President Xi Jinping has congratulated Serdar Berdimuhamedov on his election as president of Turkmenistan, saying that China stands ready to use the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations this year to usher in a new chapter in the bilateral strategic partnership.
In his congratulatory message to Berdimuhamedov on Tuesday, Xi said he attaches great importance to bilateral ties and is willing to work with the president-elect to build on the past achievements and strive for new progress.
As a friendly neighbor and strategic partner of Turkmenistan, China applauds the Central Asian country's rapid development and rejuvenation since its independence 30 years ago, the president said.
Serdar Berdimuhamedov, the 40-year-old son of the current president, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, was elected after winning 72.97 percent of the vote in an election on Saturday, after Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov announced his plan to step down last month, according to the Associated Press.
The gas-rich country has been a key supplier of natural gas to China since 2009, and China has been the largest trading partner of Turkmenistan for 10 consecutive years since 2011, according to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.
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