"Shanghai Five" Expected to Push Forward Cooperation: FM Spokesman

Members of the "Shanghai Five" should make joint efforts to push forward cooperation amongst themselves, Spokesman Zhu Bangzao of China's Foreign Ministry said Tuesday, January 16.

Zhu made the remark at a regular press conference in response to a question raised by a journalist regarding the recently concluded third meeting of state coordinators of the "Shanghai Five" nations.

Zhu said during the three-day meeting, which concluded in Beijing last Friday, participants from China, Tajikistan, Russia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan focused on the planned meetings among the heads of state, premiers, and foreign ministers of the five countries this year as well as ways to improve the "Shanghai Five" mechanism and reached a broad consensus.

Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Guchang presided over the meeting, and Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Deguang met with state coordinators of the other four nations, the spokesman added.

Zhu said China believes the five states should work together to bring their cooperation to a new high, though this should be implemented step by step.

When asked about Pakistan's potential membership to the "Shanghai Five", Zhu said it should be subject to discussion and approval of all the five members states.

The "Shanghai Five" process was launched in Shanghai, China, in April 1996, when the heads of state from the five countries held their first summit meeting.

People's Daily Online --- http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/