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SCO increasingly vigorous with great prospects
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15:27, August 17, 2007

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The seventh meeting among SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) top leaders since its founding in June 2001 was held in Kyrgyz capital Bishhek on Thursday, or August 16. The summit summed up in an all-round way the cooperation among the SCO members in economy, security, cultural activities and other spheres over the past year, made further planning and arrangements for their cooperation in years ahead and scored the positive outcome of satisfaction to all sides; it has once again witnessed to people worldwide the vitality and cohesive power of the SCO.

The Bishhek summit has carried out some tentative ideas and proposals raised at the Shanghai summit of 2006, and embodies in a concentrated way new achievements the SCO has made since the Shanghai summit held over a year ago, indicating another firm, substantial step taken by the SCO members in regional cooperation by treating one another as equals and working jointly for still closer cooperation.

In the political sphere, a number of important documents have been signed during the current summit, including the Treaty of Long-term Good Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation among the Member Nations of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the Bishhek Declaration. In the form of a treaty, they standardize the mutual relationship among the SCO members and turn the aspirations of China, Russia and Central Asian nations for the friendship to last from generation to generation into a legal principle, so as to pay way for enhancing the good neighborliness and cooperation among the SCO members and building up a harmonious region. Faced with complex regional situation and volatile international environment, the positions and viewpoints of SCO members have become increasingly identical and see pretty much eye to eye.

In the economic sphere, related documents signed during the summit are in essence the extension of the relevant accords and decisions signed at the previous summits, particularly during the meeting of prime ministers in Dushanbe, Kazakhstan in September last year. In recent years, SCO has launched several major projects in such fields as transport and electric power and China has put in place 900 million US dollars worth of loans for other SCO members. And China is also prepared to go in for follow-up input, and other SCO members have gradually become enthusiastic with the SCO economic cooperation. The summit has achieved gratifying results in the way of expanding economic cooperation and increasing direct cooperation between enterprises and regions.

In the security sphere, all parties within the SCO have agreed to take practical steps to battle the "three evil forces," namely, to implement the annual cooperation program to mete out severe blows at the terrorist, separatist and extremist forces, and reached wide consensus on the expansion of security cooperation.

"Peace Mission 2007" anti-terror drill, held around the current meeting in the Chebarkul range near Chelyabinsk of Russia, represents the first-ever largest joint an-terrorism participated by forces from all SCO members. The military sector has further witnessed the resolve to safeguard regional stability and the superb coordinating capabilities, and signified that SCO has been turned into a mighty force in the defense of peace in region.

For more than a year, SCO has kept enriching, improving and perfecting with multi cooperation pressed ahead in all directions. Meetings of supreme count presidents and education ministers of SCO members have been held and a new mechanism of cooperation in judicature and education set up and started. Regular meetings for culture ministers, attorney generals, security conference secretaries, and defense and foreign ministers, have also been called and, moreover, the work of term-change with regard to the secretariat and anti-terrorist organs for 2007 has been completed and personal arrangements defined. All thise ensures various type of work with respect to the SCO to proceed healthily and orderly.

The Bishhek Declaration is of great importance with a far-reaching influence on the future development of SCO. A series of documents signed at the summit have presented SCO itself an open, dignified bearing in the international community. Apart from the heads of state of the six SCO member nations, the presidents and foreign ministers of four observer nations, the summit was also attended by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov and United Nations Under-Secretary-General B. Lynn Pascoe in the status of guests of honor.

The first-ever participation by the leader of Turkmenistan, in particular, has enabled the leaders of the five central Asian nations to meet face-to-face in Bishhek, with an implication that SCO can have a bigger role to play in pushing forward regional cooperation in Central Asia and thus upgraded its international prestige in a comprehensive way.

Established on June 15, 2001, the SCO groups China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikstan and Uzbekistan.

Its author is Sun Zhuangzhi, the secretary general of the SCO Studies Center affiliated to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and translated by People's Daily Online

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