China’s Xi urges regional security bloc to resist ‘external interference’

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s President Xi Jinping told a regional economic, defence and security bloc that includes Russia and its latest member Belarus that member-nations must work together to resist “external interference” and firmly support one another.

“In the face of the real risks of small yards with high fences, we must safeguard the right to development,” Xi was quoted by Chinese state television CCTV as saying in Astana at the 24th Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

The 10-member bloc must handle “internal difference” with peace, seek common ground, and resolve co-operation difficulties, Xi added.

The Chinese president also stressed the need to jointly promote scientific and technological innovation, and to maintain the stability and smoothness of industrial and supply chains.

Since its inception in Shanghai in 2001, the SCO has expanded from a regional organisation with six members into a trans-regional bloc with 10 full members, including Belarus, which officially joined on Thursday.

Other members of the bloc include India, Iran and Kazakhstan.

(Reporting by Beijing newsroom; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Michael Perry)


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