Xi shows solidarity with Central Asian nations as G7 summit opens

Chinese President Xi Jinping has called on leaders of five Central Asian countries to resolutely oppose external interference in the internal affairs of regional countries.

Xi delivered a speech at the China-Central Asia Summit in Xi'an in China's Shaanxi Province on Friday, the final day of the two-day gathering.

The first face-to-face summit brought together leaders of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Xi said that over the past 10 years, China and Central Asian countries have worked closely to actively deepen future-oriented cooperation and steer relations into a new era.

Xi proposed the Road and Belt Initiative aimed at creating a massive economic zone when he visited Kazakhstan 10 years ago.

Xi unveiled a plan to provide Central Asian nations with 26 billion yuan, or about 3.7 billion dollars, in loans and grants, under the initiative.

Xi said the financial support is to expand China's cooperation in the fields of energy, transportation and agriculture to help the countries to further develop.

China's display of solidarity with Central Asian nations comes around the same time as a summit of Group of Seven leaders in Hiroshima, western Japan.

Beijing apparently aims to keep in check discussions at the G7 summit as well as enhance the country's presence in Central Asia.