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Li Keqiang Attends the 19th Meeting of the Council of Heads of Government (Prime Ministers) of Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization

On the afternoon of November 30, 2020, Premier Li Keqiang attended the 19th Meeting of the Council of Heads of Government (Prime Ministers) of Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) at the Great Hall of the People. Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Kazakh Prime Minister Askar Uzakbaiuly Mamin, Tajik Prime Minister Kohir Rasulzoda, Uzbek Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov, Kyrgyz Acting Prime Minister Artem Eduardovich Novikov, Indian Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, and representatives of the Pakistani Government and observer states attended the meeting which was held via video link.

Li Keqiang said in his speech that since the onset of COVID-19, SCO members, committed to the Shanghai Spirit, have joined hands to fight against the virus and upheld regional development and stability. President Xi Jinping attended, not long ago, the SCO Heads of State Meeting. He hopes that all parties will work together to earnestly deliver the outcomes of the Meeting, steadily advance the SCO's cooperation agenda and vigorously open up new vistas for its development in the post-COVID era.

Li Keqiang introduced China's major strategic achievements in coordinating COVID-19 response and economic and social development, and put forward the following recommendations for the SCO's development in the next stage.

First, we need to actively foster a secure and stable environment for development. Joint counter-terrorism exercises and cooperation on deradicalization must continue to be carried out, in order to effectively address new challenges such as cyber-terrorism, and jointly protect data security. We support Afghanistan's national reconciliation process and help it restore stability and development at an early date.

Second, we need to earnestly cement the foundation for integrated development. We need to stay committed to openness and cooperation, and improve liberalization and facilitation of regional trade and investment. We will further synergize Belt and Road cooperation with other member states' development strategies and regional cooperation initiatives, promote high-quality connectivity in the region, build a regional network of "fast tracks" and "green lanes" to facilitate the flow of people and goods and expand farm produce trade.

Third, we need to vigorously leverage the catalytic role of scientific and technological innovation. We need to explore growth areas of the digital economy, well harness the Internet economy, promote the integrated development of the digital economy and the real economy, foster new industries and new business forms, and jointly promote high-quality economic development and green recovery.

Fourth, we need to actively pursue people-centered cooperation. We need to explore new space of cooperation in such fields as health, culture, and sports, and expedite cooperation on the research and development of vaccines and drugs. COVID-19 vaccines, when developed and deployed in China, will be made a global public good as China's contribution to ensuring vaccine accessibility and affordability.

Li Keqiang emphasized that peace and development remain the theme of our times. Openness and cooperation still represent the overwhelming trend. We need to expand two-way openness and investment, stay committed to fostering an open world economy, safeguard the smooth operation of global industrial and supply chains, follow a global governance philosophy emphasizing extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and safeguard the authority and effectiveness of the multilateral system. China is committed to the path of peaceful development and a win-win strategy of opening-up and to sharing opportunities with the rest of the world as it pursues development. Let us work together with a common purpose and forge ahead to create an even brighter future for the SCO.

All participants made positive comments on the important progress in the SCO cooperation in various fields. They believe the Organization has become a significant platform for promoting the development of member states and safeguarding regional peace and stability. In face of the challenges brought by the pandemic, all parties promise to join hands to fight against the pandemic, improve capacity building of public health among member states and cooperate on the research and development of vaccines and drugs. All parties are committed to upholding multilateralism and free trade, facilitating trade and investment and personnel exchanges, deepening joint "Belt and Road" cooperation, tapping the potential of connectivity, and promoting post-pandemic economic recovery. All parties agree to combat terrorism in all its forms, safeguard regional security and stability, increase people-to-people exchanges in such fields as youth and culture, and cement the popular support for mutually beneficial cooperation.

Li Keqiang and leaders of participating member states signed and published a Joint Communiqué, and approved a number of cooperation documents and resolutions in the fields of economy and trade of the SCO.

Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the CPPCC and Director of the National Development and Reform Commission He Lifeng attended the meeting.

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