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Xi: Security key to development

By AN BAIJIE | China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-10 05:48

Xi: Security key to development

President Xi Jinping joins leaders for a group photo on Friday at the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Astana, Kazakhstan. They are, from left, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Uzbekistani President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, President Xi, Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Tajikistani President Emomali Rahmon, Kyrgyzstani President Almazbek Atambayev and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

SCO members urged to strengthen coordination in fighting terrorism

President Xi Jinping sent a strong voice of fighting terrorists and safeguarding regional peace during a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, on Friday.

China calls for the SCO to strengthen regional counterterrorism institution building to enhance the capacity of member states in coordination and implementation in the security field, Xi said in a speech at the 17th Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO.

"Without security, there will be no development to speak of. Recent acts of terrorism in this region show that the fight against the three forces remains a long and arduous task," Xi said.

The "three evil forces" are terrorism, separatism and extremism.

During the summit, the member states signed the SCO Convention on Combating Extremism. The leaders of the SCO members also issued a declaration to jointly fight international terrorism.

China proposes to hold a defense security forum and formulate a three-year program of cooperation to fight the "three forces", Xi said, adding that China is willing to host an SCO joint counterterrorism cyber exercise again.

India and Pakistan were officially accepted as member states at the summit, taking the number of SCO members from the previous six — China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan — to eight. The move made the SCO one of the biggest regional organizations, covering nearly half of the world's population.

"All member states, old and new, should work in close coordination, deepen mutual trust and increase mutual support in their endeavor to build a community of shared future featuring equality, mutual support, solidarity and sharing of weal and woe," Xi said.

The president announced the contribution of an additional 10 million yuan ($1.47 million) to the Secretariat of the SCO to facilitate its work.

Noting that "destabilizing factors and uncertainties are on the rise", Xi said that China is willing to work together with all parties to strengthen the sense of community of shared future, and "build a common home of security, stability, development and prosperity".

China is concerned with the recent deterioration of the security situation in Afghanistan, and it calls upon all parties to support the country's peace and reconciliation process, Xi said.

China will take over the rotating presidency of the SCO and host the next summit in June 2018.

Xi pledged that China will do its best to fulfill the task and work with all other parties for a brighter future of the SCO.

Sun Zhuangzhi, secretary-general of the SCO Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the SCO Convention on Combating Extremism that was signed during the summit will set a more legitimate basis for the SCO members' cooperation in fighting terrorism and extremism.

Additionally, he said, the acceptance of new SCO members will increase the organization's influence and openness, providing new forces to settle regional hot spot issues.

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