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Chinese President In Kazakhstan At Start Of Regional Tour

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev (left) visited his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao in Beijing in February.
Chinese President Hu Jintao has held talks in Astana with President Nursultan Nazarbaev at the start of a tour of former Soviet republics.

Hu's weeklong tour includes a three-day stay in Kazakhstan, including a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization on June 15.

He also plans to visit the St. Petersburg Economic Forum in Russia later this week and then travel on to Ukraine.

Ties between the China and Kazakhstan have grown over the years, especially in the energy sector as China seeks more sources to feed its growing economy.

More than 1,000 Chinese companies are now active in Kazakhstan's energy, manufacturing, and transport sectors.

Nazarbaev visited China in February when the two leaders initialed several major deals.

compiled from agency reports