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Foreign Ministry Holds Briefing for Chinese and Foreign Media on the SCO Beijing Summit

On May 23, 2012, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a briefing for Chinese and foreign media. Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping introduced the background, significance, main activities and expected results of the Beijing Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and answered questions of the reporters. More than 100 Chinese and foreign reporters attended the briefing.

Cheng said that the 12th meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO Member States will be held in Beijing from June 6 to 7. President Hu Jintao will chair the Summit. At Hu's invitation, presidents of the five member states, i.e. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, presidents or their representatives of the observer states, i.e. Iran, Mongolia, Pakistan and India and the host's guest states, i.e. Afghanistan and Turkmenistan as well as officials of the United Nations, the CIS, the Eurasian Economic Community and the Collective Security Treaty Organization will attend the Summit. Large and small-scale talks of member states, signing ceremony, joint press conference, business forum and gala performance will be organized during the Summit. In addition, the Chinese and foreign leaders will hold a series of bilateral meetings.

He noted that this year marks the beginning of the second decade of the SCO. Over the past 10 years, the SCO has expanded cooperation from combating the "three forces" to a wide range of areas, been committed to building a new type of relationship among states featured by mutual respect, equality, friendship for generations and mutually beneficial cooperation, established the multi-level cooperation mechanisms and a fairly comprehensive legal system and become an important constructive force of maintaining regional stability, promoting the development of member states and pushing forward the international order in a more just and equitable direction. Since the Astana summit last year, China has been fully committed to the responsibilities of the presidency state and the SCO has gained further development. In the political field, member states have consolidated unity and mutual trust and extended greater mutual support on their core interests of sovereignty and security. In terms of security, member states have strengthened crisis early warning and joint law enforcement capacity building and coped with threats and challenges together. In the economic sector, trade among member states has grown rapidly and their transportation, energy, communications and financial cooperation continued moving forward. Member states have started exploring another group of large-scale multilateral projects which will bring benefits to the people's livelihood. With regard to cultural exchanges, the "Year of Good-neighborly Friendship" activities have been implemented successfully and the cooperation on education, culture, health, science and technology and disaster relief achieved important results, which has further reinforced the foundation of unity and cooperation. In the area of diplomacy, the observer and dialogue partner mechanism has been running well and the SCO maintains increasingly close collaboration with other international and regional organizations. The institutional building of the SCO has been further improved and a solid foundation has been laid down for the cooperation in various fields to move to a higher level.

He pointed out that the current international situation is undergoing complex and profound changes and all kinds of unstable and uncertain factors are on the rise. The SCO member states are faced with both serious challenges and key opportunities to maintain stability, grow the economy and deepen cooperation. Facing the new situation, member states have greater expectations for the role of the SCO and stronger desire and determination to uphold the "Shanghai Spirit", strengthen unity and cooperation and promote the SCO's development.

Cheng said that during the Summit, the heads of member states will exchange in-depth views on the current international and regional situation, the deepening of friendly cooperation among member states and the SCO's future development and make strategic planning. In the political sphere, the Summit will issue a declaration on building a region with lasting peace and common prosperity, establish the long-term goal of developing the SCO region into a harmonious region and elaborate the common position of member states on major international and regional issues. The heads of member states will approve the SCO's mid-term development strategy plan, make it clear that consolidating mutual trust, maintaining security, promoting development, improving people's livelihood and strengthening exchanges will be the future cooperation priorities and formulate specific and effective implementation measures with the purpose of building the SCO into a practical and highly effective platform to safeguard and expand the common interests of the member states. This is the first time that the SCO makes a comprehensive strategic plan for its future development direction, which reflects the member states' firm determination on the long-term development of the SCO and high degree of consistency on the strategic issues. In the security field, the heads of member states will approve to revise the SCO Regulations on Political and Diplomatic Measures and Mechanisms of Response to Events Jeopardizing Regional Peace, Security and Stability. After the revision, measures such as joint early warning, crisis management, protection and evacuation of SCO member states' nationals living abroad will be incorporated into the security cooperation legal framework of the SCO, which will effectively improve the capability of member states of communication, coordination and joint response in case of crisis and protect regional security. The heads of member states will also approve the program of cooperation of the SCO member states on fighting terrorism, separatism and extremism for 2013-2015 and specify cooperation measures and plans to effectively combat and curb the activities of the "three forces" in the region. In the economic sector, member states are discussing the agreement among the governments of the SCO member states on facilitation of international road transport and based on the consensus reached during the meeting of prime ministers last year studying to establish the SCO project cooperation financing guarantee mechanism and promote the opening of the SCO special account and development bank in order to provide convenient and efficient financing channels for the large projects within the SCO framework and the key projects of member states. The member states are considering the signing of relevant documents on cooperation during the Summit. In the cultural field, member states are making technical preparations for the signing of the protocol of the agreement on mutual assistance for disaster relief among the governments of the SCO member states. Once the protocol is signed, member states will communicate with each other in a timely and convenient manner in case of disaster, send rescue teams, provide relief supplies and minimize the impact of disasters through cooperation. Furthermore, the Summit will also deliberate on Afghanistan's application for the SCO's observer status and Turkey's application for the SCO's dialogue partner status and make decision on the basis of consensus.

He stressed that China is willing to work with other member states and take the important opportunity of the Beijing Summit to push forward the development of the SCO. On the basis of reviewing the experience over the past 10 years and analyzing the changes in the international and regional situation, member states will establish the SCO's future development goal, plan the cooperation initiatives for the next 10 years, further unleash the cooperation potential in various fields, maintain regional stability and promote common development more effectively and bring the SCO into a new period of vigorous development.

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