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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

China, Kazakhstan Sign Border Accord

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- China and Kazakhstan signed what they called a "historic" border accord on Tuesday and the former Soviet republic scrapped transport restrictions to its second biggest trading partner. Premier Li Peng, the first senior Chinese leader to visit Central Asia and Kazakhstan, said he was confident China's frontier with Kazakhstan would become a "border of peace." "I think this document is very important," Li said. "It is of historic significance that we have legally defined the border of more than 1,700 kilometers." Cross-border contacts between China and the then Soviet Union resumed in 1989 after a 30-year rift in their relations. The border issue was one of the most sensitive in the row between the two communist giants. Anti-nuclear activists in Almaty have urged the Chinese prime minister to stop nuclear tests near the joint border. About 150 people meeting in the Kazakh capital voted to send an open letter to Li which said China's nuclear tests in the Xinjiang region "tortured" the earth and directly affected Kazakhstan's people and future generations. "We call on you premier Li to join the anti-nuclear movement for the sake of keeping life on earth," said the letter, "to prolong until the year 2005 the moratorium on nuclear weapons testing."