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Wang Yi Attends the Meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

2019-05-22

On May 22, 2019, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan.

Wang Yi expressed that since the SCO Qingdao Summit last year, the SCO member states have deeply implemented the outcomes of the summit, actively tapped into cooperation potential, and made steady progress in cooperation in all fields. The current international situation is full of uncertainties and instabilities with rampant unilateralism, rising protectionism, resurrection of Cold War mentality and bullying practices severely challenging the existing international system and norms governing international relations. The SCO is a vital and constructive force of the international community. In the face of changes in today's world, the SCO member states need to work together to give full play to the positive role of the SCO, provide more assistance for regional countries in achieving security, stability, development and revitalization, and make greater contributions to building a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind for the international community.

Wang Yi put forward the following suggestions on deepening the SCO cooperation in the next stage:

First, we need to strengthen solidarity and mutual trust, and increase mutual support. All parties need to continue to vigorously carry forward the "Shanghai Spirit", maintain the overall situation of the SCO's friendly cooperation, firmly support each other's efforts to safeguard core interests, firmly support various countries in following the development paths in line with their national conditions, and jointly resist interference and destruction by external forces.

Second, we need to deepen security cooperation and build strong security barriers. All parties need to implement solidly the cooperation outline on combating the "three forces" of terrorism, separatism and extremism, prevent the inflow of militants of the Islamic States, intensify the fight against violent and terrorist forces including the "Eastern Turkistan", and implement the SCO Convention on Combating Extremism. The Chinese side is willing to share its useful experience in taking preventive counter-terrorism and de-radicalization measures in its Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

Third, we need to expand practical cooperation and shore up areas of weakness in development. All parties need to actively implement the outcomes of the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF), deepen the synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and regional cooperation initiatives and development strategies of various countries, accelerate negotiations on agreements to facilitate trade, launch feasibility studies on the SCO free trade zone at an early date, and take concrete actions to safeguard free trade and the multilateral trading system. We must implement the Intergovernmental Agreement on Facilitation of International Road Transport for the member states, constantly improve the level of regional connectivity and continue to explore possible ways to establish the SCO development bank.

Fourth, we need to strengthen exchanges and mutual learning and improve people-to-people bonds. All parties should continue to deepen cooperation in fields including education, culture, science and technology, environmental protection, health and sports, and strengthen friendly exchanges between journalists, women, young people, think tanks and other people from all walks of life to consolidate the social and public opinion foundation of the SCO cooperation.

Fifth, we need to show international commitment and expand the influence of the SCO. All parties need to hold high the banner of multilateralism, firmly uphold the international system with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations at the core, and contribute the SCO strength to promoting the democratization of global governance rules. We should utter a unanimous voice on major international and regional issues, firmly safeguard international fairness and justice, defend the security and development interests of member states, and resolutely oppose any form of unilateralism and trade protectionism.

Wang Yi said that the Bishkek Summit will be held soon. We will take the meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the SCO as an opportunity to make comprehensive political preparations for the summit and ensure the success of the summit. The Chinese side is willing to work with all parties to push the SCO cooperation in all fields for continuous and new progress, in a bid to better benefit the people of various countries in the region.

During the meeting, the foreign ministers of other member states fully acknowledged the SCO's important role in maintaining regional peace and stability and boosting common development in their speeches, and agreed to actively implement the outcomes of the second BRF and accelerate the synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and regional cooperation initiatives and development strategies of various countries. All countries emphasized their opposition to unilateralism and protectionism, and their commitment to safeguarding international order based on international law. All foreign ministers also elaborated on their stance on deepening the SCO cooperation and promoting the organization to play a greater role in international affairs under the new circumstances. The foreign ministers of various countries signed relevant preparatory documents for the upcoming Bishkek Summit. The meeting also adopted and issued a press communiqué.

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