Chinese PM: SCO plays key role in keeping peace in Eurasia
ASTANA - Visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said in Astana on Monday that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) plays a pillar role in peaceful development in Eurasia and its member states should work together to safeguard peace and stability in the region.
At the 13th SCO prime ministers' meeting, Li said the SCO should help preserve regional security and stability to address challenges such as drug trafficking, organized crime and cyber crime, and further improve security cooperation mechanism to curb terrorism.
Li proposed that the member states negotiate an anti-terrorism convention and enable regional anti-terrorism agencies to fight against drug trafficking.
On the basis of such a convention, Li said, a center addressing security challenges should also be established.
Li advocated for supporting the Afghan government to maintain domestic stability and realize national reconciliation and economic reconstruction.
China will firmly safeguard regional stability and stick to peaceful development, Li said.
He also proposed to cultivate new areas for regional economic cooperation and speed up regional integration.
China has reached consensus with Kazakhstan on the cooperation in production capacity, Li said. China is willing to export its capacity of producing steel, cement, glass and electricity as well as processing natural and other resources to Kazakhstan, which initiated the Bright Road project aimed at revitalizing its economy.
The Chinese premier said that his country will also offer financing support to Kazakhstan and other SCO members.
Li voiced the hope that the SCO members further facilitate trade and investment, reduce trade and investment barriers and improve customs clearance efficiency.
The Silk Road Economic Belt initiated by the Chinese side could be interconnected with the Bright Road and other similar proposals by other countries, Li said, encouraging all SCO members to discuss projects aimed at promoting infrastructure construction and upgrading industries.
China is going to inaugurate priority projects under the Eurasian economic cooperation fund, coordinate with other SCO members to steadily foster the SCO development bank, which is designed as a long-term stable financing platform for regional cooperation, Li said.
He said China backs Kazakhstan's proposal on the currency swap scheme within the SCO.
Urging to enhance cooperation on people's livelihood and people-to-people exchanges, Li suggested that the bloc strengthen collaboration on more projects of people's livelihood, which can also help create more jobs and bring practical benefits to the regional people.
China stands ready to deepen agricultural cooperation with other SCO members and work for setting up an SCO food security cooperation mechanism, Li said, adding that his country plans to allocate $50 million for popularizing agricultural technologies and training professionals.
He said China is also committed to strengthening cooperation in environmental protection, public health and the prevention and control of infectious diseases.
He stressed that the SCO member states should further expand people-to-people exchanges and mutual understanding, and continue to simplify visa application and residence permission procedures.
Li arrived here Sunday to pay an official visit to Kazakhstan and attend the 13th prime ministers' meeting of the SCO, after which he left for Serbia on Monday afternoon to continue his current three-nation Eurasian tour. The last leg of his tour is Thailand.