During 2004 China pursued its efforts in fostering good-neighborly friendship and cooperation between member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and pushing the organization forward. January 2004 saw the formal opening of the SCO Secretariat in Beijing, where President Hu Jintao met the foreign ministers of SCO member states and heads of SCO permanent organs.
In June, President Hu Jintao delivered an important speech at the SCO Summit in Uzbekistan, expressing China's willingness to strengthen pragmatic cooperation with other SCO members and seek common peaceful development. At the SCO prime ministerial meeting held in Kyrgyzstan in September, there was a warm response to Premier Wen Jiabao's proposal for deepening multilateral cooperation so as to bring more tangible benefits to member states. SCO plays an increasingly significant role in maintaining regional security, advancing economic development, and strengthening multilateral cooperation and is emerging as a major force in regional affairs.