China is going to host the latest BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) summit in the southeastern city of Xiamen on September 3-5. Tajikistan, together with other four nonmember countries (Egypt, Guinea, Mexico and Thailand), has been invited to attend the summit as a guest. At the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon will stay in China from August 30 to September 5 and will also attend the Dialogue of Emerging Markets and Developing Countries also held in Xiamen.
On August 31, Rahmon met Xi in Beijing first where both leaders agreed to establish comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.
According to China’s national news agency Xinhua, both presidents signed a joint statement on establishing a comprehensive strategic partnership and vowed to expand partnerships in finance, agriculture, water resources, energy, mining and other areas. In the statement, Tajikistan didn’t forget to reaffirm Tajikistan’s position on the one-China policy –a routine to please China– that Tajikistan “opposes any form of Taiwan independence and supports the Chinese government’s effort to achieve national reunification. “
In particular, both sides plan to share intelligence “to fight the ‘evil forces’ of terrorism, extremism and separatism, as well as cyber crime, drug smuggling and transnational organized crime.”
China-Tajikistan military cooperation has been increasing over the past two years. In 2016, China and Tajikistan, along with Afghanistan and Pakistan, set up a counterterrorism coordination group called the Quadrilateral Cooperation and Coordination Mechanism, aiming to “fight against terrorist and extremist forces” and “ work together to maintain stability and peace.”
Besides the joint statement mentioned above, both countries also signed a series of cooperation agreements, including a bilateral cooperation plan, and agreements on science, agriculture, energy, infrastructure, human resources and media, according to Xinhua.
Since China launched the Belt and Road Initiative, Tajikistan–as a country along the Silk Road and a “good neighbor, partner and brother,” as Rahmon noted, has actively supported China’s new approach to diplomacy. In return, China increased investments in Takistan. Recently, China has also agreed to allocate 1.5 billion yuan (about $230 million) to help Tajikistan construct new buildings for the parliament and government in Dushanbe, according to Radio Free Europe.