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SCO achieves numerous accomplishments in past decade, Hu says

(Xinhua)

08:38, June 06, 2012

BEIJING, June 6 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao has hailed the numerous accomplishments achieved by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) during the past 10-plus years and urged even greater contributions to stimulate regional development.

Hu made the remarks in a joint written interview with media groups from SCO member states ahead of the opening of the two-day SCO summit in Beijing this week.

He said SCO members have jointly taken promoting regional peace and common stability as their own responsibility and have achieved numerous important accomplishments since the founding of the organization.

The SCO has formed a new transnational relationship pattern and has been committed to the development of good-neighborly and friendly cooperation so as to boost mutual trust and coordination to unprecedented highs, he said.

The Chinese president said the SCO members have worked together to seek common ground and development while accepting differences under the banner of the Shanghai spirit that highlights mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, negotiations and respect for diversity.

He added that the spirit has offered instructive experience for shaping the new type of international relations and promoting a more rational and just global political and economic order.

The multinational body, which is the first to set combating terrorism, separatism and extremism as goals, has promoted regional peace and stability, said Hu.

The SCO members have signed an anti-terrorism convention and formulated political, diplomatic and security measures in case of incidents that could endanger regional peace, security and stability. And they have conducted more than a dozen joint counter-terrorism exercises, as well as law-enforcement security campaigns, said Hu.

He added that as a result, the SCO has effectively contained the three evil forces, drug-trafficking and transnational organized crime, and have, therefore, played a key role in maintaining regional peace and stability.

President Hu also said the SCO has boosted common development in the fields of transportation, energy and telecommunications for countries in the region, and China has promised to provide preferential loans worth over 12 billion U.S. dollars to other SCO members to support projects in these cooperation areas.

The ratios of the total trade volume and economic aggregate of SCO member states out of the global totals have both increased to 13 percent from 8 percent and 4.8 percent, respectively, he said.

He said SCO members have also seen continuous advancements in cooperation areas such as culture, education, public health, technology, and emergency relief.

He added that the SCO's global influence has been on the rise since its inception. The organization has actively engaged in extensive international cooperation according to the UN charter and principles, and has had four observer states and two dialogue partners.

The SCO has also made contributions to accelerating the peaceful reconstruction of Afghanistan, and it has become an indispensable force in addressing security challenges in the region, he said.

The achievements have demonstrated that the SCO is an important leverage instrument for preserving regional peace and stability, as well as a strong force for promoting common development and prosperity among countries in the region, said the president.

The world is currently undergoing a number of profound changes, said the president, adding that all nations face historic opportunities and challenges and the next decade will be a key period for the development of both SCO members and the organization itself.

The Chinese president called on all SCO members to work together, continue to stress security and pragmatic cooperation and create a favorable environment for the organization to make even greater contributions to protecting the common interests of SCO members and promoting regional economic development.

Hu said the leaders who attend the Beijing summit will thoroughly study the opportunities and challenges presented by the changes in international and regional situations, draw the blueprint for the organization's future development, sign a series of important cooperation documents and set future goals for long-term development.

The SCO was founded in Shanghai on June 15, 2001, and currently has six full members -- China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Mongolia, Iran, Pakistan and India are four observer states, and its dialogue partners include Belarus and Sri Lanka.

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