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SCO chiefs to discuss finance and security

CHINESE President Hu Jintao arrived in Yekaterinburg, Russia, yesterday for a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and a meeting of BRIC countries, namely Brazil, Russia, India and China.

The leaders of the member states of the SCO are expected to reach a new consensus on measures to deepen political, security, economic and other cooperation at their summit in the Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg today.

Under new circumstances, there is a need to strengthen cooperation in jointly tackling new challenges and threats, consolidating peace and security, safeguarding regional stability and advancing cultural and other exchanges, said Pan Guang, director of the Center of SCO Studies at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.

In fighting terrorism and transnational organized crime, conventional challenges remain while new ones have appeared recently, Pan said. The leaders will discuss the issue in depth in a bid to expand common ground.

Li Xin, director of the Center for Russian and Central Asian Studies at the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, said the main task in security cooperation was to step up efforts to fight terrorism, separatism and extremist forces and combat drug trafficking and illegal immigration.

Meanwhile, the situation in Afghanistan should also be a concern for the SCO, Li said.

The SCO, a regional organization founded in 2001, comprises China, Russia and the Central Asian nations of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Meeting the challenges posed by the global financial crisis and working together for economic recovery and further growth will be a major topic at the summit, he said.

Li said regional economic cooperation has always been a major area of cooperation among SCO member states, as well as one of the two main propellers promoting the development of the organization.

Political and security cooperation has been viewed as the other propeller.

"Under current circumstances, strengthening economic and financial cooperation has become all the more important, so has innovation for developing new economic cooperation models," Li said.

The SCO will put forward proposals to tackle the crisis and reform the international economic system, Li said.

Pan said it was desirable to advance major economic and financial joint projects at an appropriate time and develop emergency measures to address the financial crisis.

SCO member states should also work together to tap potential in energy cooperation, promote multilateral cooperation and facilitate bilateral and multilateral trade, he said.


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