|The Official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Gives a Briefing on President Hu Jintao's Attendance of the SCO Summit in Bishkek, His Inspection of the SCO Member States Joint Anti-Terrorism Military Exercise in Russia and His State Visits to Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan|
On August 9, 2007, Assistant Foreign Minister Li Hui held a briefing for Chinese and foreign journalists, introducing the background related to President Hu Jintao's upcoming state visit to Kyrgyzstan, his attendance of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit in Bishkek, his visit to Russia to watch the SCO member states joint anti-terrorism military exercise, and his state visit to Kazakhstan. Liu Jianchao, Director General of the Information Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, hosted the briefing.
Li said that against the background that the regional and international situation is experiencing profound and complex changes and new and positive progress was made with the development of the SCO, President Hu Jintao's visits are conducive to deepening the pragmatic cooperation among the SCO member states in various areas and fuelling the long-term and stable growth of the Organization. President Hu's visits will be of great significance to strengthening the strategic coordination between China and Russia, deepening the good-neighborly and friendly relations between China and Kyrgyzstan, consolidating the strategic partnership between China and Kazakhstan, enhancing the friendly and cooperative relations between China and the SCO member states and observers, safeguarding regional and international security and peace, and building a harmonious region. His visits are one of China's major diplomatic activities this year.
Talking of President Hu's attendance of the SCO Summit in Bishkek, Li said that the Summit is another important summit with historic significance in the history of the SCO, which can be reflected by the following factors.
First, the summit will be a large-scale event. According to the information we collected, besides the heads of state of the six SCO member states, Mongolia's President Enkhbayar, Iran's President Ahmadinejad, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Kasuri, India's Minister of External Affairs Mukherjee, which are the observers of the SCO, Afghanistan's President Karzai, Turkmenistan's President Berdymukhammedov, and UN Undersecretary-General Pascoe, will be invited to attend the summit as the guests of the chair country.
Second, the summit will be a productive event. The heads of state of the six SCO member states will sign a number of important documents, including a treaty of long-term good-neighborliness and friendly cooperation among the SCO member states, Bishkek Declaration, and an action plan of the SCO member states for ensuring international information security, and issue a joint communiqué. The member states will also sign a series of documents concerning cooperation in economy and culture. The treaty will be an important political and legal guideline document standardizing the relations among the member states. It will fix the thinking of "maintaining friendship for generations and safeguarding lasting peace" in a legal form, bearing major significance to enhancing mutual trust and mutually beneficial cooperation among and between the member states and building a harmonious region.
Third, the summit is an event with profound significance. During the summit, the heads of state will review the progress made since the establishment of the SCO, make new plans for cooperation in such areas as security, economy, and culture and as well as for external exchanges of the Organization, and exchange views on major regional and international issues. This is not only conducive to the sustained and healthy growth of the Organization and but also beneficial to the healthy development of regional situation. The member states will continue to implement the consensus reached at the Shanghai Summit and make unremitting efforts for the fulfillment of the purposes and tasks of the SCO.
With respect to the SCO member states joint anti-terrorism military exercise, Li said that the military exercise is a multilateral anti-terrorism military exercise attended by all the member states. At present, the security situation in the region is increasingly complex, the ""three forces" activities are getting increasingly rampant, seriously jeopardizing the security and stability of the member states. The six member states wish to extend exchanges and deepen cooperation in the field of defense and security through such military exercise, improve the ability of the armed forces of the member states to jointly combat terrorism, and play a positive role in safeguarding the peace, security and stability of the region. The military exercise is not targeted at any other country or organization and it is line with the SCO's purposes of non-alignment, non-confrontation, and non-targeting at any third party.
With regard to President Hu's visit to Kyrgyzstan, Li said that this is the first state visit by President Hu to Kyrgyzstan, which coincides with the 15th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Kyrgyzstan and the 5th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation between China and Kyrgyzstan and bears historic significance to promoting the all-round growth of China-Kyrgyzstan relationship. It is believed that the visit will fulfill the goal of enhancing mutual political trust, propelling pragmatic cooperation, deepening security coordination and expanding cultural exchanges.
