A report by the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post said forging closer economic ties was China’s main focus at the 14th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) prime ministers’ meeting on Dec 14.
The paper reported that an agreement was signed between China’s Silk Road Fund and Kazakhstan’s export and investment agency at the meeting in Zhengzhou, Central China’s Henan province. Under the agreement, the fund will set aside $2 billion for industrial capacity cooperation projects between the two countries.
According to the report, Premier Li Keqiang said he is “actively seeking closer cooperation” with countries along the route of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, with the goal of countering economic downturn risks.
The paper quoted senior researcher Li Dong, of the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, saying, “we need to stand together to tide over difficulties, such as the impact of recession in Russia.”
He said that one of the meeting’s focuses was to integrate the Belt and Road Initiative of China with the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) initiated by Russia. The EEU member states are mainly located in northern Eurasia.
The meeting will be pragmatic and more efforts are expected to be devoted to discussing how to develop economy among member states, Li Dong said.
The report also said that another main focus of the meeting is fighting terrorism.
China’s Ambassador to Russia, Li Hui, reiterated that China has zero tolerance toward terrorism, the report said.
According to Xinhua, China would collaborate with Russia to step up its crackdown on cyber and cross-border crimes and tighten its control on drugs.
After the Belt and Road Initiative and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank was launched, the idea of international industrial capacity cooperation was put forward by Premier Li a year ago with an aim to strengthen China’s presence in the global market.
Finally, the report also said the Premier saw progress in such cooperation on Dec 14 as the projects were announced with Kazakhstan.