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China Offers Neighbors $10 Billion Credit

China is offering a $10 billion credit to help members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization overcome the global economic crisis. President Hu Jintao made the proposal at the SCO Summit in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg, where a focus on economic issues has been accompanied by concern over terrorism and drug crime emanating from Afghanistan.

China's President Hu Jintao told the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit in Yekaterinburg that energy, transportation and telecommunications projects need to be accelerated to secure the financial and economic stability of member states.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization groups Russia, China and the Central Asian republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

President Hu also noted unemployment and liquidity problems and offered SCO members a $10 billion credit as China's contribution to their struggle against the global economic crisis.

Summit host Dmitri Medvedev called for new standards to regulate international financial markets and institutions. He again urged creation of new international reserve currencies, saying the global system cannot be successful if it relies on the U.S. dollar. The Russian leader also noted the need for cooperation in such areas as energy, trade, food production, and security.

Mr. Medvedev says the Shanghai Cooperation Organization has agreed to cooperate in the establishment of anti-terrorist units and ways to secure international information systems. He adds that work in these areas will continue.

The Russian president said summit leaders were also concerned about recent threatening statements regarding use of nuclear weapons by North Korea, which he called unacceptable.

Speaking as an observer, Afghan President Hamid Karzai acknowledged concerns voiced by permanent SCO members about the threat of drugs and terrorism his country poses to their security. He said these problems are tied to 30 years of war and instability in Afghanistan.

Another observer, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, aimed his remarks at the United States, saying instability in what he referred to as occupied Afghanistan, Iraq and the Palestinian territories effects not only neighboring countries, but the entire world. He said America is gripped by economic and political crises for which there is no hope for a solution.

Mr. Ahmadinejad made no mention of massive demonstrations that erupted in his country following his disputed re-election. Reacting to the controversy, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said the vote was an internal affair of the Iranian people. President Dmitri Medvedev canceled a planned meeting with the Iranian leader, citing a tight schedule.

The SCO Summit agenda also covered such issues as energy, trade, food production and health, in particular ways to combat infectious disease, epidemics and pandemics.