On 12 December 2018 Yangzhou, Jiangsu, hosted the 6th China-Central Asia Cooperation Forum focused on Silk Road: Intercivilisational Exchanges and Mutually Beneficial Cooperation.
The opening ceremony was addressed by Vice-Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Wang Chen, First Deputy Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic Kubatbek Boronov, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Tajikistan Azim Ibrohim, Jiangsu CPC Committee Secretary Lou Qinjian, as well as heads of related ministries and agencies from the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Republic of Uzbekistan, and the Republic of Turkmenistan. Deputy SCO Secretary-General Nurlan Akkoshkarov also attended the forum.
In his message to those attending the forum, SCO Secretary-General Rashid Alimov stressed its positive role as an important and reputable platform for a large-scale exchange of views on matters of mutual interest not only for China and the Central Asian states but also for all the SCO family countries. He noted that these relations were based on the Shanghai Spirit principles, such as mutual respect, equality and shared advantages that cement relations of long-term good-neighbourliness, friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation.
"The Central Asian Region is, without an exaggeration, the most important area for the applied work performed by the SCO, which has emerged on the political map of the world owing to the close cooperation between Russia and China. After the SCO accepted two influential South Asian countries, India and Pakistan, it saw its potential grow and new opportunities open up for further intensification of regional cooperation. The SCO's expanded trans-regional status, with its territory stretching from the Pacific to the Baltic Sea and from the Arctic Ocean to the Indian Ocean, affords a new look at the scale of interregional interaction in Greater Eurasia, which objectively will only grow," the message says.
Mr Alimov also noted that the SCO summit in Qingdao backs the Central Asian countries' effort to enhance their political, economic, cultural, humanitarian, etc. cooperation and welcomed the outcome of the first consultative meeting of the Central Asian heads of state in Astana which took place on 15 March 2018. He expressed certainty that joint efforts in the context of SCO agreements would be a guarantee of well-being and prosperity of the peoples inhabiting the vast expanses of Eurasia.
The forum was attended by more than 200 representatives of PRC ministries and agencies, as well as of business and academic communities, and leading Chinese and Central Asian media.
The China-Central Asia Cooperation Forum is a traditional discussion platform focused on prospects for cooperation between China and the Central Asian countries. The first forum was held in Tongxiang, Zhejiang Province, in 2012.