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Premier Urges Unity Within SCO to Mitigate Impact of Financial Crisis

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Thursday called on member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to work in concert to improve the bloc's capability in dealing with the risks brought about by the current global financial crisis.

Speaking at the 7th prime ministers' meeting of the SCO in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, Wen said the spiraling financial crisis has brought inevitable challenges and pressure for the development of SCO members.

In order to weather the crisis better, SCO members should strengthen cooperation and discuss bilateral or multilateral countermeasures by exploring existing coordination mechanisms within the bloc, especially those among various central banks or economy regulating institutions, Wen said.

The SCO prime ministers' meeting itself has sent a strong signal to the rest of the world that SCO members are determined to work together to stabilize the economy and boost confidence on the financial markets, the Chinese Premier said.

China is willing to strengthen communication and coordination with its SCO partners and take effective measures to reduce the impact of the financial crisis to a minimum, Wen said.

He said China will continue its reform and opening-up, unswervingly adhere to peaceful development, and continue to follow the principle of building friendship and partnership with neighboring countries.

China will, as it always has, overcome difficulties and share opportunities with its SCO partners in a bid to promote lasting peace and development in the region, Wen said.

Wen arrived in Astana Wednesday evening for a three-day visit to Kazakhstan after wrapping up a tour to Russia.

The SCO, founded in Shanghai in 2001, consists of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, with Pakistan, India, Iran and Mongolia as observers.

(Xinhua News Agency October 31, 2008)

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