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Hu to attend SCO, BRIC summits
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Chinese President Hu Jintao will attend the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the first meeting of BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) leaders in Russia's Ural city of Yekaterinburg ahead of a state visit to the country next week.

He will then pay state visits to Slovakia and Croatia from June 18 to June 20, Foreign Ministry officials said Tuesday.

Hu's visits to the three nations are at the invitation of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Slovak President Ivan Gasparovic and Croatian President Stjepan Mesic.

The SCO, a regional organization founded in 2001 in Shanghai, includes China, Russia and four central Asian nations of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

The regional organization also groups four observers, namely Mongolia, India, Pakistan and Iran.

SCO leaders are expected to discuss at the summit, the ninth of its kind, measures for tackling the financial crisis as well as expanding inter-member economic cooperation.

"For the first time, the leaders of SCO member states and observers will hold a small-size group meeting, which is a new measure taken by the SCO to strengthen substantial cooperation with its observers," Vice Foreign Minister Li Hui told a press briefing here Tuesday.

Since the last SCO summit in Dushanbe in 2008, the organization has experienced sound development along with booming cooperation between its member states, Li said.

Applauding cooperation on economy and trade, science, culture and disaster relief between SCO members, Li said they are still facing security challenges.

"Those challenges include the three evil forces, especially the so-called East Turkistan Movement, drug trafficking, cross-border crime, major sanitation and food security incidents and the situation in Afghanistan," Li said.

The SCO held its first international conference on Afghanistan in March, which indicated its responsible manner towards regional peace, stability and development, Li said.

During the summit, the SCO members will further implement the long-term good-neighborly treaty, boost cooperation and SCO's external relations, work together to tackle the global financial and economic crisis.

The summit is expected to yield a joint statement as well as other cooperation documents, Li said.

Another noteworthy event held in Yekaterinburg, a major city situated on the eastern side of the Ural mountain range, is the first official meeting of BRIC leaders.

The term, coined by Goldman Sachs economist Jim O'Neill in 2003, refers to the four emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China.

The first meeting of BRIC leaders, slated for June 16, will cover a wide range of issues, especially the global financial and economic crisis, within its five-hour timetable, Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei said.

"We expect the BRIC summit will expand strategic consensus, consolidate mutual trust, coordinate to cope with the global financial and economic crisis and lay out the blueprint for its future development," He said.

At the summit, China expects all parties to agree to reform the global financial system, He said.

"The global financial crisis exposed the disadvantages of the present system. The system, as well as the governance structure of the financial organizations, could not follow the changing situation, and thus needs reform," he said.

The BRIC countries have held the same stance on financial system reform, agreeing to enhance financial supervision, reform global financial organizations, and to increase the representation and voting rights of the emerging economies and developing states in these organizations.

"We expects the summit would push the reform of the financial organizations according to the road map and timetable set up during the G20 summit in London in April," He said.

China advocated a fair, just, inclusive, and well-managed world financial order should be established in the comprehensive, balanced, gradual and effective manners.

On reforming international monetary system, He said, the basic point was to ensure security of all nations' foreign reserves and make a stable system to promote economic development.

China advocated to improve the international monetary system, improve the regulatory mechanism of the issuance of reserve currencies, maintain the relative stability of the exchange rates of major reserve currencies and develop a more diverse and rational international monetary system, He noted.

On the issue of the Chinese currency the renminbi, and its internationalization, He said China had signed the currency swap deals with some countries, worth about 650 billion yuan so far.

"This was a contribution to cope with the financial crisis, but it didn't mean the RMB had become the international reserve currency," He said.

The four countries account for 42 percent of the world's population, 14.6 percent of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 12.8 percent of the global trade volume in 2008.

During Hu's first state visit to Russia, slated for June 16-18, since Medvedev took office last May, he will hold talks with Medvedev, meet with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and other senior officials and attend the activities marking the 60th anniversary of bilateral ties.

Li said the China-Russia partnership of strategic cooperation has maintained a momentum of rapid and sound development with frequent high-level exchanges, increasing mutual political trust and firm support to each other in terms of their core interest.

China and Russia have conducted close communication and cooperation in the reforms of the United Nations, the international financial system and the Korean nuclear issue, the Iranian nuclear issue as well as other important international and regional issues.

According to Li, the bilateral trade volume reached a record high of 56.83 billion US dollars last year. The two sides signed an oil cooperation agreement this April.

Moreover, active progress has been made in their pragmatic cooperation in the fields of nuclear energy, transport, astronautics as well as science and technology.

"This visit is the most important event celebrating the 60th anniversary of bilateral ties," Li said.

China has attached great importance to this visit and hopes to strengthen mutual political trust, enhance strategic collaboration, deepen pragmatic cooperation and expand cultural exchanges.

A joint statement of the two state leaders and a series of agreements on cooperation were expected to be issued.

"I believe, with the joint efforts of the two countries, President Hu's visit will help to ... further the long-term, sound and stable development of China-Russia partnership of strategic cooperation under the new circumstances," Li said.

On Hu's visit to Slovakia and Croatia, he will meet with senior officials of the two countries, expecting to further strengthen their diplomatic ties and enhance cooperation in various fields.

(Xinhua News Agency June 9, 2009)
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