China calls for solidarity, cooperation as SCO admits new members

Source: Xinhua| 2017-06-09 23:54:41|Editor: Liangyu
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Chinese President Xi Jinping (C) addresses the 17th meeting of Council of Heads of States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Astana, Kazakhstan, June 9, 2017. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)

ASTANA, June 9 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday called on the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states to strengthen solidarity and cooperation as the organization expanded membership and China took over its rotating chair.

Speaking at the annual summit of the SCO in Astana, Kazakhstan, Xi also urged the member states to join hands to tackle challenges, enhance people-to-people bonds, and uphold openness and inclusiveness.

China took over the rotating chair of the SCO after the Astana summit concluded on Friday and will host its next summit in June 2018.

Xi said China will contribute an additional 10 million yuan (1.47 million U.S. dollars) to the SCO Secretariat to facilitate its work.

He proposed setting up a media cooperation mechanism among the SCO member states, saying China would like to host the first SCO media summit.

"We should carry forward the fine tradition of solidarity and coordination," Xi said.

"All member states, old and new, should work in close coordination, deepen mutual trust and increase mutual support in their endeavor to build a community of shared future featuring equality, mutual support, solidarity and sharing of weal and woe," he said.

The remarks came as the SCO accepted India and Pakistan as its full members on Friday in its first expansion since founding, making it the world's most populous regional cooperative organization and the largest by area.

China proposed that the SCO draw up a five-year outline for implementation of the Treaty on Long-term Good Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation, Xi said.

On security issues, the Chinese president said the SCO should continue to give priority to its commitment to maintain regional security and stability.

"Recent acts of terrorism in this region show that the fight against the three forces (of terrorism, separatism and extremism) remains a long and arduous task," he said.

To enhance the capacity of member states in coordination and implementation in the security field, Xi called on the SCO to strengthen regional counter-terrorism institutional building and resolutely crack down on illicit drug manufacturing and trafficking.

China is willing to host again the SCO joint counter-terrorism cyber exercise, the president said.

In addition, China proposed to hold a defense security forum and formulate a three-year program of cooperation to fight the three forces.

"China supports the SCO in speaking with one voice on international and regional issues," Xi said.

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KEY WORDS: Xi Jinping