Chinese premier travels to Russia to attend SCO meeting

The Chinese premier Wen Jiabao, today traveled to St. Petersburg (Russia) to attend the tenth meeting of prime ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on November 8 to discuss regional and international security issues, and enhance the economic cooperation.

Founded in 2001 by China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to cooperate on security, SCO has quickly covered the economic and trade cooperation, this time on the agenda also includes the promotion of economic ties.

Wen traveled to St. Petersburg accompanied by the minister of Foreign Affairs, Yang Jiechi, minister of Commerce Chen Deming and the director of the National Development and Reform, Zhang Ping.

According to Vice Minister of Commerce, Cheng Guoping, the SCO leaders “discussed the development and cooperation of the Organization during the past year and lead a way for a new phase of collaboration.”
Cheng stressed that the SCO includes 60 percent of the Eurasian land and has already identified the potential for cooperation in the financial, transportation, energy, agriculture and technology.

China’s trade with the other five SCO members increased from 12,100 million to 90,000 million dollars in a decade, recording the largest increase in the total foreign trade, said Cheng.

The most ambitious goal of SCO is the integration for the free movement of goods, capital and technology by 2020.

The last summit for Heads of SCO States held in June in Astana (Kazakhstan) and the meeting will begin tomorrow, representatives of Mongolia, Pakistan, Iran and India will also attend as observers.

Since its inception, the SCO member states linked potential security threats to regional peace and stability with the “three evil forces of terrorism, separatism and extremism.”

They also cooperated in the fight against drug trafficking and illegal arms trade in the region, supported close contacts, made joint declarations to fight these threats and established mechanisms for regular meetings on security and stability.

Member states of the SCO joint military maneuvers to facilitate interconnection between its armed forces.

In 2004 SCO established the anti-terrorist structure, a permanent organ of the Organization with the secretariat, but with security, the leaders established economic and trade cooperation as a priority.