Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived here Friday for the fifth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), and a state visit to Tajikistan.

Prior to the visit, Xi said in a signed article published on Tajik media that the two countries “have set a fine example of friendship and cooperation between countries different in system, culture and size.”

Mutual trust is at the heart of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two nations, Xi said, adding that China is now the biggest source of investment and a major trading partner for the Central Asian country.

The Chinese president suggested the two countries deepen policy communication and devise master plans for developing bilateral relations from a strategic and long-term perspective, refine their blueprint for Belt and Road cooperation, and forge a stronger people-to-people bond.

He also called for deepening their cooperation on fighting the “three forces” of terrorism, separatism and extremism as well as transnational organized crime, narcotics control and cybersecurity, strengthening their strategic collaboration in international affairs, and deepening coordination under international frameworks such as the United Nations, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the CICA.

He expressed belief in the article that the CICA Dushanbe summit will give all — China, Tajikistan and other member states — an excellent opportunity to upgrade CICA cooperation and contribute more to the security and development of Asia and beyond.

Tajikistan is the second leg of Xi’s two-country Central Asia trip, which also took him to Kyrgyzstan for a state visit and the 19th SCO summit.