President Xi Jinping's Special Envoy Zhang Gaoli Attends Funeral of President Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan

On September 3, 2016 local time, Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli attended the funeral of President Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan in the city of Smarkand, Uzbekistan as special envoy of President Xi Jinping.

Zhang Gaoli laid a wreath at President Islam Karimov's portrait and addressed the memorial activity. Zhang Gaoli said that the leaders, government and people of China deeply grieve over President Islam Karimov's death. On behalf of Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Chinese government and people, he extended deep condolences and sincere sympathy to the Uzbek government and people as well as President Islam Karimov's families. As the founder and an outstanding leader of the Republic of Uzbekistan, President Islam Karimov has enjoyed great respect and love of the Uzbek people. Under President Islam Karimov's leadership in the past 25 years, Uzbekistan has witnessed social stability, economic development, improvement in people's livelihood and significant rise in international status, with remarkable achievements in a wide range of fields. President Islam Karimov is a close friend of the Chinese people, and the founder and an active booster of China-Uzbekistan relations. He has devoted great efforts to developing China-Uzbekistan friendship and deepening bilateral cooperation in various fields in his lifetime. At this sorrowful moment, the Chinese people will stand firmly with the Uzbek people. China firmly believes that the Uzbek people will definitely inherit and carry forward President Islam Karimov's legacy, make great strides in national construction and revitalization and make new progress and new achievements continuously.

On the same day, Zhang Gaoli met with Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Prime Minister of Uzbekistan and chairman of funeral committee. Zhang Gaoli said that China attaches great importance to its relations with Uzbekistan, and is willing to join efforts with Uzbekistan in building a China-Uzbekistan community of common interests and common destiny featuring equality, mutual benefit and shared security and win-win cooperation. The China-Uzbekistan relations have always maintained rapid development since the establishment of the diplomatic relations between the two sides 24 years ago. In his state visit to Uzbekistan this June, President Xi Jinping and President Islam Karimov reached new important consensus on comprehensively deepening practical cooperation and promoting common development, and the two countries established a comprehensive strategic partnership. The fruitful results from the development of bilateral relations should be double cherished by both parties. China speaks highly of Uzbekistan's strong support over the years in issues concerning China's core interests, and will always support Uzbekistan in its development path that suits its national conditions. China is willing to work with Uzbekistan to seriously fulfill all the documents signed by both parties, continue to promote the construction of the "Belt and Road", strengthen the integration of development strategies, and take economy, trade, energy, production capacity, transportation and security as priorities in cooperation, so as to enrich the connotation of China-Uzbekistan comprehensive strategic partnership and benefit the two peoples and future generations with more achievements in practical cooperation.

Shavkat Mirziyoyev thanked China for sending a high-level delegation to attend President Islam Karimov's funeral. He said that Uzbekistan attaches great importance to developing relations with China, and is willing to work with China to implement the various consensus reached by leaders of the two countries, broaden win-win cooperation in various fields, and promote Uzbekistan-China relations for continuous development.

On September 2, Zhang Gaoli also met with First Deputy Prime Minister Rustam Azimov of Uzbekistan.

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