|Li Keqiang Attends 16th Meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of Government (Prime Ministers)|
On the afternoon of December 1, 2017 local time, Premier Li Keqiang attended the 16th meeting of the Council of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Heads of Government (Prime Ministers) at the Radisson Blu Resort and Congress Centre in Sochi. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev of Russia, Prime Minister Bakhytzhan Sagintayev of Kazakhstan, Prime Minister Sapar Isakov of Kyrgyzstan, Prime Minister Kokhir Rasulzoda of Tajikistan, Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov of Uzbekistan, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi of Pakistan and representatives of the Indian government attended the meeting.
Li Keqiang said in his speech that since the foundation of the SCO 16 years ago, all member states have been committed to the "Shanghai Spirit" of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for diverse civilization and the pursuit of common development. We have promoted cooperation in such areas as security, economy and people-to-people and cultural exchanges, established a new model of international relations based on mutual respect, fairness and justice and win-win cooperation. At the SCO Astana Summit this June, President Xi Jinping reached important consensus with all parties on consolidating solidarity and mutual trust, strengthening security cooperation, docking development strategies, deepening people-to-people and cultural exchanges and other aspects. China took over the SCO rotating presidency after the summit, and has been committed to the steady development of cooperation in all fields with the support of all parties.
In order to make joint efforts with all member states to strengthen solidarity and mutual trust, deepen practical cooperation and build a regional community with a shared future hand in hand, Li Keqiang has put forward the following proposals:
First, we should build a safe and stable regional environment. We should carry out security cooperation based on a concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. All member states should ratify and enforce the SCO Anti-Extremism Convention as soon as possible, strengthen the mechanism construction of law enforcement and security cooperation, and enhance cooperation in combating drugs and cross-border crimes.
Second, we should accelerate cooperation in the docking of development strategies. At present, cooperation between China and the SCO member states in the docking of development strategies has entered a new phase that is transformed from initiative to action and from planning to implementation. Development is an effective way to deal with regional conflicts and geopolitical instability factors. We do not want to see any regional cooperation framework become a geopolitical tool, but we are ready to work together to meet challenges and promote regional stability and prosperity while sharing development opportunities.
Third, we should improve the level of trade liberalization and facilitation. We should grasp the opportunities brought by the sound development of world economy and the recovery of global trade to build a regional big market and steadily promote trade liberalization and facilitation. We should accelerate the negotiation on the SCO Trade Facilitation Agreement, conduct a feasibility study on the SCO Free Trade Zone, support the development of cross-border e-commerce and strengthen service and trade cooperation among all member states.
Fourth, we should build a convenient connectivity pattern. We should promote the docking of transport planning and technical standard systems to improve the transport efficiency of regional logistics. We should promote the construction of regional networks of transportation, energy, information and communication. China encourages financial institutions such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Silk Road Fund and the SCO Interbank Consortium to provide more financing support for connectivity projects.
Fifth, we should push cooperation in production capacity and innovation for in-depth development. We should improve the level of investment facilitation, push forward the construction of economic and trade cooperation parks and demonstration bases for production capacity cooperation, and speed up the launching of a batch of key projects. We should strengthen multilateral cooperation in geoscience, space and other fields, encourage innovation and entrepreneurship, and strengthen cooperation in clean energy development and green economy. We should also stimulate cooperation among small-and-medium enterprises.
Sixth, we should tighten the bond for people-to-people and cultural exchanges and cooperation. We should build the SCO "family consciousness" and continue strengthening exchanges and cooperation in such areas as education, science and technology, culture, health care, environmental protection, sports, tourism, youth and locality.
Li Keqiang stressed that since the beginning of this year, the foundation of "stability" of China's economic has been cemented; the pattern of "progress" has become more obvious; and the "good" momentum has been strengthened. The Chinese economy has entered a stage of high quality development, which will provide cooperation between China and SCO countries with new opportunities and add new impetus to the common development. The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China convened not long ago has formulated a grand blueprint and a guideline for China's development in the new era. China will align its own development with that of regional countries, and integrate its security with that of regional countries to jointly build a neighboring community of shared future with the SCO countries. The path of good-neighborly and friendly relations as well as the common development we opened together will be definitely broader.
The participating leaders expressed that safeguarding regional stability and boosting economic development are in the common interests of all SCO member states. The SCO enjoys a good cooperation momentum and shares huge potential. We should remain committed to the "Shanghai Spirit", strengthen the docking of development strategies, advance connectivity and the construction of regional trade integration, deepen cooperation in such areas as energy, agriculture, finance, investment, scientific and technological innovation, digital economy and locality. We should encourage enterprises of all countries to engage in regional economic cooperation and further improve SCO's influence, so as to boost regional peace and stability and seek sustainable development and prosperity together.
Li Keqiang and leaders of SCO member states present signed and issued a joint communiqué and approved several SCO agreements and resolutions concerning cooperation in economy and trade, public finance and security.