The Executive Secretary again emphasized that the SCO is not an Eastern counterpart of NATO and, according to its charter, it will never be a military alliance. As he said, the SCO is based on open cooperation. "The Shanghai Cooperation Organization will never be targeted at third countries", noted Zhang Deguang.
From the outset, the main objectives of the SCO were to promote economic cooperation among member countries, safeguard stability in the region, jointly fight against the threat of terrorism and promptly respond to new challenges, he said.
Speaking about the forthcoming SCO summit in Shanghai slated for mid-June, Zhang Deguang noted that it will mark the 5th anniversary of the birth of that organization, and the summit is expected to approve a number of important documents.
"We have done already quite a lot in the field of security. In particular, a treaty on fighting terrorism has been signed. At our Astana summit we made quite a beak-through in that field", he emphasized.
On the subject of the SCO member countries cooperating in the sphere of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, Zhang Deguang said: "Within the framework of SCO countries, a mechanism has been created to fight the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction, but we have no legal documents on the question as yet ".
The diplomat has said that over the past years the SCO has abided by its principles and has achieved marked progress in many fields. First, the friendly relations among SCO member countries have received a new impetus. Second, the SCO has contributed to the development of economic cooperation. Third, the organization has done its part for strengthening regional security. Fourth, it has contributed to the building of a fair and rational new world order.
As for the participation of observer countries in the SCO summit, the SCO Executive Secretary said that it would be restricted, as "the observer countries would have no voting rights in decision-making". Asked about the possibility of new countries joining the SCO, Deguang noted that "legal foundations are needed for that, but such documents have not been worked out yet".
Countries with an observer status in the SCO are Iran, India, Pakistan and Mongolia. Leaders of all the observer countries have been invited to attend the SCO summit.