While Tajikistan-China cooperation is broad and deep in various fields under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the cultural exchanges between the two countries are especially notable and significant, said Natalia Dorofeeva, editor-in-chief of Sogdiyskaya Pravda, a newspaper in Tajikistan, during a recent interview with the Global Times.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the China-proposed BRI, and also the establishment of a strategic partnership between Tajikistan and China.
Since the two countries established diplomatic ties, bilateral relations have been continuously evolving and growing deeper, from one of good neighborliness to a strategic partnership and then to a comprehensive strategic partnership.
Dorofeeva pointed out that Tajikistan-China cooperation has been established in various areas such as the economy and trade, connectivity and agriculture.
“Thanks to China, we can see the growth of the economy in Tajikistan. China also has helped deal with social issues, such as restoration of kindergartens and the construction of roads, which really benefits local people.”
That’s why Tajikistan supports the BRI, and wants to continue working with China on building a community with a shared future for mankind, she commented.
“But what I want to stress is that we also have close ties in the fields of culture and education, as well as close people-to-people bonds.”
Dorofeeva pointed to the Confucius Institute as an example. She noted that the institute has made a lot of contributions to improving the educational level of Tajik youth.
She pointed out that through the Confucius Institutes, students in Tajikistan can learn not only the Chinese language but also about the country’s rich culture, ancient history, abundant art and its wise philosophy. Many of the poets and writers in Tajikistan, who also speak philosophically about life, friendship, and connections between the people, shared ideas with ancient Chinese philosophy. The more people learn about each other’s culture, the better they can find the connection and similarities shared in different cultures.
“That’s how we foster mutual understanding. Mutually beneficial ties are strengthened consequently. Because it is the people who give that strong foundation, which is called warm, sincere friendship without any conditions, when people simply understand each other and get to know each other, find friends and friendship which continues for many years,” she added.
Dorofeeva was invited to visit China ahead of the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in Beijing last week as a member of the delegation of media representatives from 10 Belt and Road partners hosted by the People’s Daily. She visited many cities such as Beijing, Xi’an, Baoji and Qingdao. She loved the Chinese cities and now she has even more Chinese friends, who she found open, hospitable and friendly. She hoped more Chinese people would visit Tajikistan as well.
“Such cultural exchanges and people-to-people connections are very meaningful. When people understand each other, respect each other, value each other, when people’s hearts come together, it is very valuable, it is very reliable and it is forever,” she concluded.
Source: Global Times