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Xi Jinping Attends 17th Meeting of SCO Council of Heads of State and Delivers Important Speech, Stressing to Jointly Build a Common Home of Security, Stability, Development and Prosperity and Announcing China to Host the 2018 SCO Summit

On June 9, 2017 local time, the 17th meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was held in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan. President Xi Jinping attended the meeting with President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, President Almazbek Sharshenovich Atambayev of Kyrgyzstan, President Vladimir Putin of Russia, President Emomali Rakhmon of Tajikistan and President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan. Xi Jinping delivered an important speech at the meeting, stressing that the SCO member states should strengthen the sense of community of shared future, consolidate solidarity and coordination, jointly tackle challenges, deepen practical cooperation, enhance people-to-people and cultural bonds, uphold openness and inclusiveness, and jointly usher in a brighter future for the SCO.

At around 11:50 a.m. local time, Xi Jinping arrived at the Palace of Independence and was warmly greeted by Nursultan Nazarbayev.

The Heads of state of the SCO members firstly held a small-scale meeting, and then invited leaders of observer states, including President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan, President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus, President Tsakhia Elbegdorj of Mongolia, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif of Iran as well as representatives of relevant international and regional organizations, including UN Secretary-General António Guterres, to attend a big-scale meeting. Nursultan Nazarbayev chaired the meetings. Leaders present at the meetings analyzed the SCO's development status quo, mission and prospects, exchanged views on major international and regional issues and reached broad consensus. During the meeting, India and Pakistan were officially admitted as new member states of the SCO. The meeting decided that China will host the next meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of State in 2018, and take over the SCO rotating presidency.

Xi Jinping delivered an important speech entitled Upholding Solidarity, Coordination, Openness and Inclusiveness and Building a Common Home of Security, Stability, Development and Prosperity at the meeting.

Xi Jinping pointed out that this year marks the 15th anniversary of the signing of the SCO Charter as well as the 10th anniversary of the Treaty on Long-term Good Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation of the SCO Member States. Firmly upholding the Shanghai Spirit, the SCO member states have established an example of the new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation. China is willing to, together with all parties, strengthen the sense of community of shared future, and build a common home of security, stability, development and prosperity.

Xi Jinping offered five proposals on the development of the SCO. First, consolidate solidarity and coordination. All member states should deepen political mutual trust, increase mutual support, enhance exchanges and cooperation between legislative bodies, political parties and in the judicial fields, and build a community of shared future featuring equal treatment, mutual support, and sharing of weal and woe as well as safety and danger. The Chinese side proposes to draw up a 5-year outline for the implementation of the Treaty on Long-term Good Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation of the SCO Member States.

Second, jointly tackle challenges. China supports the implementation of the SCO Convention on Combating Extremism, advocates strengthening the building of regional counter-terrorism institutions, and proposes to hold a defense security forum and formulate a three-year program of cooperation to combat the "three forces". China calls upon all parties to support Afghanistan's peace and reconciliation process, and expects the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group to play a more active role in the cause of Afghanistan's peaceful reconstruction.

Third, deepen practical cooperation. China and relevant parties are actively advancing the integration between the "Belt and Road" construction and regional cooperation initiatives as the construction of Eurasian Economic Union and other national development strategies like the "Bright Road" of Kazakhstan. The SCO may well serve as an important platform for this endeavor. China proposes to gradually put in place institutional arrangements for regional economic cooperation, supports the establishment of a mechanism for sub-national cooperation and has actively conducted cooperation between small and medium-sized enterprises.

Fourth, enhance people-to-people and cultural bonds. China is willing to, together with all parties, continuously well operate the SCO University, and well hold the youth exchange camp and the summer camp for elementary and middle-school students. China will host such SCO activities as the cultural and art festival, and launch a "China-SCO cooperation program in human resources development". China suggests setting up a mechanism for media cooperation, and would like to host the first SCO media summit.

Fifth, uphold openness and inclusiveness. China supports the SCO in carrying out cooperation with its observer states, dialogue partners and other countries, and supports the SCO in further expanding exchanges with the UN and other international and regional organizations.

Xi Jinping stressed that China will take over the rotating presidency of the SCO and host the next summit in June 2018. China will earnestly fulfill the obligations and work with all parties to usher in an even brighter future for the SCO.

Leaders present at the meeting agreed that admitting new members will promote the SCO's development and improve its potential. All member states should, on the basis of mutual respect, win-win cooperation, non-conflict and non-confrontation, and abiding by principles of international law and in accordance with the principles of equal and indivisible security and balancing each other's interests, build a fairer and more reasonable multi-polar world pattern that conforms to the common interests of various countries and respective interests, in a bid to push forward the building of a community of shared future for mankind.

Leaders of various countries reiterated to firmly abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, strengthen mutual support on respective efforts in safeguarding national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and other core interests, and jointly make contributions to consolidating peace and maintaining global security and stability. All parties will enhance cooperation, jointly cope with security threats and challenges, and jointly combat terrorism, splittism and extremism. Leaders of various countries advocated that, on the basis of abiding by universally recognized norms and principles of international law, the only choice of solving regional conflicts is political and diplomatic means and that never allowing the maintenance of self-security at the cost of other countries' security.

Leaders of various countries welcomed the "Belt and Road" initiative, highly appraised the achievements from the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in Beijing this May, and supported the implementation of relevant consensus, so as to promote regional economic cooperation. The leaders supported the trade and investment facilitation. Regional connectivity should be enhanced, and cooperation in such areas as infrastructure construction, innovation, finance, environmental protection, science, technology, health, culture, education, sports and tourism should be reinforced.

Heads of the SCO member states signed the Astana Declaration of the SCO Heads of State, the SCO Convention on Countering Extremism, Resolution on the Completion of the Procedure of the Admission of the Republic of India into the SCO and Granting it the SCO Membership, Resolution on the Completion of the Procedure of the Admission of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan into the SCO and Granting it the SCO Membership, Resolution on the Proportion of Membership Fee of the SCO Member States Considering Granting the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Membership, Resolution on SCO Secretary-General's Report on the SCO's Work in 2016, Resolution on SCO Council of Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure's Report on Its Work in 2016, Resolution on Regulations of Representative of SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure and other documents.

The meeting issued the Statement by the SCO Heads of State on Joint Counteraction to International Terrorism and Press Communiqué of Meeting of SCO Council of Heads of State.

After the meeting, President Xi Jinping attended a banquet held by Nursultan Nazarbayev for leaders of various countries present at the meeting as well as principals of international and regional organizations.

On the same night, Xi Jinping, together with Nursultan Nazarbayev and leaders of other countries, attended the opening ceremony of Astana Expo 2017 and watched fireworks displays.

Prior to the opening ceremony, Xi Jinping and heads of all delegations present at the opening ceremony visited Kazakhstan's National Pavilion "Bright World" at the Astana Expo 2017.

Wang Huning, Li Zhanshu, Yang Jiechi and others attended above activities.

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