Work Together for a Harmonious Region of Enduring Peace and Common Prosperity
Address by H.E. Hu Jintao
President of the People’s Republic of China
At the Eighth Meeting of the Council of Heads of SCO Member States
Dushanbe, 28 August 2008
Your Excellency President Rakhmon,
It is a great pleasure to join you in the beautiful city of Dushanbe. Let me begin by thanking you, President Rakhmon, and the Government and people of Tajikistan for your gracious hospitality and thoughtful arrangements. China salutes Tajikistan for the great, effective work it has done over the past year as SCO president to strengthen the Organization.
The Beijing Olympic Games came to a successful end a few days ago. Before and during the Games, in accordance with the agreement reached at the Bishkek Summit, SCO members and observers rendered China full assistance and cooperation in Olympic security and the torch relay, thus creating favorable conditions for a successful Olympic Games. In the wake of the devastating earthquake in Wenchuan, Sichuan Province, SCO member and observer states expressed sincere sympathies and offered valuable help to the Chinese people. All this is a clear indication of our profound friendship featuring solidarity, mutual assistance and sincere cooperation. It is also a concrete example of how the Organization acts in the “Shanghai Spirit” and implements the purposes and principles of the Treaty on Long-term Good-neighborly Relations, Friendship and Cooperation. I wish to extend, on behalf of the Chinese Government and people, our heartfelt thanks for all this.
In the past seven years since its founding, the SCO has strived to maintain security and stability and promote economic development in the region. There have been notable improvements in regional political and security environment and development. Since the Bishkek Summit, the SCO has made great achievements in its own development and pragmatic cooperation and continued to move towards the goals of enhanced solidarity, closer cooperation, stronger action and greater effectiveness. Member states have rendered each other firm support when it comes to core issues of independence, sovereignty and security, and offered, without the slightest hesitation, a helping hand to those in major difficulties, thus highlighting our collective strength. Member states have consulted each other and coordinated positions on international and regional issues of shared interest in a bid to uphold our common interests. We have also worked to tap potential for cooperation in various fields such as transport, communications, disaster relief, environmental protection, customs, agriculture, science and technology, and culture. What the SCO has achieved is there for all to see.
Today's world is undergoing major transformations and adjustments. The world is increasingly multi-polar and globalized. The pursuit of peace, development and cooperation has become the call of the times. The world is stable on the whole. Nevertheless, it is not yet trouble-free. International relations are getting increasingly more complex. Local conflicts and hotspot issues surface one after another. The global economic imbalance is getting worse. Traditional and non-traditional security threats are intertwined. This region faces unabated threats such as the three forces of terrorism, separatism and extremism, drug trafficking and transnational organized crime. Uncertainties and destabilizing factors in the international political and economic environment are on the rise.
The key to solving regional problems lies in unity. Deeper regional cooperation is an effective way to tackle current threats and challenges. SCO member states need to rally together more closely to meet challenges and share development opportunities. We should implement in an all-round way the Treaty on Long-term Good-neighborly Relations, Friendship and Cooperation and commit ourselves to the long-term task of building a harmonious region of enduring peace and common prosperity. To this end, I propose the following:
First, strengthen strategic consultation and consolidate mutual political trust. We should act in accordance with the SCO Charter and the Treaty on Long-term Good-neighborly Relations, Friendship and Cooperation and step up mutual support on major issues that concern security and development of member states. We should give full play to such mechanisms as the Council of Foreign Ministers and the Council of National Coordinators and strengthen strategic consultation on major, sensitive issues that affect the security, stability and development of member states and the region. The Dushanbe Declaration released at this Summit expresses the shared views of member states on international political and economic hotspot issues. Member states should step up diplomatic consultation to coordinate positions in a timely fashion and take effective measures with regard to major issues relating to this region.
Second, enhance security cooperation and maintain regional peace. Given the fruitful security cooperation among member states for the Beijing Olympic Games, China suggests that we sum up experience and continue close security cooperation if member states host similar large international events. We may also institutionalize mature and effective measures in the Olympic security cooperation. Mechanisms such as meetings of national security council secretaries, defense ministers, supreme court chief justices and prosecutors-general prove to be important in safeguarding regional peace and stability. These mechanisms should be further improved and enhanced.
We suggest that member states deepen cooperation in jointly tracking down elements of the three forces, drug traffickers, and criminals engaged in other transnational organized crime. Member states should make joint counter-terrorism drills a regular mechanism and implement in real earnest the Agreement on Cooperation in the Fight against Illegal Circulation of Narcotics, Psychotropic Substances and Their Precursors and the Action Plan on Ensuring International Information Security.
Third, deepen economic cooperation and achieve mutual benefit. Among our member states are large economies, major grain producers, countries with big energy and resource reserves and huge consumer markets. We are in a unique position to deepen economic cooperation and fend off global economic fluctuations. Member states should make good use of the advantage, further promote trade and investment facilitation, select and implement new demonstration projects in transport, energy and communications, and strengthen financial and agricultural cooperation. China is satisfied with the successful conclusion of negotiations on the Agreement on International Road Transport Facilitation. We stand ready to demonstrate utmost sincerity in negotiating its appendices with other member states, the United Nations, the Asian Development Bank, and other international organizations and financial institutions. We hope all member states will implement the Agreement on Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Affairs and increase cooperation on customs supervision and personnel training.
At the Bishkek Summit, China announced its readiness to provide greater credit support to other member states. A number of infrastructure projects that can promote economic growth and improve people’s living standards have been initially selected. The Chinese side will continue consultations with relevant countries with a sense of responsibility to select projects for implementation and ensure loans for them. By the end of this year, China will have trained 1,500 experts and managerial personnel for other member states. Next year, we will continue human resources cooperation with member and observer states to promote their development through training programs.
Fourth, promote cultural and people-to-people cooperation and build a bridge of friendship. It is in the long-term interests of all member states and the Organization to boost cooperation in culture, education, science and technology, sports, and tourism as well as exchanges between academic circles and young people. Our region is prone to natural disasters. We should therefore step up cooperation in disaster prevention, mitigation and relief. We call on disaster rescue and relief departments of all member states to explore, as soon as possible, the possibility of an SCO center for disaster rescue and relief. Serious contagious diseases and outbreaks of epidemics are posing new threats to mankind. China supports closer cooperation among member states in epidemic prevention and treatment, cross-border medical services, public health emergency coordination, traditional medicine and personnel training.
Fifth, embrace openness and work together for regional harmony. An external relations priority for the Organization in recent years has been deepening pragmatic cooperation with the observer states. We have noted with pleasure the substantive progress the SCO has made this year in its cooperation with the observer states. We call for closer cooperation between the SCO and the observer states and full engagement of the observer states in inter-agency cooperation on security, trade, energy, transport, customs and culture. Cooperation in the transport and cultural fields may become a model for other cooperation between SCO members and observers.
China takes a very positive stance on the Regulations on the Status of the SCO Dialogue Partner to be adopted soon and welcomes efforts of relevant countries and international organizations to work with the SCO, through the platform of dialogue partnerships, for greater stability and development in the region.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up. The past three decades show that China cannot develop in isolation from the rest of the world, nor can the world enjoy prosperity and stability without China. No matter how the international landscape may evolve, the Chinese Government and people will remain committed to peaceful development and a win-win strategy of opening up. We will take a more active part in SCO affairs and work with other member states to build a harmonious region of enduring peace and common prosperity.