BEIJING — A six-point proposal raised by Premier Li Keqiang will elevate practical cooperation of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), so as to benefit the region’s common development, analysts said.
Premier Li put forward the proposal while addressing the 17th meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of the SCO member states, which was held on Oct 12 in the Tajik capital city of Dushanbe. It comes about four months after the landmark SCO Qingdao summit.
The Premier proposed advancing SCO cooperation in six areas: security, multilateral economic cooperation and trade, industrial capacity cooperation, connectivity, innovation, and people-to-people ties.
“The proposal contains very concrete measures. It shows that China has a strong desire to push forward with the SCO practical cooperation,” said Li Ziguo, a researcher at the China Institute of International Studies.
Deng Hao, secretary-general of the China Center for SCO Studies, said the practical cooperation aims to achieve common development among regional countries.
“All member states yearn for development and expect the SCO to play an even bigger role. That is in line with the aspiration of the people,” Deng said.
The SCO was established in 2001 by China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, while India and Pakistan joined as full members in 2017. The eight members account for about 20 percent of the global economy and 40 percent of the world’s population.
In his speech, the Premier called on the SCO members to firmly support free trade and the rules-based multilateral trading regime, and further advance trade and investment liberalization and facilitation.
He specifically stated that China is ready to import more high-quality agricultural products from fellow SCO member states.
“This is good news, as Russia and Central Asian countries are very keen to increase farm exports to China,” said Li, the researcher.
Industrial capacity cooperation is another key area that the Premier mentioned. He said China will continue to take its advanced equipment and high-quality industrial capacity overseas and encourage leading businesses to invest in SCO countries.
According to the Premier, the stock of Chinese investment in SCO member states has reached $84.6 billion, much of which has been channeled to industrial capacity cooperation projects.
Deng said this cooperation particularly suits the needs of SCO countries for industrialization.
Premier Li said China will expand cooperation in areas such as infrastructure, processing, manufacturing, energy exploitation and agriculture with other SCO member states.
On innovation, the Premier highlighted the digital economy, smart manufacturing, bio-technologies, clean energy and meteorology as the priorities in experience-sharing and technological cooperation.
Li, the researcher, spoke highly of this emphasis on technological cooperation. He said it was commendable not only because a new industrial revolution is underway, but also because China has an edge in the digital economy and big data technologies, and therefore would like to share its knowledge.
Deng said the six-point proposal underlines an important piece of Chinese wisdom — development is the hard truth, and the areas identified by the Premier to advance cooperation are a Chinese solution to realizing SCO common development.