"Shanghai Five" Nations Sign Joint Statement

"Shanghai Five" summit concluded successfully in Dushanbe Wednesday and the presidents of China, Tajikistan, Russia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan signed a joint statement. Major points are as follows:

Strengthen Cooperation

Presidents of the " Shanghai Five" nations pledged to deepen cooperation in the fields of politics, foreign affairs, economy and trade, as well as military affairs to turn Central Asia into a region of peace, good neighborhood, stability and equal cooperation.

While expressing their satisfaction with the mutual trust and cooperation among them, the five nations reaffirmed opposition to any conflict, threat and external interference that would complicate the situation in Central Asia, said the statement.

They said that their accord on the resolution of border issues and reinforcement of military trust demonstrated a new concept of security based on mutual trust, equality and cooperation, which helps to strengthen mutual understanding and good-neighborhood and makes constructive contribution to the regional stability.

All the five countries would faithfully implement the agreements signed in Shanghai, China, in 1996 and in Moscow, Russia, in 1997 on deepening trust in the military field and cutting down military forces along the border areas, the statement said.

The five heads of state called for speeding up the process of strengthening trust in the military field, with measures including joint military exercises and drilling, exchange of experience in peacekeeping activities, and relevant seminars and sport competitions.

The five nations agreed that meetings of their defense ministers and consultations among their defense institutions are helpful to further strengthening their mutual trust and friendly cooperation in the military field as well as jointly maintaining regional peace and stability, the statement said.

Meanwhile, the five nations reiterated that their cooperation is not directed against any other country and is open to other countries for participation in concrete programs and projects on a country-to-country basis or other levels.

The top leaders of the five countries started their first summit in Shanghai, China, in April 1996 to exchange views on bilateral and multilateral cooperation and other regional and international issues of common interest.

Against Illegal Activities

The five nations reiterated in the joint statement their determination to fight jointly against national separatism, international terrorism, religious extremism, as well as weapon-trafficking, drug- trafficking and illegal immigration.

The joint statement said that the five countries will draft relevant multilateral programs, sign necessary multilateral cooperation treaties and accords, and hold regular meetings of officers from justice, border, customs and security departments of the five countries.

Furthermore, they will hold anti-terrorism and anti-riot maneuvers within the five-nation framework.

Every member of the "Shanghai Five" will by no means allow activities on its own territory that may undermine the sovereignty, security and social order of any other country of the group.

The five nations expressed support for a proposal by the Republic of Kyrgyzstan to establish a regional anti-terrorism center in the city of Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, and agreed to prepare for further negotiations on the issue.

Respect for Sovereignty

The statement vowed to defend sovereignty under the Charter of the United Nations and not to interfere in others' internal affairs under the pretext of "humanitarianism" or "human rights."

The statement stressed that every state has the right to choose its own political system, economic model and path of social development, affirming that the five countries will support each other to safeguard their state sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and social stability.

In the statement, the five countries promised to scrupulously abide by the principle of respecting human rights while taking into consideration historical characteristics of various countries, underlining that other recognized international laws should not be violated when applying this principle.

They expressed their support for China's pursuit of its one- China policy and for the Russian government's stance on the Chechen issue.

While noting political and other challenges that are facing the world today, the five countries pledged they would firmly promote the reinforcement of the U.N.'s role as the only general mechanism in maintaining world peace and stability.

They opposed the use, or the threat, of force in international relations without the approval of the U.N. Security Council and attempts by any country or bloc to monopolize global and regional affairs for its own interests, said the statement.

Respect for ABM Treaty

In the joint statement, the five nations reiterated that the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty must be unconditionally maintained and strictly respected.

The countries stressed that the ABM treaty, which forbids any deployment of national missile defense system (NMD), plays as the cornerstone of global strategic stability and basis of further cut of strategic offensive weapons.

The five nations agreed that the Asia-Pacific region will see its stability and security destroyed by an eventual deployment of the theater missile defense (TMD) system, which will lead to an escalation of arms race.

Every member of the "Shanghai Five" said it supports China with regard to its opposition to any nation's attempt to build a TMD system with Taiwan as part of it.

The United States recently proposed to adapt the ABM treaty to permit deployment of NMD and TMD. Arms control experts said the U. S. plan runs against the trend of the times and will have a major adverse impact on global and regional strategic balance and stability.

In their statement, the five nations also expressed support to endow the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons with an authentic universality.

The treaty, signed 30 years ago, is time-tested as an effective tool to hold back the menacing nuclear proliferation and has actually reduced the danger of nuclear conflicts, said the statement.

All five nations expressed support for Uzebekistan's proposal to build central Asian non-nuclear zone, saying that it accords with the principles of existent documents.

Regional Security

Presidents of the five nations pledged in this joint statement to join efforts in safeguarding regional security, and urged peaceful solution to all regional conflicts under the framework of the United Nations.

In the statement, the presidents expressed deep concern over the situation in Afghanistan, regarding it as a serious threat to world peace and regional stability.

They supported the efforts and dominating role of the U.N. in political settlement of the Afghan issue, and urged all conflicting parties to exert utmost restraint and conduct peace talks by taking into consideration the interests of all parties and strata in Afghanistan.

Expressing their satisfaction with the progress made in Tajikistan's peace and national reconciliation, the presidents called for more international assistance to the country and reaffirmed their support for its efforts in post-war reconstruction, social reform, as well as its economic and democratic development.

The five nations agreed to open up political dialogue channels to promote mutual trusts and to further enhance multilateral cooperation in maintaining regional peace and stability.

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