SCO Beijing Summit To Set Tone For Next Decade
Xinhua News Agency
June 6, 2012
SCO Beijing Summit to set tone for new decade
By Wu Liming
BEIJING: The 12th summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), to be held here Wednesday and Thursday, is expected to set the tone for the development of the six-member bloc over the next decade.
Clearly, the founding of the SCO in June 2001 was a major international event that has reshaped the global strategic landscape and reshifted the balance of power.
This year marks the beginning of the second decade for the development of the SCO, so the Beijing summit will take on the historic task of mapping out a new blueprint for the increasingly important global players.
The Beijing summit will further identify the direction of the SCO’s development and major tasks for the next decade and will adopt the Strategic Plan for the Medium-Term Development of the SCO.
“It is no exaggeration to say the adoption of this document will have far-reaching influence on the SCO’s development,” Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping said.
Security and economic cooperation are the two key fields within the SCO.
Over the past decade, the SCO has scored remarkable achievements in security cooperation, such as jointly fighting terrorists, separatists, drug and arms traffickers, and staging joint anti-terrorism military exercises. The efforts have helped ensure peace and stability in the region.
It is reported that the Beijing summit will adopt the amendments to the SCO Regulations on Political and Diplomatic Measures and Mechanism of Response to Events Jeopardizing Regional Peace, Security and Stability. The move will considerably boost the SCO’s ability to prevent and tackle emergencies.
As regards the economy, the SCO has established an effective platform for deepening cooperation, which has led to a rapid increase in trade volume among the SCO members. A case in point: China’s annual trade with the rest of the SCO members grew from 12.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2001 to around 90 billion dollars in 2011.
Comparatively speaking, economic cooperation has lagged behind security cooperation within the SCO. It is expected that China, the host of the Beijing summit, will present further proposals to boost economic cooperation within the SCO.
Also, the summit will try to reach consensus on establishing multilateral financing guarantee mechanisms and speeding up transportation facilitation.
Expansion will be another issue at the Beijing summit. As more and more countries are expressing interest in joining the intergovernmental bloc, the summit is set to deliberate observer status and dialogue partnership for certain countries.
Numerous scholars suggest that the SCO should be cautious about granting membership, as any hasty decision in that regard could undermine the bloc’s capability given the sharp economic and historical differences between the individual countries.
All in all, it is widely believed that the Beijing summit will be a milestone in the SCO’ history, and is sure to give new impetus to the development of the six-member bloc.
June 6, 2012
Kyrgyzstan proposes creation of SCO Development Bank – Atambayev
BEIJING: Kyrgyzstan intends to propose more intensive discussion of the issue of creation of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Development Bank at the SCO summit opening on Wednesday.
“We in SCO propose to emphasize the economics, the creation of the SCO Development Bank, an open credit account. It’s important to us,” Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev said in Beijing on Wednesday.
Kyrgyzstan needs funding for development, he said. “We need to get on our feet as quickly as possible using the organizations and the assistance provided,” Atambayev said.
Atambayev said he is not scheduled to have bilateral meetings with the heads of the SCO countries at the SCO summit opening in Beijing on Wednesday, but is expected to have a bilateral meeting with the president of Iran, which will take place at the request of the Iranian leader.
SCO comprises Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
June 6, 2012
Syria intervention would make matters worse – Putin, Hu
In a statement issued after their Beijing summit held on Tuesday and Wednesday, Presidents Vladimir Putin and Hu Jintao said that any outside military intervention aimed at bringing about a regime change in Syria would destroy peace in the Middle East and must therefore be opposed. They argued that the Syrian crisis must be resolved peacefully through a political dialogue.
The two leaders also pledged their continued support of the Syria mission led by international mediator Kofi Annan.
They said their countries would continue to block motions at the UN Security Council to oust legitimate governments anywhere in the world.
June 6, 2012
Russia and China join forces to implement Syria peace plan
Moscow: Russia and China have joined forces to implement the UN-Arab League Special Envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan for Syria.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is visiting Beijing and has said that “We have confirmed that we will coordinate efforts for Syria.” The minister attended a number of meetings and also added, “the main objective is to implement Annan’s peace plan and the UN Security Council’s resolution.”
June 6, 2012
Russia and China pull together to counter US Asia drive
President Vladimir Putin has said Russia will cement its military alliance with China, including an increase in joint exercises in the Asia-Pacific.
The move follows a US pledge to step up its naval presence in Asia in a bid to extend its influence.
“Recently joint navy exercises were held in the Yellow Sea, and they were the first of such exercises. We have agreed with Chairman Hu that we will continue such cooperation,” Putin said following a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao in Beijing.
The Russian leader said that security in the Asia-Pacific region was a top priority for both countries and they will work together to further develop ties.
“We favor the formation of an open and equal-minded security and cooperation architecture in the region, based on the principles of international law,” Putin said.
Russian and Chinese naval forces recently held six days of military drills in the Yellow Sea. The first drills of their kind, they included anti-submarine exercises and hijacked vessel rescue operations.
Russia deployed four warships from its Pacific fleet for the drills with 16 Chinese ships and two submarines.
The strengthening of Sino-Russian relations also serves to counterbalance US influence in Asia.
US defense minister Leon Panetta announced on Saturday that the US plans to step up its naval presence in the Pacific as part of the so-called “Asia re-balancing” initiative.
Panetta has also announced that the US intends to cement military ties with India.
