China and its five northern neighbours on Friday established a regional cooperation mechanism, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), to jointly combat terrorism, ensure regional security in central Asia as well as to work for a multi-polar world.
Chinese president Jiang Zemin, Russian president Vladimir Putin, Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kyrgyz president Askar Akayev, Tajik president Emomali Rakhmonov and Uzbek president Islam Karimov signed the declaration of the 'Shanghai Cooperation Organisation' (SCO) at a summit in the east China metropolis, Shanghai.
The six countries will join hands to crack down on the 'three evil forces' — terrorism, separatism and extremism — which they say are threatening the territorial integrity and security of the six countries and their political, economic and social stability.
The declaration said that the organisation would try all out to safeguard the regional security and cooperate with each other in fighting against 'three evil forces.' "The SCO summit was a complete success for regional cooperation and joint crackdown on terrorism, separatism and extremism," Jiang, also the host, said, adding that it unveiled a new chapter for friendly relations between the six nations.
The SCO member states also announced to initiate an anti-terrorism centre in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
The Shanghai pact on battling terrorism, separatism and extremism will provide a legal framework for joint efforts of member countries, security and stability of the region, Chinese foreign ministry officials said.
The pact provides clear legal definition on the term of "terrorism", "separatism" and "extremism." It also stipulates the specific way and procedure of cooperation.
The six countries pledged that they will abide by the objectives and principles of the UN charter and other relevant statements and declaration previously signed by the "Shanghai Five" members.
Officials said the pact would help maintain the political stability of member countries as well as economic development and social stability. It will also help provide a favourable environment for wide-range economic cooperation.
Commenting on the establishment of the SCO, Jiang said it has far-reaching impact on ensuring regional security and pushing forward world multi-polarisation.
"The SCO's establishment conforms with the current trends of peace and development and meets basic interests of the six countries' people," Jiang told reporters.
While encouraging member states to cooperate in economy and trade, science and technology, culture, education, energy, transportation and environmental protection, the SCO aims to create a new international political and economic order featuring democracy, justness and rationality.
The signing parties of the declaration also promoted the "Shanghai Spirit", which embodies mutual trust and benefit, equality, consultation, mutual respect to different civilisations and common prosperity.
The organisation also pledged to allow other countries, which must meet its requirements, to join in.
The presidents agreed that the second summit of the SCO would be held in Russia in 2002.