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Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Houston

Declaration of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (6/15/2001)

Presidents of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People's Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan signed Friday the Declaration of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

The presidents highly appraised the active role played by the " Shanghai Five" in stimulating and deepening mutual trust, good- neighborly and friendly relations among the member states, strengthening regional security and stability, and promoting common development in its five years of history, the Declaration said.

The presidents held the same view that the establishment and development of the "Shanghai Five" had conformed to the historic trend for peace and development in the human society after the Cold War and displayed the great potential of good-neighborly co- existence, unity and cooperation, through mutual respect and trust, among countries with different civilization backgrounds and traditional cultures, the Declaration said.

The presidents specially pointed out that the Treaty on Deepening Military Trust in Border Regions in 1996 in Shanghai and the Treaty on Reduction of Military Forces in Border Regions in 1997 in Moscow signed by the heads of states of Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan, as well as the summary documents of the 1998 Alma-ata Summit, the 1999 Bishkek Summit and the 2000 Dushanbe Summit, have made significant contribution to regional and world peace, security and stability, greatly enriched the modern diplomatic and regional cooperation practice, and exerted an extensive and positive influence in the international community, the Declaration said.

Against the backdrop of political multi-polarization, and economic and information globalization in the 21st century, the presidents firmly believed that to transform the "Shanghai Five" mechanism into a higher level of cooperation will help member states to share opportunities and deal with new challenges and threats more effectively, according to the Declaration.

Therefore, they announced the establishment of the SCO, which aims at strengthening mutual trust and good-neighborly and friendly relations among member states, encouraging their further effective cooperation in politics, economy, science and technology, culture, education, energy, transportation, environmental protection and other fields, jointly ensuring regional peace, security and stability, and creating a new international political and economic order featuring democracy, justness and rationality, according to the Declaration.

The SCO plans to organize annual formal meeting of heads of states of member states and regular meetings of heads of governments to be hosted by its members in turn. In order to extend and strengthen cooperation in various fields, the SCO is considering, besides the existing meeting mechanism among officials of corresponding departments, to set up necessary new meeting mechanisms and establish permanent or temporary expert groups to study plans and proposals for further cooperation, the Declaration said.

The "Shanghai Spirit", featuring mutual trust and benefit, equality, consultation, mutual respect to different civilizations and common prosperity, which was developed in the course of the " Shanghai Five", is a treasure accumulated through the member states' cooperation in recent years. This spirit should be carried forward and developed into the principle for bilateral and multilateral relations of the SCO countries in the 21st century, the Declaration said.

All the SCO member states should strictly abide by the principle of the Charter of the United Nations, respect each other's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, not to interfere in each other's internal affairs, not to use force or threat to use force, achieve equality and mutual benefit, solve all issues through consultations, never to try to gain military superiority over neighboring countries, according to the Declaration.

On the basis of the Treaty on Deepening Military Trust in Border Regions in 1996 in Shanghai and the Treaty on Reduction of Military Forces in Border Regions in 1997 in Moscow, the SCO plans to expand cooperation among the member states in political, economic and trade, cultural, scientific and technological and other fields. The principles embodied in the above two treaties determine the basis of the relationship among the SCO member states, the Declaration said.

In pursuit of the principle of non-alignment, not targeting to the third country or region, and opening to the outside world, the SCO is willing to carry out various dialogues, exchanges and cooperation with any other country and other international or regional organizations, the Declaration said.

On the basis of unanimous agreement through consultation among the existing member states, the SCO is also willing to accept new member which agrees with the organization's aim, tasks, principle and other provisions, the Declaration said.

The SCO attaches special importance to make every effort to ensure regional security. All member states will closely cooperate with each other in implementing the Shanghai treaty on the crackdown on terrorism, separatism and extremism, including to establish the SCO anti-terrorism center in Bishkek of Kyrgyzstan. In addition, the member states will work out corresponding documents of multinational cooperation in a bid to curb illegal arms smuggling, drug trafficking, illegal migration and other criminal activities, according to the Declaration.

Making use of the great potential and extensive opportunities in trade and economic cooperation among the member states, the SCO will promote the further development of bilateral and multilateral cooperation between and among member states and the pluralism of cooperation. Within the SCO framework, the SCO will start the negotiation procedure of trade and investment facilitation, according to the Declaration.

The SCO member states will strengthen their consultation and coordination in regional and international affairs, support and cooperate with each other in major international and regional issues and promote and consolidate regional and world peace and stability, the Declaration said.

To maintain global strategic balance and stability under the international circumstances at present is of special significance, the Declaration said.

The SCO has approved to set up the Council of Coordinators of Member States to coordinate cooperation among the member states. The activities of the council are standardized by the Interim Rules of Procedure for the Council of Coordinators of SCO Member States approved by the foreign ministers of the member states, the Declaration said.

The council is ordered to draft the SCO charter on the basis of this Declaration and other documents signed by the heads of states of the "Shanghai Five" countries. The charter, which is expected to be signed by heads of the states of member states during the 2002 SCO summit, will expound the principle, purpose and tasks of the SCO future cooperation, the principle and procedure for accepting new members, the legal effect of the organization's decisions, and means of cooperation between the SCO and other international organizations, the Declaration said.

Summing up the past and looking forward to the future, the presidents believe that the establishment of the SCO marks a new development stage for cooperation among all the member states, which conforms to the trend of the times, the reality of the region and the fundamental interests of the people of all the member states, the Declaration said.

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