China mulls joining Eurasian Development Bank

By Li Aixin and Cathy Wong Source:Global Times Published: 2014-9-12 0:58:06

The two-day summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) kicked off on Thursday in Dushanbe, capital of Tajikistan, with the possibility of China joining the Eurasian Development Bank (EADB), anti-terrorism and expanding SCO membership expected to be high on the agenda, said analysts.

The 13th annual SCO summit, attended by the leaders of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, is very likely to see China joining the EADB this time, according to Feng Yujun, director of the Institute of Russian Studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.

Feng told Global Times that he believes if China is to join the EADB, it will need to decide on its share and input in the bank as well as the functions it hopes to serve.

But he believes the chances are higher for an SCO-China bank union with China being a key player.

"A lot of the member states are very interested in the idea of establishing the bank, as China will play a key role in it with its economic power," said Feng.

"Establishing such a bank will help to provide an alternative to the current Western-dominated international financial system," he said.

Apart from that, Feng believes regional security is also a top priority.

In particular, there is an increase in opportunities for joint anti-terror operations, as well as fighting extremism and drug trafficking, especially in light of the situation in Afghanistan, local media quoted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying on Wednesday.

Chinese President Xi Jinping met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin Thursday.

The two leaders agreed that SCO countries should firmly crack down on the "three evil forces" of terrorism, separatism and extremism, and vigorously enhance practical cooperation in various fields.  

In addition, finalizing a mechanism to accept new members is expected to be another focus.

"At the summit in Dushanbe, we will make decisions that will complete the formation of the legal, administrative and financial conditions for the admission of new members to the SCO. This will provide an opportunity to begin the expansion process during the Russian presidency, and that Pakistan and India may be able to join the SCO in the near future," Lavrov said Wednesday.

However, despite media predictions that the organization will expand its membership, Feng said observer states like India and Pakistan are not likely to become an official member at this meeting as it will still take time for them to go through the legal procedures for application.

The first ever trilateral meeting between the heads of state of China, Russia and Mongolia is another highlight of the summit, which is expected to strengthen cooperation among the three neighbors.

Newspaper headline: Security tops SCO agenda

Posted in: Diplomacy

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