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Xi Jinping Attends 16th Meeting of Heads of State Council of Shanghai Cooperation Organization and Delivers Important Speech
2016/06/24

Xi Jinping Attends 16th Meeting of Heads of State Council of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and Delivers Important Speech,

Stressing to Carry Forward the Shanghai Spirit, Consolidate Solidarity and Mutual Trust, and Comprehensively Deepen SCO Cooperation

On June 24, 2016 local time, the 16th Meeting of Heads of State Council of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. President Xi Jinping attended the meeting together with President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, President Almazbek Atambayev of Kyrgyzstan, President Vladimir Putin of Russia, President Emomali Rahmon of Tajikistan, and President Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan. Xi Jinping delivered an important speech at the meeting, stressing to firmly observe the fundamental purposes and principles of the SCO, steadfastly hold on to the general direction of development, and dynamically adjust cooperation strategies in various fields, so as to ensure the vitality of the organization.

The heads of member states held small-scale talks first, and then invited the SCO observer states including President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan, President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj of Mongolia, President Mamnoon Hussain of Pakistan, and Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif of Iran, guest of the chair country President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov of Turkmenistan, and representatives of relevant international and regional organizations to attend large-scale talks. Chaired by Islam Karimov, the meeting reviewed the main achievements of the SCO since its establishment 15 years ago. The attending parties exchanged views and reached broad consensus on the development of the SCO and major international and regional issues at present.

Xi Jinping delivered an important speech at the meeting entitled "Promoting Shanghai Spirit, Consolidating Solidarity and Mutual Trust, and Comprehensively Deepening the SCO Cooperation".

Xi Jinping pointed out that the SCO has made remarkable achievements since its establishment 15 years ago. The SCO has innovatively proposed and practiced the "Shanghai Spirit" featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for diverse civilizations, and pursuit of common development. The member states of the SCO have firmly supported each other in their independently chosen paths of development as well as in their efforts to safeguard core interests, comprehensively promoted in-depth development of cooperation in various fields such as economy, trade, finance, energy and transportation, expanded non-governmental and people-to-people and cultural exchanges, striven to extend international exchanges, increasingly enlarged the circle of friends, and initiated the first admission of new member states, further enhancing the international influence of the SCO.

Xi Jinping put forward a five-point proposal for the future development of the SCO. First, carry forward the "Shanghai Spirit" and adhere to the foundation of development of the organization. The SCO should take equality and mutual trust as the base, mutual benefit and win-win results as the principle, dialogue and consultation as the means, and common development as the aim, comprehensively boost the development of cooperation of the SCO in various fields and make itself a constructive force in the sound development of international order.

Second, uphold the priority of security and consolidate the foundation of development of the organization. The SCO should step up its efforts in the construction of laws and mechanisms in anti-extremism and drug control. China is ready to join efforts with the other member states under the framework of the SCO to promote national reconciliation and economic reconstruction of Afghanistan.

Third, expand practical cooperation and broaden the road of development for the organization. It is hoped that the SCO will play an active role in integrating the "Belt and Road" initiative with the development strategies of all member states. China welcomes the member states concerned to keep promoting cooperation in production capacity, and stands ready to work with all parties to study the measures for promotion of trade and investment facilitation.

Fourth, consolidate people-to-people and cultural foundation as a bridge for the development of the organization. China is willing to provide support to other countries in restoring historic sites as well as in archaeological cooperation, and promote communication and cooperation in such fields as youth, health care and environmental protection.

Fifth, stick to openness and inclusiveness and enlarge the cooperative team of the organization. All parties should take the memorandum of obligations for India and Pakistan to join the organization adopted at this summit as an opportunity, jointly perfect the mechanism construction of the organization, expand and deepen cooperation in all fields.

Xi Jinping stressed that China is ready to join the efforts with all parties to ensure that the organization is firmly rooted in the soil of solidarity and mutual trust and will keep growing and become even more flourishing.

All participating leaders agreed to, in the principle of mutual respect and good neighborliness and friendship, be dedicated to safeguarding peace, boosting development, and consolidating relations of equality and mutual trust, and deepening effective cooperation in various fields, so as to contribute to the enhancement of security, stability and sustainable development in the region.

The leaders reiterated their support to the initiative of the Silk Road Economic Belt, and agreed to continue the efforts to implement the initiative, promote regional economic cooperation of the SCO, integrate the development strategies of all countries, push forward cooperation in the construction of transport infrastructure, advance the establishment of an international transport corridor, forge a hub connecting Asia and Europe, and deepen cooperation in such fields as economy, trade, production capacity, energy, investment, agriculture, culture, science and technology, and environmental protection.

The leaders unanimously agreed that the maritime legal order should be safeguarded in the principle of international law including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). All relevant disputes should be resolved peacefully by parties directly concerned through friendly negotiations and consultations. The expansion of these disputes into international issues and interference of foreign countries should be opposed. All parties should abide by all the articles of the UNCLOS, the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), and the Guidelines for the Implementation of the DOC.

The leaders considered that since its establishment 15 years ago, the SCO has become an effective factor in guaranteeing security, stability and sustainable development in the contemporary international relations system. The current international situation is experiencing quick changes. The members of the SCO support consolidation of the UN's core role in international relations, improve the global governance mechanism based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and follow the non-aligned, non-ideological and non-confrontational stance in resolving major international and regional issues. The members of the SCO agreed to conduct close cooperation in combating terrorism, separatism and extremism, fighting against transnational organized crimes and modern information technology crimes, and combating illegal drug production and trafficking.

The meeting decided that the next meeting of Heads of State Council of the SCO will be held in Astana and the next chair country will be Kazakhstan.

The heads of member states signed the Tashkent Declaration on the Fifteenth Anniversary of the SCO and other resolutions including those on the approval of the Action Plan for 2016-2020 on Implementation of the SCO Development Strategy Towards 2025, approval on the adoption of the Memorandum of the Obligations on the Entry of the Republic of India to the SCO, approval on the adoption of the Memorandum of the Obligations on the Entry of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to the SCO, approval of the SCO Secretary General's Report on the Past Year's Work, and approval of the 2015 Work Report of the Executive Committee of the SCO Regional Anti-terrorism Structure on Regional Anti-terrorism Structure. They also witnessed the signing of such documents as the Memorandum of the Obligations on the Entry of the Republic of India to the SCO and the Memorandum of the Obligations on the Entry of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to the SCO.

The Press Communiqué of the Meeting of Heads of State Council of the SCO was issued at the meeting.

After the meeting, Xi Jinping attended the welcome banquet hosted by Islam Karimov for leaders of countries and heads of international and regional organizations present at the meeting.

Wang Huning, Li Zhanshu, Yang Jiechi and others attended the above activities.

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