the need to symbolically and meaningfully strengthen the “new golden period” of cooperation, most likely, Xi Jinping can announce new strategic ideas and large-scale projects in Nur-Sultan.

It is clear that the recent meeting of the two heads of state in Beijing was held in a limited time and very intensively. In Nur-Sultan, there will be an opportunity to hold talks with the Chinese side in a variety of formats, plan and organize a series of events, draw up a joint action plan of the two countries and, according to diplomatic tradition, adopt a corresponding joint declaration.

In general, the press releases on the results of the negotiations published through the official channels of both countries, although they were very restrained and very brief in their content, gave a clear understanding that during the meeting of the leaders Kazakhstan and China confirmed the similarity of positions on major world affairs and the willingness of both sides to develop further good-neighborly and mutually beneficial cooperation in the new geopolitical realities.

Official release on the results of negotiations in Kazakhstan:…/prezident-kazahstana-provel...
Official release on the results of negotiations in China:…/202202/t20220205_10639196.shtml

Evaluation of the visit in the media:
“Olympic diplomacy”: about how President Tokayev flew to China…/olimpiyskaya-diplomatiya-o-tom
RK – PRC: a new “golden period”…/rk–knr-novii-zolotoi-period

China Studies Centre,

Nur-Sultan, 2022

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