Xi urges broader cooperation with Uzbekistan in building Belt and Road

BEIJING, May 12 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday called for expanding cooperation with Uzbekistan to achieve new progress in carrying out the Belt and Road Initiative.

Xi made the remarks when meeting with his Uzbek counterpart Shavkat Mirziyoyev, who is in Beijing to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.

Xi said that over the 25 years since the two countries established diplomatic relations, bilateral ties have achieved “leapfrog development” and the two countries have forged a comprehensive strategic partnership with sincerity, mutual trust, mutual benefits and win-win cooperation.

The two countries have cooperated closely under the Belt and Road framework and implemented a series of major projects, delivering tangible benefits to the people of both countries, Xi said.

He called for continued mutual support on issues concerning each other’s core interests and major concerns, consolidating and deepening political and strategic mutual trust for common development and prosperity.

Xi said China is willing to maintain close communication and coordination with Uzbekistan on issues including international affairs, situation in Central Asia and development of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

He urged the two countries to dovetail their development strategies, outline priorities for cooperation, explore potential to enhance economic and trade cooperation, boost bilateral trade, optimize trade structure, and ensure the long-term and stable growth of bilateral trade.

China would also like to expand cooperation with Uzbekistan on industrial capacity, investment as well as the building of industrial zones and infrastructure based on equality, voluntariness, mutual benefits and win-win cooperation, he said.

Calling China a great neighbor of Uzbekistan, Mirziyoyev said Uzbekistan appreciates China’s support for the country in taking a development path in line with its national conditions.

He said China’s role in promoting world peace, stability and development is crucial.

He noted Uzbekistan will continue adhering to the one-China policy and support China’s efforts in combating the “three evil forces” of terrorism, separatism and extremism.

Mirziyoyev also called for deepening cooperation with China in areas including economy and trade, investment, industrial capacity,infrastructure and water conservation.

After the meeting, the two leaders signed a joint declaration to deepen the comprehensive strategic partnership.

The two countries will continue to support each other on issues of core interests including national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity, according to the declaration.

Neither side will allow a third country, any organization or group to commit activities on its soil that will damage the other side’s national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity.

In the joint declaration, the two sides agreed on the necessity of constructing an efficient and convenient railway passage between China and Uzbekistan, and they will step up coordination on the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway project.

Dalat cabbie banned for overcharging tourists

A taxi driver in the Vietnamese hill resort town of Dalat has been banned from driving for overcharging tourists. Lam Dong Province Transport Bureau disqualified the cheating cabbie from driving for two months for charging two Israelis more than ten times the going rate for a three kilometre trip.

Gadot Sharon and Sheeff Ayelet took the Vina Gold taxi from Dalat’s Phuong Hanh Hotel to their guesthouse on 10 May. The driver told the two women the fare was VND510,000 and they paid up. 

Guesthouse proprietor Huynh Ngoc Diem Trang asked the two how much they had paid for the trip and was horrified when they told her. She said the fare should have been VND40,000 at most and phoned Vina Gold to demand a refund.

The cab company arranged the refund but said their driver had done nothing wrong. Transport Bureau officials reviewed CCTV footage and disagreed. As well as banning the rogue cabbie, they hit Vina Gold with a VND7 million fine. 

Due to its cooler than average climate for Vietnam and diverse activities, Dalat is a popular destination for tourists. The easiest way of reaching the town is to take a flight to nearby Lien Khuong Airport. 12GO ASIA offers flight reservations services for flights from both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Lien Khuong.

Japan aid agency sets new date for Phnom Penh skytrain study

A spokesperson for the Japan International Cooperation Agency says a delayed viability study for a Phnom Penh skytrain will now begin in August. JICA Cambodia program-officer Chin Kimheang told reporters recent talks between senior ministers meant the feasibility study was now back on the agenda.

The study was originally supposed to begin last month. The program-officer stated that there was no definite completion date for the study, but it would assess the best route for elevated train-tracks and how much it would cost to build. 

Kimheang said once the assessment had been completed it would then be formally handed over to the government of Cambodia. He finished off by saying any project would be designed to ease traffic problems in the city.

Kimheang did not offer details of the proposed route for the skytrain. When the proposal was first tabled, media sources claimed it would likely link Samdech Monireth Boulevard and Choam Chao District. The district abuts Phnom Penh International Airport.  

The airport is Cambodia’s main gateway and has flight connections with Southeast Asian cities including Bangkok, Hanoi and Kuala Lumpur. 12GO ASIA provides reliability at cheap prices when booking flight tickets to Phnom Penh.