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Cablegate: China/Sco Economic Conference - Fewer Speeches,

VZCZCXRO2290
RR RUEHAST RUEHCN RUEHDBU RUEHGH
DE RUEHBJ #6253/01 2670310
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 240310Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2139
INFO RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC
RUEHCN/AMCONSUL CHENGDU 8656
RUEHGZ/AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU 3452
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 9705
RUEHGH/AMCONSUL SHANGHAI 8393
RUEHSH/AMCONSUL SHENYANG 8313
RUEHIN/AIT TAIPEI 6664
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 8797
RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE
RUEHEK/AMEMBASSY BISHKEK 1310
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 0001
RUEHNT/AMEMBASSY TASHKENT 1132
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 4432
RUEHUM/AMEMBASSY ULAANBAATAR 3580
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 6609

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 006253

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

USDOC FOR ITA/MAC/AP/MCQUEEN
STATE PASS USTR STRATFORD, WINTER, ALTBACH
GENEVA PASS USTR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ECIN ETRD PREL PTER CH ZK
SUBJECT: CHINA/SCO ECONOMIC CONFERENCE - FEWER SPEECHES,
LOWER RANKS

REF: 06 BEIJING 19030

BEIJING 00006253 001.2 OF 002


-------
SUMMARY
-------

1. (SBU) A September 2007 forum on economic cooperation
among members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)
had far fewer and lower ranking speakers than the previous
year. The SCO Secretary General highlighted China's
leading role in deepening friendship, cooperation and
mutual economic relationships among the SCO countries while
reviewing recent agreements signed by SCO members as well
as new relationships established with multilateral
organizations. The World Economic Forum's "Davos to
Dalian" meeting held several days after the Urumqi
conference may have drawn a number of participants away
from this year's seminar. End Summary.

--------------------------------------------- --------
WEAKER CONFERENCE ATTENDANCE, LOWER RANKING OFFICIALS
--------------------------------------------- --------

2. (SBU) The "Seminar on SCO National Priority Areas of
Cooperation" forum on regional economic cooperation held in
Urumqi from August 31 - September 2, 2007, had fewer
speeches (one three-hour session versus three sessions
lasting a total of eight hours in 2006) and lower-ranked
representation (Directors and Deputy Directors rather than
a former Prime Minister and several Ministers and Vice
Ministers). Afghanistan was absent altogether as was
diplomatic representation of SCO member countries aside
from the Minister Counselor of the Tajik Embassy in China.
The forum has in the past provided a unique window into the
SCO economic agenda (see reftel).

--------------------------------------------- ----
LEGAL FRAMEWORK SET, IMPLEMENTATION PHASE REACHED
--------------------------------------------- ----

3. (SBU) SCO Secretary General Nurgaliyev used his speech
to review the recent signing by the SCO's six countries of
the "Long-term Good Neighborhood Friendship Cooperation
Treaty" at the August 2007 SCO Summit held in Bishek. This
treaty covers the protection of property rights, facilities
for trade development, investment promotion, technical
exchanges, and the protection of the legal rights of
individuals engaging in economic activity within the SCO
region.

4. (SBU) Nurgaliyev said that leaders of SCO member
countries at the Bishkek Summit agreed that the
"implementation phase" of the SCO economic agenda had been
reached. This includes agreement on "demonstration
projects" with multilateral participation in energy,
transportation and telecommunications. Nurgaliyev did not
specify any specific initiatives or funding amounts for
such projects. His speech also highlighted the "good
prospects" for cooperation with partner countries India,
Pakistan, Iran, Mongolia, and Afghanistan.

--------------------------------------------- --
REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC COOPERATION
--------------------------------------------- --

5. (SBU) Nurgaliyev highlighted the SCO's relations with
seven multilateral organizations including the Community of
Independent States, United Nations Development Program,
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development,
ASEAN, Asian Development Bank, and the United Nations
Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.

BEIJING 00006253 002.2 OF 002


He also mentioned Asian Development Bank and UN funding of
joint road development and noted without elaboration his
"great hope" for the work of the SCO Bank Community and
Businessmen Committee.

-------------------------------------
FOCUS ON BILATERAL ECONOMIC RELATIONS
-------------------------------------

6. (SBU) No major SCO-sponsored economic projects were
announced at this year's forum, and speeches tended to
emphasize bilateral relations with China, with scant
mention of SCO-based initiatives. M.H. Biyaluofu, Deputy
Director of the Kazakhstan Chamber of Industry and Commerce
made passing reference to the signing of a series of
bilateral agreements between China and Kazakhstan at the
Bishek Summit. The Director of the Uzbekistan Foreign
Investment Information Security and Promotion Office made
no reference at all to the SCO during his speech.

-------
COMMENT
-------

7. (SBU) While trade between China and Central Asia
continues to rise, there is no sign that the SCO framework
is part of this trend. The SCO has proven a venue for
signing numerous bilateral economic agreements, but there
has so far been no sign that the forum is lending itself to
economic initiatives that actually promote regional
economic integration.

RANDT

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