Uzbekistan and China signed agreements worth a total of $15 billion in trade, investment and financial and technical cooperation on Thursday.
The deals were inked during a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Uzbek leader Shavkat Mirziyoyev on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Samarkand, which Türkiye is also attending.
According to a statement by the Uzbek Presidency, the two sides agreed to expand trade and economic cooperation, including through the development of e-commerce and implementation of industrial cooperation projects, primarily in areas such as the automotive industry, green energy, agriculture and infrastructure development.
Calling for "intensification in inter-regional exchanges," Xi and Mirziyoyev stressed the need to continue joint efforts to promote the peace process in Afghanistan and the war-ravaged country's economic recovery, Uzbek news website Kun.uz reported.
They also called for "systemic interaction within the framework of international and regional structures, including the Central Asia-China mechanism," the report added.
According to China's Foreign Ministry, Xi said the two sides need to "expand energy cooperation, jointly ensure the safe operation of the China-Central Asia natural gas pipeline and extend cooperation to new energy, with a view to fostering a new pattern of all-dimensional energy cooperation."
"China and Central Asian countries have a shared future and a deep stake in each other's security and stability," he added.
"China is ready to work more closely with Uzbekistan to firmly oppose external interference in internal affairs, firmly safeguard domestic stability and firmly defend the security interests of the region," he said.
In Samarkand, China, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan also signed a trilateral memorandum of understanding regarding cooperation on a railway connecting the three countries.