Regional security and defence co-operation will be highlighted
at the Defence Ministers' Meeting of the six-nation Shanghai
Co-operation Organization (SCO), which opens today in Beijing.
Sources with the Chinese Defence Ministry told China
Daily Tuesday that the meeting will focus on regional security
issues such as the fight against the "three forces" of separatism,
terrorism and extremism, and defence co-operation among SCO
The one-day meeting is expected to end with a joint statement,
which may cover the establishment of a regional security mechanism
and efforts to boost the security situation in the Central Asian
Founded in Shanghai on June 15, 2001, the SCO groups China,
Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, while
Mongolia, Iran, India and Pakistan have been granted observer
Today's defence ministers' meeting is part of a series of
activities organized by the SCO, which will hold its foreign
ministers' meeting in mid-May and its annual summit meeting in
The meeting will be the third of its kind, with the previous two
being held in Shanghai in 2001 and in Moscow in 2002, and it will
be chaired by Chinese Defence Minister Cao Gangchuan.
During his meeting with Russian Vice-Prime Minister and Defence
Minister Sergei Ivanov Tuesday afternoon, Cao called for stronger
defence co-operation between China and Russia as a way to push
forward their strategic partnership of co-operation.
Cao said both sides have enjoyed practical co-operation in
strategic consultation, personnel training and military academic
exchanges over the past few years.
"China and Russia should strengthen their trust and co-operation
in the defence sector, which benefits the fundamental interests of
the two peoples," he told Ivanov.
Such co-operation "is also conducive to peace and stability in
the region and the world as a whole," Cao added.
Ivanov said Russia and China share the same stance on major
issues ranging from safeguarding national sovereignty and
territorial integrity to the fight against terrorist, secessionist
and extremist forces.
(China Daily April 26, 2006)