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SCO member states to further strengthen solidarity, cooperation for peace, development

By He Yin, People’s Daily

Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend the 23rd meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) via video conference from Beijing on July 4 and deliver important remarks.

Xi will map out the future development of the SCO with the leaders of other countries attending the summit, expound on Chinese plans and raise cooperation initiatives on building a closer SCO community with a shared future.

The SCO, as an organization for regional cooperation with the largest population and the largest landmass in the world, is a constructive force in international and regional affairs.

In the past more than 20 years since the organization was established, the SCO member states have always followed the SCO Charter and the principles and purposes of the Treaty on Long-Term Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation Between the SCO Member States.

They pursue and carry forward the Shanghai Spirit, namely, mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for diversity of civilizations and pursuit of common development. They constantly deepen political mutual trust and strengthen solidarity, resolutely oppose external interference, hegemonism and power politics, and promote upgrading of regional cooperation. They offer solid support for each other’s development, prosperity, security and stability.

The more volatile the international situation is, the more the SCO member states need to carry forward the Shanghai Spirit, enhance cohesion, consolidate solidarity and cooperation and hold their future firmly in their own hands.

Security is the precondition for development, and peace and stability remain a common aspiration. The SCO member states adhere to political mutual trust and constantly expand security cooperation. They signed the world’s first inter-governmental anti-extremism treaty, organized “Peace Mission” counter-terrorism military drills, and advocate for political settlement of international and regional hotspot issues including the Afghan issue.

The SCO not only plays a positive role in safeguarding the peace and stability of Eurasia, but also contributes to world peace and development.

During last year’s SCO Samarkand summit, Xi expounded on the significance of the Global Security Initiative (GSI), called on relevant countries to stay committed to the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and establish a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture, offering a clear path to maintaining long-term stability of the region and expanding SCO security cooperation.

The SCO member states’ implementing the GSI helps them deepen security cooperation and cope with security challenges.

To deliver a better life for people of all countries in the region is a shared goal of the SCO member states. The Global Development Initiative proposed by Xi has been appraised by SCO member states. They believe the initiative is of important significance for international energy security, food security and other global development challenges, and will help the world achieve more robust, greener and more balanced development.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). As connectivity is constantly being built between the BRI and other countries’ development strategies, the Eurasian Economic Union and other regional cooperation initiatives, a pattern of high-quality regional interconnectivity is taking shape. A series of cooperation projects have been implemented and made remarkable achievements, such as the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan highway, the China-Central Asia natural gas pipeline and the Tajikistan Agriculture and Textile Industrial Park, bringing tangible benefits to local people.

China will keep working with regional countries to advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation and build more growth drivers.

Interactions between civilizations provide the most solid foundation for the SCO’s development, and people-to-people exchanges provide the strongest driving force for the organization.

The SCO member states enjoy geographical proximity and cultural affinity, as well as a long history of friendly association. Making full use of these advantages, they are constantly strengthening mutual learning among civilizations and fostering a closer people-to-people bond.

Because of this, the SCO has risen above differences in ideology, social system and development path, and set a good example in new-type international relations.

The Global Civilization Initiative (GCI) proposed by Xi is highly consistent with the Shanghai Spirit. Implementing the initiative will energize SCO member states in strengthening experience sharing on national governance and mutual learning.

By promoting people-to-people exchanges under the SCO framework, China is consolidating the public foundation for SCO development.

The country has planned to provide 1,000 training opportunities in poverty alleviation for other SCO countries, open 10 Luban Workshops, and launch 30 cooperation projects in such areas as health, poverty relief, culture and education under the framework of the Silk Road Community Building Initiative. Besides, it has also held the SCO non-governmental friendship forum.

As a founding member, China always views the SCO as a high priority in its diplomacy. The world today is living through accelerating changes unseen in a century, and global development entering a new phase of instability and transformation. China will work with other SCO member states to carry forward the Shanghai Spirit, to build a closer SCO community with a shared future and create a better future of Eurasia with the power of the organization, of solidarity and of cooperation.

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