China Daily

At the very heart of its name, cooperation is the defining hallmark of the SCO

Over the past more than two decades since it was founded, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization has withstood severe tests and made big strides in consolidating unity among its members, increasing mutual trust and boosting development.

Despite the sniping of Western countries in their attempts to distort perceptions of the organization as part of their zero-sum game, cooperation is the name of SCO’s game. It has created a new model of cooperation based on partnership and dialogue, rather than being a clique for confrontation.

By transcending differences among countries in ideology, social system and development path, the SCO has become an effective mechanism for addressing common challenges, including terrorism, drug trafficking, cybercrime and transnational organized crime, in the region and beyond.

The “Shanghai Spirit” of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for diverse civilizations, and pursuit of common development has continuously served as the bedrock for the organization’s dynamic development and growth. It is essential that the growing SCO “family” stick to these tenets so that the organization can continue to safeguard common interests and effectively respond to common challenges.

 From an organization primarily focused on countering the security challenges from terrorism in the Central Asian region, the SCO has matured into a powerful international structure with 35 statutory bodies and 45 expert mechanisms for multilateral interaction.

Its viability and importance have been fully demonstrated and all 14 states that are SCO dialogue partners have already declared their intention to become members of the organization as soon as possible. Belarus is due to become the newest member at this year’s summit. 

At the upcoming summit in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan, the leaders of the member states will once again discuss a wide range of political, economic and cultural challenges that the region faces and witness the signing of a series of documents, including the SCO Development Strategy through 2035.

As a founding member of the SCO, China has always regarded its involvement as an important part of its neighborhood diplomacy, and President Xi Jinping is once again attending the SCO summit.

Eleven years ago, Xi put forward the notion that the world is increasingly becoming a community with a shared future, as all of humanity is living in the same global village facing the same challenges. Since then, the SCO has been at the forefront of efforts to transform the notion of a community with a shared future into reality.

It is expected that the focus of the discussions at the summit will be cooperation in the field of security, which remains a high-priority area of activity for the SCO. Certainly, the SCO can and should set an example for the effective implementation of the principle of indivisible security. Strengthening trade and economic cooperation will also be at the top of the agenda, with the emphasis on making cooperation in these areas more resistant to the West’s efforts to curtail it. 

To this end, a practical road map for gradually increasing the share of national currencies in the mutual settlements of the SCO member states and how to better synergize the Belt and Road Initiative with the respective development strategies of member countries, not least by accelerating the development of transport connectivity between the SCO member states, are expected to be key topics for discussion.

Apart from attending the SCO summit, Xi is also scheduled to pay state visits to Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, which will bring China’s bilateral ties with these two Central Asian countries to a higher level and strengthen China’s interaction with the region as a whole.

In an increasingly turbulent world, instilling greater certainty and stability into regional peace and development will inject a breath of fresh air into the current suffocating atmosphere in the turbulent international arena that is helping to stew bloc confrontation and enmity.

Editorial, China Daily

Categories China Daily Opinion