2023 Media & Think Tank Forum for SCO Countries kicked off in Qingdao
  ·  2023-07-29  ·   Source: CICG Center for Europe and Asia

The 2023 Media & Think Tank Forum for SCO Countries was held on July 28 in Qingdao, a coastal city in eastern China’s Shandong Province. Directed by China International Communications Group (CICG) and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Secretariat, the event was jointly organized by CICG Center for Europe and Asia (China Pictorial Publications) and the Administrative Committee of China-SCO Local Economic and Trade Cooperation Demonstration Area (SCODA), and co-organized by B&R International Communication Research Institute, Beijing Association for Friendship and International Exchange, and SCO (Qingdao) Research Institute of Economy and Trade. The forum was themed “Promoting High-Quality Development of the Belt and Road Initiative, Building a Closer SCO Community with a Shared Future.”

Gao Anming, vice president and editor-in-chief of CICG, Zhang Xinzhu, member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Qingdao Municipal Committee, secretary of the Party Working Committee of SCODA, and Grigory Logvinov, SCO deputy secretary-general, attended the forum and delivered speeches.

Li Gang, deputy secretary of the Party Working Committee of SCODA and executive deputy director of the Administrative Committee of SCODA, Mohammed Saqib, economist and secretary-general of India China Economic & Cultural Council, and Sun Zhuangzhi, director of the Institute of Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian Studies with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, as well as diplomatic envoys to China from Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan also attended the event. Additionally, the forum brought together over 100 think tank experts, media representatives and youth delegates from SCO countries including India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Gao Anming delivers a speech at the forum (DUAN WEI)

Gao Anming noted that to promote the further development of the SCO, its member states should stay committed to carry forward the Shanghai Spirit and pool strengths for cooperation. Building a shared future, outlining the vision for common prosperity, and advancing mutual learning among civilizations will lead to greater cooperation. He said that CICG is willing to continue deepening its cooperation with media outlets, think tanks and cultural institutions from SCO countries, and the role of the Media & Think Tank Forum for SCO Countries needs to be brought into better play. CICG would like to work together with other parties to make the SCO’s voice heard, tell the SCO’s stories more effectively, and disseminate the SCO’s experience, in order to promote the well-being of people in SCO countries and build a closer SCO community with a shared future.

Zhang Xinzhu delivers a speech at the forum (DUAN WEI)

In his speech, Zhang Xinzhu welcomed friends from media organizations and think tanks from both China and beyond to further learn about and participate in the practices of SCODA under the framework of SCO cooperation. He invited media personnel to cover SCODA’s experience and best practices in promoting local economic and trade cooperation and people-to-people exchanges among SCO countries, and better tell the SCO’s stories to increase mutually beneficial cooperation and forge closer people-to-people ties, so as to make the SCO’s voice heard and contribute the SCO’s wisdom. In this way, the SCO’s consensus will become more solid and the Shanghai Spirit will take deeper roots.

Grigory Logvinov delivers a speech at the forum (DUAN WEI)

Grigory Logvinov remarked that SCO member countries should deepen media cooperation, and build a safe, just, open information space to further promote people-to-people exchange. Currently the member countries are actively working together on social media networks and other new media platforms. He believes that establishing a mechanism for mutual following and forwarding will help their accounts attract more fans.

Li Gang delivers a speech at the forum (DUAN WEI)

Li Gang said that SCODA has deeply integrated into the high-quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) since its establishment. It has made every effort to accelerate the development of the “four hubs” of international logistics, modern trade, two-way investment cooperation, and business, tourism, and cultural exchange, as well as to establish and improve the China-SCO Institute of Economy and Trade. These efforts aim to provide scenarios, models, and examples for bilateral and multilateral economic and trade cooperation between SCO states and countries along the Belt and Road.

Mohammed Saqib delivers a speech via video at the forum 

“The grand vision of the BRI has already achieved remarkable success. The decade-long journey of the BRI has been a testament to the power of openness, inclusiveness, multilateralism, and high-quality cooperation,” said Mohammed Saqib during his speech at the forum. “The SCO should leverage its unique strength to complement the BRI, offering vast opportunities to enhance policy coordination, infrastructure connectivity, trade facilitation, and people-to-people ties. Together, the BRI and the SCO can build a closer community with a shared future.”

