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Wang Yi: The Development of SCO Faces New Opportunities and Challenges

On May 26, 2017, when jointly meeting the press with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov of Russia after their talks in Moscow, Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed that the current development of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is facing new opportunities and challenges.

Wang Yi said that 2017 marks the 15th anniversary of the signing of the SCO Charter and the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty on Long-Term Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation by the SCO members. Under the joint efforts of its members, the SCO has become a new type of regional cooperation organization with advanced cooperation philosophy and significant international influence, playing an important role in promoting regional peace and development.

Wang Yi pointed out that at present, the development of the SCO faces new opportunities and challenges. As for its interior situation, the SCO will complete the accession procedures of India and Pakistan at the upcoming Astana Summit, and become the most populous and largest regional cooperation organization in the world, which will bring unprecedented development space and cooperation potential. It is hoped that India and Pakistan, after their accessions into the SCO, could strictly abide by rules of the SCO Charter and the Treaty on Long-Term Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation, meet each other halfway, conduct friendly cooperation, adhere to the Shanghai spirit, and improve bilateral relations, so as to jointly inject new impetus into the SCO.

As for its exterior environment, facing the situation of rising protectionism and increasingly severe regional security, the SCO should grasp the trend of the times, hold high the banner of trade liberalization and facilitation, and advance the process of economic integration. Meanwhile, the SCO should promote security cooperation to combat the "three forces" in a more precise and efficient manner, so as to well safeguard respective sovereignty and homeland security and maintain regional peace and stability.

Wang Yi expressed that China will take over the SCO rotating presidency after the Astana Summit. The country is actively making a work plan that covers six major fields including politics, economy, security, people-to-people and cultural engagement, foreign relations and mechanism building, and will hold various kinds of activities at the scheduled time. China is willing to make joint efforts with Russia and other member states to promote the solidarity, efficient cooperation and effective actions among SCO members during China's tenure.

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