Chinese President Xi Jinping addresses the 23rd meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) via video conference from Beijing, capital of China, on July 4 (XINHUA)
Chinese President Xi Jinping said on July 4 that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) must rise to the call of the times, keep in mind its founding mission, and stay in unity and coordination to bring more certainty and positive energy to world peace and development.
Xi made the remarks when addressing the 23rd meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) via video conference from Beijing.
Xi said ten years ago, in view of the changes of the world, of the times and of the trajectory of history, he opined that mankind, living in the same global village, are increasingly becoming a community with a shared future in which everyone's interest is closely interlinked.
Since then, the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind has gained extensive recognition and support from the international community, and has been transforming from an idea to action and a vision to reality. At the forefront of this trend is the SCO, upholding this very concept and the Shanghai Spirit to build an SCO community with a shared future, Xi said.
Member states have followed their fine tradition of standing together through thick and thin, as passengers in the same boat should do, and have firmly supported each other in standing up for their respective core interests and have become trustworthy partners on their paths to development and national rejuvenation, Xi said.
Member states have acted out the concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, accommodated each other's legitimate security concerns, and responded to both traditional and nontraditional security challenges. Together member states have safeguarded peace and tranquility in the region, he said.
Xi pointed out that member states have embraced the development philosophy of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared growth, synergized national development strategies and regional cooperation initiatives, which has helped promote coordination in the economic development.
Member states have carried forward the spirit of good-neighborliness, and advocated equality, mutual learning, dialogue and inclusiveness between civilizations, and called for peaceful coexistence and harmonious development of different civilizations, he said.
He noted member states have upheld international fairness and justice, opposed hegemonic, high-handed, and bullying acts, and built partnerships featuring dialogue instead of confrontation, cooperation instead of alliance, strengthening the progressive forces for world peace and stability.
"More and more countries have realized that the SCO is not an exclusive 'small circle,' but a new type of international organization with vitality and openness. The accession of new members will help the SCO play a positive role on a larger scale," said Li Yongquan, an expert with the Development Research Center of the State Council of China.
Leaders attending the summit spoke highly of the remarkable achievements of the SCO in its development, welcoming Iran to become a full member and hoping Belarus will complete the procedures for joining the SCO as soon as possible.
They noted that the SCO has been growing with increasing international influence, making important contributions to deepening good-neighborliness and friendship, safeguarding the common interests of member states, promoting lasting peace and stability in the region and the world, and promoting sustainable development. They said it has become a model of mutual trust, equal dialogue and mutually beneficial cooperation.
They said member states should further carry forward the Shanghai Spirit, enhance mutual understanding and cooperation, promote regional economic cooperation, and oppose ideological confrontation, division and discrimination.
They agreed member states should strengthen regional connectivity and the building of major corridors, support the synergy of the Belt and Road Initiative with the building of the Eurasian Economic Union, deepen cooperation in economy, trade, finance, energy, science and technology, environmental protection, digital economy and people-to-people exchanges, and jointly address global challenges such as the food and energy crises and climate change.
They also called for joint efforts to combat the forces of terrorism, separatism and extremism and uphold genuine multilateralism, support the United Nations in playing a leading role and strengthen global governance.
It was decided at the summit that Kazakhstan will take over the rotating presidency of the SCO in 2023-2024.
The summit was hosted by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, gathering Xi and leaders from member states Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as well as observer states Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia.
The world today is undergoing both transformation and upheaval; changes unseen in a century are unfolding at a faster pace; human society faces unprecedented challenges. Unity or split, peace or conflict, cooperation or confrontation -- these are the questions raised again by the times, Xi said.
"My answer is this: the people's wish for a happy life is our goal, and peace, development and win-win cooperation are the unstoppable trends of the times," Xi said.
Xi said that member states should keep to the right direction and enhance solidarity and mutual trust. "Facts have shown that as long as we bear in mind the larger picture, shoulder our responsibilities and remain undisturbed by all sorts of distractions, we will be able to protect and promote the security and development interests of our member states," Xi said.
Member states should step up strategic communication and coordination, bridge differences through dialogue, replace competition with cooperation, truly respect each other's core interests and major concerns, and firmly support each other's endeavor for development and rejuvenation, Xi said.
Member states should keep in mind the overall and long-term interests of the region, and make the foreign policies independently so that the future of their development is held firmly in their own hands, Xi said.
He said member states should maintain regional peace and safeguard common security. China stands ready to work with all sides to implement the Global Security Initiative, promote the settlement of international disputes through dialogue and consultation, and encourage political settlement of international and regional hotspots, so as to forge a solid security shield in the region.
He called for upgrading SCO security cooperation, and crack down hard on the forces of terrorism, separatism and extremism such as the "East Turkistan" elements, drug trafficking, and cyber and transnational organized crimes and expand cooperation in the nontraditional security fields, including digital, biological and outer space security.
Xi said member states should continue to utilize platforms such as the mechanism of coordination and cooperation among Afghanistan's neighbors, and encourage the country to embark on the path of peace and reconstruction.
Member states should focus on practical cooperation and expedite economic recovery. China stands ready to work with all sides to implement the Global Development Initiative, keep to the right direction of economic globalization, oppose protectionism, unilateral sanctions and the overstretching of national security, and reject the moves of setting up barriers, decoupling and severing supply chains, the Chinese president said.
"We should make the pie of win-win cooperation bigger, and ensure that more development gains will be shared more fairly by people across the world," Xi said.
He welcomed member states' participation in the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation to broaden the Belt and Road as a "path of happiness" benefiting the whole world.
China proposes that the SCO scale up local currency settlement between member states, and promote the establishment of an SCO development bank, according to Xi.
On strengthening exchanges and mutual learning and forging closer bonds between peoples, Xi said China welcomes all sides to work together to implement the Global Civilization Initiative, promote inclusiveness and coexistence among all civilizations, and increase mutual understanding and friendship among all nations.
Member states should further deepen cooperation in education, science and technology, culture, health, sport and media. In the coming three years, China will provide member states with 1,000 International Chinese Language Teachers Scholarships, offer 3,000 "Chinese Bridge" summer camp opportunities, and invite 100 young scientists to China for scientific research exchanges, Xi said.
Xi said member countries should practice multilateralism and improve global governance. Member states should advocate the common values of humanity, uphold the UN-centered international system and the international order based on international law, and oppose hegemonism and power politics.
He called on member states to make global governance more just and equitable, and advance modernization of the entire humanity through collective efforts to promote equal rights, equal opportunities and fair rules for all, and jointly promote world peace, drive global development and safeguard the international order.
The Chinese people are rallied behind the Communist Party of China to pursue Chinese modernization. China hopes to share new development opportunities with SCO members and all countries around the world through its achievements in modernization, and together make the world a better place, Xi said.
"A just cause finds great support, and a journey with many companions gets far," Xi said. "The SCO's development accords with the trend of our times and goes along with the direction of human progress. Through our joint efforts, it will definitely grow from strength to strength."
Sun Zhuangzhi, director of the Institute of Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said China's willingness to work with other countries to implement the three initiatives, which are important public goods that China provides to the world, will have a positive impact on the SCO.