China morning round-up: Central Asia bloc summit

Leaders attending the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit are pictured pose for a group photo in Beijing, 06 June 2012 Interaction between Hu Jintao and Vladimir Putin is seen as the focus of this SCO summit

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit is the top story for most Chinese newspapers on Thursday, with leaders from China, Russia and four central Asian countries meeting in Beijing.

China Daily and People's Daily reported on the first day of the summit on their front pages.

Chinese President Hu Jintao told the summit that members should enhance economic cooperation, and step up support for each other on matters relating to territorial integrity, national security, social stability and development, reports say.

As the SCO marks its 10th anniversary this year, the People's Daily Overseas Edition ran a panel discussion on how the bloc - consisting of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan - has shifted its focus from security issues to economic development.

Meanwhile, as Shanghai Daily reports, Mr Hu is hoping that the SCO can play "a bigger role in Afghanistan's peaceful reconstruction".

At the same time, Beijing's foreign ministry emphasised that the SCO is not aiming to rival Nato as a military bloc, reports the China Daily.

The bilingual editorial of the Global Times carried an editorial mocking worries in Western countries about the possibility of the SCO becoming the "Nato in the East".

"Everything appears to be a challenge in the eyes of American elites who are showing a hegemonic fragility," said the editorial. "They see the rise of China as a threat, and are highly alert to China-Russia cooperation, and are even uneasy toward regional cooperation among Central Asian countries."

Regional papers such as Beijing News focused on the interaction between Mr Hu and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

In a joint declaration, the two leaders agreed to reduce military presence along the Sino-Russian border, as well as enhance cooperations in energy, civil aviation and space exploration.

"Quiet please!" declared asked the Shanghai Daily, as the annual National College Entrance Examination begins on Thursday.

This year's examination will see more than 9m high school students in China entering the "battle to determine one's fate", as the paper has described - just over two-thirds will be able to enrol for a place in universities and tertiary institutions across the country.

Many regional newspapers are branding this year's two-day national exam as having "the tightest security ever" in terms of anti-cheating measures.

Beijing Times says at least four policemen will be on guard at each test centre in Beijing, while Beijing News says teachers must transport exam papers on dedicated routes and under heavy surveillance.

In Guangzhou, Southern Metropolis Daily reports that some taxi companies in the city are offering free rides for students taking the exam.

There are many personal tales about the exam in the papers. Shanghai Morning Post says a student suffering from a collapsed lung just three days before the exam will now take his tests under the watch of doctors and nurses.

There is also the story of a high school teacher in Hubei province who guarded hundreds of admission tickets for the exam from a thief who robbed her. Beijing Times reports that she is still in hospital for a serious head injury.

In Hong Kong, Ming Pao Daily News and the AM730 newspaper lead their front pages with the death of leading Chinese dissident Li Wangyang.

The news is met with an outcry from democrats in Hong Kong as they echoed the family's challenge to what local police said is a suicide.

A senior Hong Kong TV journalist who interviewed Mr Li just a few weeks before his death has been devastated by the news, blaming himself, reports Ming Pao.

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