Executive Intelligence Review


China Previews Plans for SCO Summit: Putin Will Make State Visit, Guest Nations Include Iran

May 28, 2018 (EIRNS)—Chinese authorities today previewed some of the plans for the June 9-10 Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which will take place in Qingdao, Shandong province. Foreign Minister Wang Yi, at a Beijing press conference, made some observations, reported Xinhua, including that it is the first SCO summit since it was expanded a year ago to include India and Pakistan as full members; and it is the second major diplomatic event China will host in 2018, after the Boao Forum for Asia in April.

Besides the eight SCO member states (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan), there will be four observer nations (Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia), six dialogue partners (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey, and Sri Lanka), plus heads of various international organizations.

President Xi Jinping will chair the event. The plan is for a “Qingdao Declaration” to be issued after the summit, which will reprise the SCO development experience of the organization since its founding in 2001. Wang spoke of intentions for the summit to formulate new designs for enhanced development.

Wang pointed up the significance of the event, and the historical context. He said that the province of Shandong is the home of Confucius and Mencius, so it is one of the birthplaces of civilization. Today,

“The Qingdao summit will lay out new plans to enhance the synergy of development strategies of member states, especially promoting the construction of the Belt and Road to lift regional economic cooperation.”

There will be three state visits on the occasion of the summit by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov, and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will have a working visit, whose agenda is to include how to ensure mutual China-Iran projects are not disrupted, in the face of the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear agreement, to which China was one of the six signers.

China’s Assistant Foreign Minister Zhang Hanhui today spoke about Putin’s visit at a press briefing. “Russian President Vladimir Putin’s upcoming visit to China will become his first state visit after his re-election. It will also be the first meeting of the two state leaders this year. So, this state visit will become an important event for bilateral relations in the first half of the year,” he said, reported TASS.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold discussions and a joint press conference, Zhang said. “There will be numerous other bright moments as well. So, the two state leaders will take part in cultural events to share their opinions more substantially in a free and friendly atmosphere.”

Zhang said,

“The sides will sign important political documents in order to sum up and map out new plans in the sphere of bilateral relations, determine areas of priority and goals of cooperation at the current and new stages. ... Putin’s upcoming visit will demonstrate a special character and a high level of Russian-Chinese relations.”