Sun Zhuangzhi delivers a speech at the forum (DUAN WEI)

Sun Zhuangzhi pointed out that the Chinese leader proposed the vision to build a community with a shared future for humanity in response to global issues, and then put forward the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative, which are more magnificent and forward-looking goals for long-term cooperation and will have greater meaning in practice. In this sense, the SCO community can be regarded as a regional community with a shared future for mankind. It is an objective process for countries in the region to jointly improve multilateral mechanisms and cooperation methods by continuously expanding the fields of pragmatic cooperation.

Jiang Yonggang, president of CICG Center for Europe and Asia (China Pictorial Publications), presides over the forum (DUAN WEI)

The inaugural ceremony of the SCO Countries Cultural Exchange and Cooperation Center (DUAN WEI)

The inaugural ceremony of the SCO Countries Cultural Exchange and Cooperation Center was held during the forum. Hao Guoxin, deputy director of the Administrative Committee of SCODA, and Jiang Yonggang, president of CICG Center for Europe and Asia (China Pictorial Publications), unveiled the center.

The signing ceremony for the framework agreement on strengthening media cooperation among SCO countries (DUAN WEI)

During the forum, media outlets and relevant organizations including Business Kazakhstan, Today News Agency of Kazakhstan, CICG Center for Europe and Asia (China Pictorial Publications), the Administrative Committee of SCODA, Kabar National News Agency of Kyrgyzstan, Daily Mail of Pakistan signed the Framework Agreement on Strengthening Media Cooperation among SCO Countries, which aims to uphold the Shanghai Spirit, promote information about SCO, and help build an international communication order that is fairer and more rational.

Participants exchange views at the 2023 Media & Think Tank Forum for SCO Countries, July 28, 2023 

At the forum, consensus was reached after diplomats, experts, scholars, and media representatives from SCO countries had conducted exchange on three topics: “Deepening Connectivity and Building Consensus on High-Quality Development Under the Belt and Road Initiative,” “Practicing Multilateralism and Promoting a Fairer and More Equitable International Order,” and “Adhering to Openness and Inclusiveness and Promoting Cultural Inheritance and Mutual Learning among Civilizations.” Insightful views can be found in the keynote speeches by Chen Wenling, chief economist of China Center for Economic Exchanges, Kaipbergenov Adilbek, vice president of Dunyo Information Agency of Uzbekistan, Makhdoom Babar, president and editor-in-chief of Pakistan-based Daily Mail, Li Shaoxian, director of School of Arabic Studies, Ningxia University, Timur Kuvatov, director-general and editor-in-chief of Today News Agency of Kazakhstan, Niu Zhen, assistant director of International News Department of People’s Daily, Kirill Stepaniuk, chief analyst of Kabar National News Agency of Kyrgyzstan, Wen Longjie, deputy director of Commentary Department, China News Service (CNS), Rinat Mushakeev, acting director of Russian Cultural Center in Beijing, Ouyang Meihe, director of Department of International Cooperation and Exchange (International Students Office), Shanghai University of Political Science and Law, Effie Wang, director of Corporate Marketing and Public Relations, Tencent Technology (Shenzhen), Boris Guseletov, senior research fellow of the Institute of Europe and director and research fellow of the Department of Social and Political Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, Daniel Zhou, senior business development expert of Global Digital Commerce, Alibaba Group, Mamurdzhon Mirvaisov, head of the Department of International Relations, Tajikistan Academy of Sciences, Xie Chuanjiao, head of Qingdao-based station of China Daily, Nazaralieva Narynkul, director of the Economic Department, Kyrgyz Tusu newspaper, etc.

CICG Center for Europe and Asia (China Pictorial Publications) has organized the Media & Think Tank Forum for SCO Countries for four consecutive years. At this year’s event, envoys, experts, scholars, and media professionals from SCO member states gathered to conduct extensive and in-depth discussions on hot topics both online and offline. Today, the Media & Think Tank Forum for SCO Countries has become a brand project with strong influence under the framework of SCO.

Visitors at a themed book fair held during the forum (DUAN WEI)

The themed book fair held on the sidelines of the forum attracted many visitors. More than 1,000 publications from CICG were displayed, including Xi Jinping: The Governance of China (Volume I to IV, Chinese, English and Russian editions), Chinese Culture and China’s Soft Power, and A Global Community of Shared Future: Understanding the New Vision for Globalization.

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