|Assistant Foreign Minister Li Huilai Talks About Achievements of President Xi Jinping's Attendance at SCO Astana Summit|
From June 8 to 9, 2017 local time, President Xi Jinping attended the 17th meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) held in Astana, Kazakhstan. Assistant Foreign Minister Li Huilai said in Astana on June 9 that this Summit was a major diplomatic activity of China to Eurasia this year, which was of great significance in promoting a sustainable, healthy and stable development of the SCO and helping member states address threats and challenges and achieve development and revitalization.
According to Li Huilai, President Xi Jinping, together with leaders of various states, respectively attended small and big-scale meetings, exchanged in-depth views and reached extensive consensus on the SCO's development status quo, missions and prospects as well as major international and regional issues. President Xi Jinping, together with other heads of SCO member states, signed and published the Astana Declaration, issued Press Communiqué of Meeting of SCO Council of Heads of State and Statement on Joint Counteraction to International Terrorism, signed the SCO Anti-Extremism Convention, and ratified 7 resolutions, including granting India and Pakistan the SCO membership . During the Summit, representatives of all parties also signed the Joint Action Plan for Implementing the Programme for the SCO Member States Cooperation in Tourism for 2017-2018 and the Memorandum of Understanding between the SCO Secretariat and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
With regard to major achievements of this Summit, Li Huilai expressed that China believed that the fruitful achievements of the Astana Summit were mainly as follows: Firstly, it was the decision to admit India and Pakistan as its members, achieving expansion for the first time. Secondly, it was the decision to continuously carry forward the "Shanghai Spirit", so as to intensify cooperation between old and new members. Thirdly, it was the decision to jointly promote fairer and more equitable international order and build a community of shared future for mankind. Fourthly, the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in Beijing this May was highly spoken of and the docking of cooperation between the "Belt and Road" construction and regional cooperation initiatives as well as development strategies of SCO countries gained support during this Summit. Fifthly, it was the decision to further enhance cooperation in areas such as security, economy, and people-to-people and cultural engagement, including the practical implementation of the SCO Anti-Extremism Convention signed at this summit, promoting trade and investment facilitation in this region and laying a solid public opinion foundation for cooperation in various fields.
In addition, the Summit designated China to act as the SCO presidency 2017-2018 and host the SCO Summit in 2018.
On relevant proposals and initiatives put forward by the Chinese side at this summit, Li Huilai said that President Xi Jinping pointed out this year 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 of the SCO Member States. And with these two programmatic documents as cornerstone of thought and the guide to actions, the SCO member states firmly adhere to the "Shanghai Spirit" and head forward with steadier steps on the path of constructing a community of shared future, thus establishing a model of the new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation.
Li Huilai expressed that on the basis of a profound analysis of the international trend and the challenges confronted by all countries, President Xi Jinping proposed that all parties should consolidate solidarity and coordination and build a closer community of shared future, work together to cope with challenges and make unanimous voice in international and regional affairs. All members should deepen practical cooperation, conform to the trend of regional integration development, tighten people-to-people and cultural bonds so as to maintain the vitality of the cause of good-neighborliness, friendship and cooperation. We should adhere to openness and inclusiveness and jointly commit to promoting the cause of everlasting peace and common prosperity of the world.
President Xi Jinping announced that China will host the Summit in June 2018, and the Chinese side will, in the light of its work as the presidency, put forward a series of important initiatives and measures in the areas of politics, economy, security, people-to-people and cultural exchanges, external exchanges and mechanism construction including the negotiation on the signing of a five-year implementation outline for the Treaty on Long-Term Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation, a three-year cooperation outline to fight against the "three evil forces", agreement on trade facilitation;, the holding of cyber drill on anti-terrorism, defense cooperation forum, arts and cultural festivals, women's forum, staff skill competition, youth exchanges, media summit and other activities; the support of the establishment of local cooperation mechanism; the implementation of human resources cooperation program and the initiatives to establish media cooperation mechanism, economic think tank alliance and e-commerce industry alliance as well as the announcement of additional contributions of 10 million RMB to the SCO Secretariat. All these deeds fully reflect China's firm confidence in supporting SCO's development as a founding member of the SCO.
Li Huilai said that the above-mentioned important initiatives and measures have gained widespread responses and drew some positive support from all parties. In the next step, China will earnestly fulfill the duties as the presidency and work closely with the other seven member states to tap the potential for cooperation and expand cooperation areas so that the SCO will play a greater role in the common cause of maintaining regional security and stability and promoting prosperity and development, thus bringing more tangible benefits to people of all countries.