China to promote SCO's healthy development

Xinhua, June 8, 2011

A senior diplomat said on Tuesday that China will continue to promote the sound development of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) after it assumes the rotating presidency in mid June.

Assistant Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping made the remarks at a news briefing on President Hu Jintao's upcoming visit to Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine from June 12 to 20.

Hu will also attend the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in the Kazakh capital of Astana, and the 15th International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg.

China will hold the rotating chair of the SCO from June until May 2012, after the Astana summit, said Cheng.

To ensure a better development of the SCO, China has made cooperative plans, which include the proposal of making 2012 the neighborliness and friendship year among the SCO member states, he said.

Hu will raise the proposal at the Astana summit, he added.

The Astana summit will mark the 10th anniversary of the SCO, which was founded in Shanghai in 2001. The regional organization groups China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Cheng praised the accomplishments made by the SCO, such as increased political trust, security and cultural cooperation, active diplomacy and an improved legal system.

The SCO's achievements demonstrate that its development is in accordance with the fundamental interests of all member states, and it has made important contributions to the peace and stability of the region and the world, he said.

The theme of the Astana summit is building consensus and consolidating solidarity, said Cheng, adding that the leaders of the SCO member states will map out a blueprint for the organization for the next decade.

Since the international situation is undergoing complicated changes, the member states have realized that only by sticking to the "Shanghai Spirit" and promoting the development of the SCO can they cope with the new challenges and achieve revival, he said.

The "Shanghai Spirit" advocates mutual trust, mutual benefits, equality, respect for cultural diversity and common development.

At the Astana summit, Hu will discuss with leaders of other SCO member states how to expand economic cooperation, Cheng said, adding that China will provide more financial assistance to other member states within its ability.

At the Yekaterinburg summit in 2009, China agreed to provide a 10-billion-U.S.-dollar credit loan to SCO member states for multilateral and bilateral economic and technological cooperation projects within the framework of the SCO.

According to statistics, a 7.4-billion-U.S.-dollar credit loan has already been in place, Cheng said.

Security cooperation has been a significant achievement of the organization, and as political disruptions arise in West Asian and North African countries, the SCO member states should pay more attention to the maintenance of regional peace and stability, he said.

China will take advantage of the rotating presidency to boost the security and law-enforcement cooperation under the framework of the SCO, in an effort to fight the "three evils forces" of terrorism, separatism and extremism, Cheng added.