China’s proposed all-important cooperation to fortify SCO entity

Our Correspondent

Beijing—A six-pronged proposal laid out by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) prime ministers’ meeting in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, will help the alignment of China’s Belt and Road Initiative with the development strategies of other SCO member states.
Li called on all member states to work on joint security efforts, alignment of development strategies, production capacity and innovation cooperation, as well as regional financing and people-to-people exchanges.
Celebrating the 15th year of SCO cooperation, Li said that only through cooperation can SCO members achieve common development and long-term peace and stability in the region.
Security and stability are the basis of economic cooperation among SCO member states and, in this regard, Li suggested deepening information exchanges and cooperation in law-enforcement.
As a driving force in regional security and stability, the SCO has always made security cooperation a priority, said Chen Yurong, a senior research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies.
Although the SCO has made some remarkable achievements in battling terrorism, extremism and separatism, these “three evils” still pose considerable threats to regional security and stability, Chen said.
As for the alignment of development strategies, the premier called for coordination and dovetailing of economic development policies of SCO members, through the growing synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). The EEU groups Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia.
The SCO, an inter-governmental organization founded in Shanghai in 2001, includes China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The combined GDP of the member states reached 12.5 trillion U.S. dollars in 2015.
The six-pronged proposal emphasizes pragmatic cooperation and common development. It also draws up a blueprint for SCO development.
In line with the “Shanghai Spirit” of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for cultural diversity and pursuit of common development, China has played a positive role in the development of the mechanism. China is committed to building a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation. The Belt and Road has engaged more than 100 countries and international organizations since it was proposed in 2013, and has already made great progress.
China invested a total of 51.1 billion U.S. dollars in Belt and Road countries from autumn 2013 to July 2016, accounting for 12 percent of its total outbound direct investment.
The SCO has agreed that regional economic cooperation, including the Silk Road Economic Belt, is conducive to new models of international cooperation and cementing ties between members, according to a joint communique issued after the meeting.
Only by removing trade barriers and boosting connections within the framework of SCO, can members achieve win-win cooperation and build a community of shared destiny.

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