Backgrounder: Basic facts about SCO
Updated: 2014-09-11 16:53
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BEIJING - President Xi Jinping will attend the 14th summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on Thursday and Friday in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan.
The following are some basic facts about the SCO:
The SCO is a six-member inter-governmental organization founded in the Chinese metropolis of Shanghai on June 15, 2001.
Grouping China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, the SCO covers a total area of 30.2 million square km, with a combined population of 1.53 billion.
It has Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan as observers, and Belarus, Sri Lanka and Turkey as dialogue partners.
Dedicated to maintaining regional security and promoting common development, the SCO adheres to the Spirit of Shanghai, which features mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for cultural diversity and pursuit of common development.
It has also initiated a new security concept based on mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation.
The SCO has two permanent organs: the Secretariat in Beijing and the Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan.
The SCO, which is an observer of the UN General Assembly, is the only regional inter-governmental organization founded in China, named after a Chinese city and headquartered in China.
The Council of Heads of State (CHS) is the SCO's top decision-making body, followed by the Council of Heads of Government (CHG), the Council of Foreign Ministers, the Council of National Coordinators and other mechanisms. Both the CHS and the CHG convene annually.
At the 13th meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of State held last September in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek, Xi's first since taking office, the Chinese president delivered a speech expounding China's policies.
At the summit, the SCO leaders conducted in-depth exchanges of views and reached broad consensus on issues such as good-neighborly relations as well as key global and regional affairs.