At noon of November 3, 2016 local time, Premier Li Keqiang attended the 15th Meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Council of Heads of Governments (Prime Ministers) at the conference center of Bishkek State Guesthouse.

Li Keqiang expressed that the SCO has maintained a sound momentum of development since its establishment 15 years ago. It not only plays an irreplaceable role in promoting regional stability and prosperity, but also makes positive contributions to pushing forward world peace and development. At the Tashkent Summit this year, President Xi Jinping, together with other leaders of SCO member states, has put forward a number of proposals and initiatives in terms of further promoting regional cooperation in various fields, marking a new step in the development of the SCO. Currently, the international situation is undergoing profound changes, therefore, only by working together can SCO member states realize common development and achieve long-term peace and stability in the region. Li Keqiang offered the following suggestions on the future development of the SCO:

First, create a safe and stable environment. SCO member states should follow the concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, further reinforce coordination and collaboration in security areas, advance the mechanism construction of regional anti-terrorism agencies and deepen information exchanges and law enforcement cooperation, so as to safeguard the safety of peoples, institutions, enterprises and personnel of SCO member states.

Second, build an integrative development pattern. All sides should strengthen the coordination and alignment of respective strategies for economic development. The “Belt and Road” Initiative proposed by China is now dovetailing with the construction of the Eurasian Economic Union. China is ready to work with other parties to advance the trade and investment liberalization and facilitation in the region and strengthen cooperation in fields such as customs, inspection and quarantine, as well as certification and accreditation. China is open to the construction of a SCO free trade area and other proposals, and is willing to work with all parties to complete the feasibility study on the free trade area and actively explore a more comprehensive, closer and more efficient regional economic cooperation framework.

Third, upgrade the level of production capacity cooperation. At present, the early harvest projects of production capacity cooperation between China and Kazakhstan are advancing smoothly. Large projects undertaken by Chinese enterprises, such as the power station in Uzbekistan, the oil refinery in Kyrgyzstan and the cement plant in Tajikistan, are under sound operation. An industrial park is now jointly being built by China and Uzbekistan. China is ready to make concerted efforts with other parties to build production capacity cooperation into an important pillar of regional economic and trade cooperation and forge a growth pole for regional economic development, so as to benefit the people of related countries.

Fourth, explore opportunities for innovation cooperation. China thoroughly implements the innovation-driven development strategy and extensively carries out mass entrepreneurship and innovation. China is willing to, together with other countries, reinforce the alignment and experience exchanges of innovation policies, facilitate cross-border e-commerce customs clearance, strengthen the capacity of logistics support and propel cooperation in such fields as innovation in environmental protection technology and green economy among all sides.

Fifth, improve the region’s financing mechanism. The SCO should take full advantage of the SCO Interbank Consortium, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Silk Road Fund, the China-Eurasia Economic Cooperation Fund, the BRICS New Development Bank and other platforms of investment and financing, to provide financing support for member states to accelerate economic development and carry out regional cooperation projects. China is willing to further enhance cooperation in currency swaps and settlement with all parties.

Sixth, consolidate the foundation of people-to-people and cultural exchanges. China stands ready to sign agreements with other parties on establishing and operating a SCO university and support its efforts in personnel training for SCO member states. China will offer more SCO Scholarships and Chinese Government Scholarships this academic year. The country is willing to continue organizing summer camps for primary and secondary school students from SCO member states, and holding a series of non-governmental exchange activities.

Li Keqiang pointed out that the SCO always upholds the principle of openness, and all parties should continue to strengthen cooperation with observer states and dialogue partners and expand communication and dialogue between the SCO and the UN as well as other international and regional organizations, so as to achieve multi-win and win-win results and jointly push for lasting peace and common prosperity in the world. China is willing to, together with all parties, carry forward the “Shanghai Spirit” and drive the SCO to score substantial achievements from cooperation in all fields, so as to better benefit the people of regional countries.

Present leaders gave positive affirmation on the series of progress the SCO has achieved in development and cooperation over the year, and expressed that all countries will jointly maintain security and stability in the region, beef up regional economic cooperation and strengthen the internal dynamism of the SCO, so as to make new contributions to regional peace and development.

Li Keqiang and attending leaders of SCO member states jointly signed and issued the Joint Communiqué, and approved multiple cooperation documents and resolutions covering such fields as trade, investment, finance, customs and agriculture, including List of Measures by the SCO to Further Promote Project Cooperation 2017-2021, SCO Scientific and Technological Partnership and the Following Work on the Establishment of the SCO Development Bank and the SCO Development Fund (Special Account).

(This article is published on the official website of Chinese Foreign Ministry)

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