SOCHI, Russia — With Sochi bathed in the warm rays of sunset, Premier Li Keqiang, along with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev, visited the Olympic stadium area located on the outskirts of the coastal city, wrapping up his productive and fruitful trip in Russia.
During the visit on Dec 1, Premier Li spoke highly of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, saying that China is willing to learn the best practices and experiences from the Sochi Olympic Games and spare no effort to stage a great festival of sports in the winter of 2022.
Besides cooperation in sports and cultural industries, China and Russia also share great potential in other fields, Premier Li said, vowing to firmly promote ties and consolidate the friendship between the two neighbors.
China and Russia should continue to promote cooperation in major strategic projects, further expand cooperation in science, technology and innovation, and tap cooperation potential between the two countries’ small and medium-sized enterprises and at local areas, Premier Li told Medvedev in a meeting held on the afternoon of Dec 1.
Sochi was the second leg of Premier Li’s trip in Russia. Before heading to the resort city, Premier Li met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.
During the meeting between Premier Li and Putin, the two sides agreed to enhance all-around cooperation for steady progress and strengthen communication and coordination on regional and international affairs, in order to better promote growth and maintain stability in the region.
Noting that the development of economic ties has scored stable progress, Premier Li said the two countries should push forward cooperation in traditional fields as well as achieve cooperation in emerging industries.
The Premier arrived in Sochi on Nov 30 for the 16th meeting of the Council of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Heads of Government (Prime Ministers). On the sidelines of the event, Premier Li met with government leaders and representatives from SCO member states and observer countries, reaching various consensuses in bilateral ties and cooperation.
While meeting with Kazakh Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev, Premier Li said China hopes that the two sides will work jointly to implement their consensuses and review related achievements and experience, to promote their pragmatic cooperation, especially on production capacity.
Premier Li called on the Kazakh side to ease travel between the two countries to facilitate cooperation among enterprises of the two countries.
For China-Pakistan cooperation, Premier Li and his Pakistani counterpart Shahid Khaqan Abbasi promised more efforts to build the cross-border economic corridor and explore building a free trade zone with Pakistan to promote balanced trade between the two sides.
China would like to continue collaboration with Pakistan in security and defense affairs, and make contributions to regional peace and stability, Premier Li said.
During talks with Belarusian Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov, Premier Li expressed the hope that the two countries will seek greater synergy between their development strategies and give full play to their complementary advantages.
Premier Li also called on both sides to cement cooperation on infrastructure construction and production capacity, and jointly explore new financing methods, with the construction of China-Belarus Industrial Park as a key project.
SCO ECONOMIC TIES STRENGTHENED
Concluded on the afternoon of Dec 1, the prime ministers’ meeting approved a joint communique, promising to enhance cooperation and coordination among SCO members to battle economic challenges.
The meeting was the first of its kind after a membership expansion in June to include India and Pakistan. The SCO now has China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan as its full members.
According to the communique, the leaders pledged to actively carry out the agreement reached during the 17th meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO, which was held in June in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan.
The world’s economic prospects could face adverse impact imposed by global terrorism, regional conflicts and natural disasters. In order to attain robust, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth, it is important to carry out equality-based cooperation, the communique said.
Facing the unstable financial and raw materials markets, fluctuating foreign exchange rates and rising protectionism, SCO members need to take coordinated actions and improve the international monetary and financial system, according to the communique.
The members advocated an open, inclusive, transparent, nondiscriminatory and rule-based multilateral trading system and called on the countries to prevent fragmentation of international trade relations and to resist trade protectionism.
They also expressed support for China’s rotating presidency for 2017 to 2018. The communique called on the member countries to actively tap new potential from the accession of India and Pakistan into the organization.
CLOSER COOPERATION IN SECURITY
The SCO communique emphasized stepping up cooperation in the fight against “three evil forces,” namely terrorism, extremism and separatism, in the current international and regional situation.
They agreed to support the efforts of Afghanistan in improving the domestic situation via political consultations and dialogue to restore peace, stability and prosperity in the country.
While addressing the SCO leaders, Premier Li urged the member countries to approve an anti-extremism treaty at an early date to better safeguard security and peace in the region.
The SCO Convention on Countering Extremism was signed by eight member countries during June’s Astana summit in Kazakhstan, and it needs to be approved by all of its member countries to become effective.
“We call on fellow SCO members to expedite domestic procedures for the early ratification of the Convention,” Premier Li said.
Premier Li urged member states to step up institution building on security and law enforcement cooperation, deepen cooperation on intelligence sharing, training and security for major events, and work together to prevent terrorist flow-back.
He also suggested establishing a regional center to address security challenges and threats, and to augment cooperation in drug control and fighting cross-border crimes.