From Asia Times (link):
Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov’s six days in China represent a long time for an authoritarian leader who is known to dislike leaving his presidential palace unoccupied for very long.
The length of his stay, his third to China, highlights the importance that Turkmenbashi, as he is known, places on developing his contacts with his giant neighbor to the east. And he is building on a promising foundation in economic terms. From a low starting point in 2000, Chinese-Turkmen trade has grown sevenfold to US$179 million per year.