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SCO’s judicial cooperation to be deepened

President Xi Jinping said he expects deepened judicial cooperation within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to fight crime and resolve disputes more effectively.

He made the remarks in a congratulatory letter sent to the 13th conference of presidents of supreme courts of SCO member countries, held in Beijing on Friday.

Xi said he hopes all sides will cooperate to fight crime and resolve disputes more effectively, and create a sound legal environment to facilitate construction of Belt and Road Initiative-related projects and promote regional development.

As an important judicial cooperation mechanism of the SCO, the conference plays a significant role in boosting exchanges on the idea and system of the rule of law and in deepening program cooperation in various fields among SCO member countries, he said.

Xi stressed in the letter that China is establishing a system of socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics, comprehensively advancing law-based governance and pursuing coordinated progress in law-based governance, the exercise of State power and government administration.

The country is committed to promoting the integrated development of rule of law for the nation, the government and society, while comprehensively advancing sound lawmaking, strict law enforcement, impartial administration of justice and the observance of law by everyone, he said.

China is creating a law-based, international and accommodating business environment and building a country of socialist rule of law, he added.

At the end of the conference,?the SCO member countries released a joint declaration, stipulating that they will share experience on technology application in courts, increase communication on fighting forced confessions, avoid evidence that is obtained illegally and improve training of judges.

Arjan Kumar Sikri, justice of the Supreme Court of India, applauded Xi’s letter, calling it a “good signal and positive message” to all the participating countries, and he said it shows that the Chinese leadership highlights judicial cooperation.

Although laws are different among the countries, common strategies and cooperation on some issues, including fighting terrorism and money laundering, should be developed and intensified, he added.

Vyacheslav M. Lebedev, chief justice of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, noted that the top courts of China and Russia have undertaken much judicial cooperation in the past decades, which has been “both constructive and innovative”.

Zhou Qiang, president of the Supreme People’s Court of China, suggested that the SCO member countries expand cooperation to more aspects while reinforcing the current achievements.

He cited the Hangzhou Court of the Internet in Zhejiang province as an example.

Xinhua contributed to this story.