China is ready to expand defense cooperation with other Shanghai Cooperation Organization member countries to boost their ability to handle threats and contribute to long-term regional stability and prosperity, President Xi Jinping said.
Xi made the remark at a group meeting on Monday with defense ministers of Russia, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and the chief of the general staff of the armed forces of Kyrgyzstan.
Xi hailed SCO members' military cooperation. He said security is the cornerstone of development and safeguarding regional security and stability should always be the SCO's priority mission.
China is ready to work with other SCO members to draw blueprints for defense and security cooperation, innovate ways to cooperate and improve the security cooperation framework, Xi said.
A cooperation plan outlining the combined fight against the "three evil forces" of terrorism, separatism and extremism received support from the foreign ministers of all the eight SCO countries on Tuesday.
The security plan will be submitted to the SCO Qingdao Summit in June for approval, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said when briefing reporters about the results of the SCO ministers' meeting on Tuesday in Beijing.
Confronting security threats has been one of the group's priorities since it was formed in 2001 with China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as founding members.
The ministers discussed the major tasks in the SCO's further development after the entry of India and Pakistan as members last year. They discussed major international and regional issues.
The ministers also raised an alert against attempts to use unilateral sanctions to pressure sovereign states politically and economically, according to a joint news release issued after the meeting.
They called for resolving controversial issues through multilateralism as well as jointly tackling threats and challenges by improving global governance.
The meeting on Tuesday helped prepare the agenda for the SCO June summit in Qingdao.
The summit is expected to approve the guideline for implementing the SCO's Treaty of Long-Term Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation in the next five years, and to approve many resolutions or cooperative documents related to security, trade and culture, Wang said.
The summit, the first leaders' gathering following the entry of India and Pakistan as members, will be a new starting point and a landmark in the SCO's development, Wang said.