Xi urges SCO to expand cooperation on defense, security

Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with defense ministers from Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member countries in Beijing, capital of China, April 23, 2018. (Xinhua/Li Gang)

Chinese President Xi Jinping said Monday that China is willing to deepen pragmatic cooperation with other Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member countries in defense and security so as to contribute to long-term regional stability and prosperity.

Xi made the remarks at a group meeting with defense ministers from Russia, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and the Kyrgyz Republic chief of the general staff of armed forces.

Senior SCO officials and Indian ambassador to China attended the meeting. The defense minister of Belarus was also present as a specially invited guest.

The meeting of the SCO defense ministers is scheduled for Tuesday.

Xi hailed contributions made by SCO member countries in safeguarding regional security and stability, ranging from improving meeting mechanism among defense ministries and military leaders to conducting joint military exercises.

Xi stressed that security is the cornerstone for development. "We must take safeguarding regional security and stability as the SCO's work priority as always."

China is willing to work together with other SCO member countries to adhere to the organization charter and consensus reached by heads of state, the president said.

On the basis of mutual trust and benefit and discussing issues as equals, China will also jointly draw blueprints for defense and security cooperation and continuously innovate the cooperation model so as to create a better system for such cooperation and improve the organization's capability in shielding against threats, Xi said.

China will unwaveringly stay on the path of peaceful development, continue its efforts to safeguard world peace, contribute to global development, uphold international order, and work with other countries to promote the building of a community with a shared future for humanity, Xi said.

On behalf of SCO defense ministers, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said they admired China's achievements in development and national defense building.

The minister said that they believed the SCO will play an important role in safeguarding the strategic interests of various countries and regional and world peace and stability.

Other officials including Chinese State Councilor and Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe also attended the group meeting.

The SCO summit will be held in the coastal city of Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province in June.

Editor: liuyue
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