2008-06-26 12:23:48 GMT 2008-06-26 20:23:48 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English
BEIJING, June 26 (Xinhua) -- The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, Thursday approved the Treaty of the Long-term Good Neighborly and Friendly Cooperation between Member Countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
Other SCO member countries are also in the process of approving the pact, according to the NPC Foreign Affairs Committee.
The approval of the treaty is good for developing the SCO as a whole and maintaining a long-term peace in the country's vast border areas in the northwest, according to the NPC Foreign Affairs Committee.
SCO has played an important role in maintaining regional stability and promoting political, economic and cultural cooperation between member countries, said Deputy Foreign Minister Wu Dawei.
It is of strategic significance for China to maintain a long-term good neighborly, friendly and mutually beneficial cooperation with other member countries as it shares long borders with most of these countries, the official said.
The multinational body was founded in June 2001 at the proposal of China, with its headquarters based in Shanghai. In August 2007, Chinese President Hu Jintao signed the treaty with leaders of other SCO member countries.
The 26-clause treaty is aimed to develop the region into a peaceful, cooperative, prosperous and harmonious one. It asks all signing countries to support each others on major issues regarding sovereignty, territorial integrity, security and development.
A signing country should not join in any other alliances or groups or activities that are hostile to other signees, according to the multinational pact.
SCO members include the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People's Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan.