08:34 GMT +321 January 2019
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    China, Tajikistan sign friendship, economic pacts

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    BEIJING, January 15 (RIA Novosti) - China and Tajikistan signed Monday a bilateral treaty on friendship and cooperation, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported from the Chinese capital.

    Tajik President Emomali Rakhmonov, who is on a week-long official visit to China, held talks with his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao prior to the signing ceremony, and both parties pledged to develop long-term neighborly relations aimed at supporting economic ties and strengthening their respective positions in the international arena.

    The countries also signed six cooperation agreements in economic and technological spheres.

    Energy-hungry China has been actively seeking closer ties with ex-Soviet states in Central Asia to secure reliable access to energy resources.

    Both China and Tajikistan are members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a regional security bloc that also includes Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

    Tajikistan is the largest beneficiary of China's $900 million of preferential export loans to SCO member states.

    Bilateral trade reached $158 million in 2005, a 130% year-on-year increase.

    According to the new accord, Tajikistan reaffirmed its support of Beijing's "One China" policy, recognizing the government of the People's Republic of China as the only legitimate government of the country, and Taiwan (known by international organizations as Chinese Taipei) as part of China.

    Tajikistan also pledged not to establish official contacts with Taiwan in any form, and not to open its official representations on the territory of Taiwan.

    Taiwan's leadership does not accept that the island is a part of China, but despite political tensions, Beijing and Taipei have strong trade ties, and the island's economy has boomed on the back of IT technology exports. The United Nations accepts Taiwan's status as a province of China.

    In the bilateral document, China said it supported Tajikistan's policy aimed at strengthening national sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and ensuring sustainable economic development in the country.

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