Chinese Modernization Research Center (Kazakhstan) Inaugurated
On November 6, 2023, a significant milestone was reached with the establishment of the Chinese Modernization Research Center (Kazakhstan) in the capital city of Kazakhstan, Astana. The event took place at Nazarbayev University and was made possible through the collaboration of the CICG Center for Europe and Asia (China Pictorial Publications) and the China Studies Center in Kazakhstan.
The inauguration ceremony witnessed the presence of nearly a hundred guests from both China and Kazakhstan. Among the notable attendees were Wang Gang, Vice Minister of the Publicity Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China; Kanat Iskakov, Vice Minister of Culture and Information of the Republic of Kazakhstan; Xing Fangfang, Chargé d’Affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Kazakhstan; Yerik Ashimov, Deputy Director of the Department of the Asia-Pacific Region of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan; Kadisha Dairova, Vice President for Student Affairs and International Cooperation at Nazarbayev University; Sun Zhuangzhi, Director of the Institute of Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and Gulnar Shaimergenova, Director of the China Studies Center in Kazakhstan.
Wang Gang, Vice Minister of the Publicity Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, extended his congratulations on the establishment of the Chinese Modernization Research Center (Kazakhstan) and underlined the significance of modernization as a beacon of human civilization development and progress. He emphasized that pursuit of modernization is not only a longstanding goal of the Chinese people but also a cherished vision shared by many developing nations across the globe. The establishment of this center embodies the spirit of mutual learning, mutual support, and cooperation between China and Kazakhstan in their joint quest for modernization research. Wang articulated three key hopes for the center: firstly, to delve into theoretical research and become a contributor to international discourse on modernization; secondly, to share success stories of cooperation and serve as a bridge for fostering mutual understanding; and lastly, to promote increased exchanges and mutual learning, thereby becoming promoters of Chinese and Kazakh cultures.
Kanat Iskakov, Deputy Minister of Culture and Information of the Republic of Kazakhstan, believed that since Chinese President Xi Jinping first proposed the Belt and Road Initiative at Nazarbayev University in 2013, the initiative has greatly promoted the development of the relationship between Kazakhstan and China, injecting strong momentum into the development of the permanent comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries. It is hoped that the Chinese Modernization Research Center (Kazakhstan) can more effectively promote all-round cooperation between the two countries in politics, economy, culture, education and other fields, deepen practical cooperation, and enhance people-to-people exchanges, making new contributions to pushing the relationship between Kazakhstan and China to a new level.
Xing Fangfang, Chargé d’Affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Kazakhstan, pointed out that the establishment of the Chinese Modernization Research Center (Kazakhstan) is a significant step and bold innovation to implement the important consensus between President Xi Jinping and President Tokayev on strengthening people-to-people exchanges, marking another solid step in the cooperation of think tanks between the two countries. It is believed that with the joint efforts of the competent authorities and partners of the two countries, the center will build an efficient cooperation platform for think tanks of the two countries to carry out academic exchanges, share development experience and promote cultural communications. It will provide strong intellectual support for the development and high-quality construction of the Belt and Road Initiative in China, Kazakhstan, and even the region.
Yerik Ashimov, Deputy Director of the Department of the Asia-Pacific Region of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, noted that since the establishment of diplomatic ties between Kazakhstan and China 31 years ago, the relations of the two countries has developed based on the principles of good neighborliness, mutual trust, and mutual benefit, and the two countries have established a permanent comprehensive strategic partnership. Over the past few decades, thanks to the political and social economic reforms, as well as the strong will and great efforts of Chinese leader and the Chinese people, China has achieved social and economic development in an all-round way, including the elimination of poverty. Today’s China is an important, reliable and responsible participant in the world political and economic development. In this context, the founding of the Chinese Modernization Research Center (Kazakhstan) has a special realistic meaning to the country, which will make an important contribution to deepening the Kazakhstan-China relations.
Kadisha Dairova, Vice President for Student Affairs and International Cooperation at Nazarbayev University, believed that the ancient Silk Road is an important route for exchanges of trade, services, ideas, languages, knowledge and education. In today’s world, building a global community of shared future is also of the same great significance. The Belt and Road Initiative tapped the great potential of Kazakhstan in connecting the Asian and European continents, which not only created economic and business opportunities but also facilitated cultural and educational exchanges among the partner countries.
The development of the Belt and Road Initiative has entered a new phase, remarked Sun Zhuangzhi, Director of the Institute of Russian, Eastern European, and Central Asian Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Science. Sun said that since China and Kazakhstan have extended their focus on “hard connectivity” featuring infrastructure construction to “soft connectivity” in rules, systems, mechanisms and platforms, there emerges an even greater need for enhancing mutual understanding between the two countries, such as the exchange of think-tanks, so as to further consolidate the social and humanistic foundations of the cooperation between the two countries.
A country chooses its path to modernization by considering its historical tradition, social system, development conditions, external environment and many other factors, and different national conditions will lead to varied paths to modernization, said Gulnar Shaimergenova, Director of China Studies Center in Kazakhstan. Shaimergenova noted that Chinese modernization is a major innovation in human advancement, which has offered the world a new modernization model and boosted the confidence of more countries in independently exploring their own modernization path, and it can serve as a role model for developing countries with practices in building on economic achievements, and pursuing greater public welfare and social stability with continual efforts.
Jiang Yonggang, President of the CICG Center for Europe and Asia (China Pictorial Publications) presided over the founding ceremony. Jiang and Gulnar Shaimergenova jointly unveiled the founding of the Chinese Modernization Research Center (Kazakhstan), which was witnessed by Wang Gang, Kanat Iskakov, Xing Fangfang, and Yerik Ashimov.
The Chinese Modernization Research Center (Kazakhstan), located in Astana, will recruit prestigious experts and scholars from Eurasian countries to conduct joint research on major topics such as Chinese modernization, global governance, and the Belt and Road Initiative, hence building a platform for exchanges and mutual learning between governments, think tanks, media, and enterprises from China and Kazakhstan, and promoting the better understanding of Chinese modernization world wide.