The American government plans to maneuver 60 per cent of its battleships into the Asia-Pacific region by 2020. It currently has around 50 per cent of its fleet stationed there.
China views an increased US military presence in the Asia-Pacific as a challenge to its own sovereignty and an attempt by America to curtail the country’s rise.
“China is Russia’s strategic partner. We enjoy mutually beneficial, mutually trusting, open cooperation in all fields,” said Putin.
Xinhua News Agency
June 6, 2012
China, Russia agree to enhance strategic partnership
• China and Russia have agreed to enhance their comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination.
• The statement was released during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s three-day state visit to China.
• China and Russia pledged to respect each other’s interests and rights of choosing own social systems.
BEIJING: China and Russia have agreed to enhance their comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, according to a joint statement issued Wednesday.
The statement was released during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s three-day state visit to China, where he will also attend the 12th Meeting of the Council of Heads of Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization being held in Beijing on Wednesday and Thursday.
Besides his talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao, Putin also met with other Chinese leaders, including Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress; Premier Wen Jiabao; Vice President Xi Jinping and Vice Premier Li Keqiang.
“The two sides will continue their commitment to enhancing the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination characterized by equality and trust, mutual support, common prosperity and long-lasting friendship,” said the statement.
In the document, China and Russia pledged to respect each other’s interests as well as rights of choosing their own social systems and development paths.
The two sides will firmly adhere to the principles of non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, mutual support for each other’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, security and other issues of core interests, win-win reciprocity and non-confrontation, according to the statement.
It continued by saying that the nations have agreed to continue their close high-level interactions, enhance communication and coordination on regional and global issues and deepen pragmatic cooperation in various areas.
They are to make joint efforts to hit their target of bilateral trade reaching 100 billion U.S. dollars in 2015 and 200 billion dollars in 2020. In 2011, bilateral trade volume reached 80 billion U.S. dollars, a record high showing a 42.7-percent year-on-year rise.
According to the statement, China and Russia will boost their cooperation in investment, energy resources, high technology, the aviation and space industry, trans-border infrastructures and other areas.
They will also focus on strategic and large-scale projects and expand cooperation at local levels and enterprise-to-enterprise exchanges.
The two sides will also further enhance bilateral military ties and boost cooperation on security and law enforcement as well as advance cultural and people-to-people exchanges.
Xinhua News Agency
June 6, 2012
China’s Xi meets Putin, underlines strategic cooperation against global change
BEIJING: Vice President Xi Jinping underlined the necessity for China and Russia to strengthen their strategic cooperation while meeting with visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin in Beijing on Wednesday.
Xi said it is necessary to safeguard the two neighbors’ common interests against the backdrop of a world that has witnessed unprecedented and profound changes.
Putin said he is in full agreement with Xi’s view on Russia-China relations. Russia and China should further strengthen pragmatic cooperation in various sectors that reflect the strategic level of Russia-China relations, he said.
Russia highly values its relations with China and is confident about the development of Russia-China relations, said Putin, who kicked off his three-day China visit on Tuesday, his first to Asia since starting his third term last month.
Putin is scheduled to attend the 12th Meeting of the Council of Heads of Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization running from Wednesday to Thursday in Beijing.
On Tuesday, Putin and his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao held two-hour-long talks, during which they agreed on boosting the comprehensive partnership of strategic coordination between the two countries and reaffirmed the commitment to safeguarding world peace, security and stability.
China is willing to work with Russia to complete the new tasks set forward by the heads of states of both countries, and consolidate the basis of Sino-Russia relations and improve bilateral relations, Xi noted.
As two important emerging economies, both China and Russia have emphasized economic development as a priority, he said.
Both countries are undergoing economic restructuring and committed to innovation-driven development and opening up, which provide important new opportunities for the two countries to carry out pragmatic cooperation, Xi said.
Xi congratulated Putin on his victory in the Russian presidential election. Putin’s visit, about a month after his inauguration, shows the importance both Russia and the Russian president attach to Sino-Russia relations, Xi said.
Xi said high-level exchanges have been a trait of Sino-Russia relations, which have demonstrated mutual political trust between the two countries and served to guarantee the advancement of bilateral relations and cooperation in various sectors.
It is hoped that both countries would make use of their respective advantages to strengthen pragmatic cooperation so as to bring their economic interests more closely together, Xi said.
June 6, 2012
Putin touts technological alliance with China
“I believe we should aim for a true technological alliance of both countries. We should create production and innovative chains that will link our scientific and design bureaus, and engineering centers, and tap the markets of other countries,” Putin wrote in article published in the Chinese newspaper People’s Daily ahead of his visit today to China and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Beijing.
Russia intends to actively promote large-scale joint projects with China in aircraft building, aerospace, and other high-tech industries, as well as to develop technology parks, industrial clusters, and special economic zones on the territories of both countries.
He also announced the goal of increasing bilateral trade to $100bn by 2015 and $200bn by 2020 from $83.5bn in 2011, adding that the current trend suggests that this target could be reached earlier.
The quality of bilateral trade should be enhanced by raising the share of value-added products in it. “There are objective prerequisites for this, since national markets of both countries have huge capacities, demand for modern goods and services is on the rise, while our countries hold strong positions in education, science, and technologies,” the president pointed out.
He also called for up-to-date financial infrastructure for bilateral business relations and transition to bilateral payments in national currencies in order to stave off currency risks and boost the ruble and the yuan.