China's president to visit Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus to discuss trade, infrastructure plan
Beijing's 'Silk Road Belt' initiative to forge closer trade and economic ties between Asia and Europe at heart of Xi Jinping's trip
President Xi Jinping leaves for Kazakhstan on Thursday as part of a six-day state visit that will also take him to Beijing’s most important strategic partner Russia and neighbouring Belarus.
Xi will meet Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev to jointly lay down a blueprint for future cooperation between the two countries.
The foreign ministry in Beijing said future initiatives would include the Silk Road Economic Belt proposed by Beijing to develop trade and infrastructure linking Asia and Europe.
Thursday’s visit will be Xi’s second to Kazakhstan in two years.
Xi will arrive in Moscow for a three-day visit on Friday, during which he will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
Xi and Putin will define the priorities and direction of China-Russia ties and are expected to issue a joint statement on strengthening both countries’ partnership, the foreign ministry in Beijing said.
They will discuss combining the Silk Road belt with Russia’s idea for a trade and infrastructure network across Eurasia, as well as the development of the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union.
The two heads of state are expected to sign energy and aviation deals and discuss the possibility of a Russian high-speed railway project.
Xi is also slated to attend a parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the second world war in Europe.
On Sunday, Xi will embark on the final leg of his trip with a two-day visit to Belarus – the first visit by a Chinese president in 14 years.
He will meet President Alexander Lukashenko and Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov and they will also discuss the Silk Road belt initiative.
Heads of government departments and enterprises from both sides will sign a series of documents covering cooperation in areas including trade, culture and education.
Xi returns to China on May 12.