Hu Jintao charts priorities for Shanghai group

June 15th, 2011 - 4:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Astana, June 15 (IANS) Chinese President Hu Jintao Wednesday outlined four priorities for the development of the six-member Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) during a summit here to mark the 10th anniversary of its establishment.

The SCO, an inter-governmental group founded in 2001, includes Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan participate as observers.

The first task Hu proposed is that the members should stick to their 2007 treaty on good-neighbourliness, friendship and cooperation, Xinhua reported.

The second priority is to improve SCO’s security cooperation to fight “the three evil forces” of terrorism, separatism and extremism, as well as other menaces like narcotics and multinational organised crime.

The third is to expand economic cooperation, facilitate trade and investment, promote connectivity in transportation, energy and telecommunication infrastructure and steer the region toward economic integration.

The fourth is to continue to expand people-to-people exchanges in the fields of culture, education, health, tourism and deepen mutual understanding between the peoples.

“We should… make all-out efforts to build the SCO into a regional cooperation organization that features sound institutions, smooth coordination, comprehensive cooperation, openness and harmony,” he said at the summit.

“We should adhere to the principle that all countries, big or small, are equal and sincere to each other, and decide matters of significance to the organization on the basis of consensus,” Hu added.

“China will continue delivering preferential loans to other SCO members and try to turn the Euro-Asia Economic Forum and the China-Asia-Europe Expo into regional economic cooperation platforms so as to better promote regional economic development and prosperity,” Hu said.

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