SCO important instrument for stability, development

Updated: 2014-09-12 11:12


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MOSCOW -- The 13-year-old Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has become an efficient and constructive regional mechanism to maintain stability and promote development of its member countries, said Chinese Ambassador to Russia Li Hui.

Political trust and friendship among SCO member states are steadily reinforced by the all-around cooperation in such areas as security, trade and culture, Li said in a recent joint interview with Moscow-based Chinese reporters.

The SCO has become more and more actively involved in regional and international affairs and its international status and influence has risen, he said.

Li said the organization is further consolidated by the latest consensus on the legal documents about SCO expansion. At a foreign ministers' meeting in July, two draft documents were passed in principle and will be submitted for approval at the SCO summit on Thursday and Friday. If approved, the two documents will mark the completion of the legal framework for SCO expansion.

Founded in Shanghai in 2001, the SCO groups China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. It also embraces Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan as observers, and Belarus, Turkey and Sri Lanka as dialogue partners.

The ambassador praised the SCO for its open-door policy and inclusiveness, which, he said, are important to attract more countries.

Li called for closer bilateral and multilateral cooperation in the fight against the "three evil forces" of separatism, terrorism and extremism, transnational organized crime, cybercrime and drugs, as the region is facing a more complicated security situation.

Anti-terrorism has always been and will be a top priority of the SCO, the ambassador said. The "Peace Mission 2014" joint military drill, which ran successfully at the end of August, was the fifth multinational drill within the SCO framework to enhance defense and security cooperation.

Li noted that all SCO members should play an active role in strengthening the cooperative mechanism of law enforcement and security, enriching functions of SCO permanent organs, as well as promoting the establishment of a center for comprehensive response to security threats and challenges.

The Silk Road Economic Belt, proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping during his visit to Central Asia in September 2013, has been hailed by countries in the region. Li called on all SCO member countries to promote the "Silk Road Spirit" -- peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit.

The ambassador also hoped that the China-Russia comprehensive and strategic partnership of coordination would further advance despite challenges brought by the ever-changing international political and economic situations.

The bilateral relationship should become a model of peaceful coexistence of countries, Li said.

China is willing to further communicate and coordinate with Russia and Central Asian countries on the construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt for win-win results, he added.