Li said that in recent years, China-Kyrgyzstan relations have maintained a pleasing momentum of growth. Kyrgyz President Bakiyev paid a successful visit to China last year, indicating that bilateral ties have entered a new stage of development. The bilateral trading volume between China and Kyrgyzstan amounted to USD 2.26 billion last year, a year-on-year increase of 128.6%. The trading volume from January to June this year reached USD 1.14 billion, an increase of 73.5% over the same period last year. Kyrgyzstan has become China's second largest trading partner in Central Asia. The bilateral cooperation in a wide range of areas including economy, trade, transport, agriculture, education, culture and sports is expanding. The local and people-to-people exchanges are on the rise. The two countries have achieved fruitful results in the joint fight against the "three forces".
During his visit to Kyrgyzstan, President Hu will meet with President Bakiyev and other Kyrgyz leaders. The two sides will sign a number of documents regarding the cooperation in politics, economy, trade, agriculture, education and other areas.
Speaking of President Hu's visit to Kazakhstan, Li said that this is a return visit to President Nazarbayev's visit to China. It coincides with the 15th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Kazakhstan and bears major significance to upgrading the level of strategic partnership, enhancing mutual political trust, deepening cooperation in various areas, consolidating and enriching physical foundation for bilateral ties, and ensuring the rapid and healthy growth of bilateral ties. It will further strengthen the coordination and communications between China and Kazakhstan on regional and international issues, therefore conducive to safeguarding and promoting regional and global peace and stability.
Li said that China-Kazakhstan relations have been growing rapidly in recent years. The two countries have established strategic partnership and firmly supported each other on a series of major issues involving sovereignty and security. Tremendous achievements were made with the cooperation in various areas including economy, trade, energy, transport, and culture. The trading volume is increasing robustly. The bilateral trading volume between China and Kazakhstan amounted to USD 8,358 million last year, a year-on-year increase of 22.8%. The trading volume from January to June this year has reached USD 5.97 billion, an increase of 60.4% over the same period last year. Some large-scale cooperation projects, such as China-Kazakhstan oil pipeline and Horgas International Border Cooperation Center, have been successfully implemented. The bilateral cooperation in the fight against the "three forces" is moving deeper. China and Kazakhstan have maintained sound coordination within multilateral frameworks such as the United Nations, the SCO and the CICA Forum and played a positive role in safeguarding regional peace and stability.
During his visit to Kazakhstan, President Hu will meet with President Nazarbayev and other Kazakh leaders. Both sides will sign a number of documents concerning the cooperation in politics, economy, trade, and other areas. It is believed that this visit will inject new vitality to the strategic partnership between China and Kazakhstan.
Li said that during the joint military exercise and the Summit, President Hu Jintao will meet with Vladimir Putin twice. They will exchange views on bilateral ties and regional and international issues of mutual interest. China-Russia strategic partnership of coordination will embrace a new 10-year period this year, therefore being in a critical stage of connecting the past and the future.
It is the hope of both sides to deepen mutual political trust, improve the effectiveness of strategic coordination between China and Russia, and ensure the long-term, healthy and stable growth of such strategic partnership of coordination through the meetings between the two heads of state. Both sides will strive to make the "Year of China" event a success and ensure that tangible results will be achieved with the event. Both sides will strive to explore new ways and means for the friendly and mutually-beneficial cooperation between the two countries in a bid to push forward pragmatic cooperation. Both sides will strive to promote the cooperation in economy, trade, energy, investment, science, technology, environmental protection, culture and other areas and the exchanges between the locals in a bid to strengthen strategic coordination. Both sides will also strengthen communications and coordination on major regional and international issues.
After the briefing, Li answered the questions raised by the journalists.