Xi's Eurasian visit: Shanghai Spirit gives new leap to SCO

By Zhao Minghao
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail cctv.com, June 30, 2016
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The 16th meeting of the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) Council of Heads of State will convene in Tashkent, capital city of Uzbekistan, on July 23-24 to mark the 15th anniversary since its founding, while it's the first permanent governmental international organization to be named after a Chinese city.

To combat terrorists, ethnic separatists and religious extremists, and build cooperation mechanisms between countries, in the Eurasian hinterland, China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan declared the founding of the SCO in Shanghai, China on June 15th, 2001.

The annual summit offers a platform for member states to dialogue and implement cooperation projects. The SCO has set up a cooperation mechanism in 28 fields covering counter-terrorism, combating drugs and transnational organized crime.

The SCO has organized over 10 bilateral and multilateral joint exercises, involving information exchanges, crisis warnings, and joint law enforcement and upgraded its capability to respond to security challenges.

Based on mutual trust and respect, SCO member states have formed constructive partnerships. SCO multilateral trade and economic cooperation are driving forces for common development.

Many related institutions have been set up, including the Council for businessmen and The SCO Bank Commonwealth.

Member States attach significance to people-to-people and cultural exchanges, mutual learning and culture. The SCO serves as a trans-regional, inter-civilization, integrated international organizations civilization.

The SCO holds increasing appeal for other countries. Mongolia had become the first observer country of the SCO in 2004.

India and Pakistan are progressing towards full-membership. Iran, Afghanistan and other countries have applied to become member states. Egypt, Israel, Ukraine and other nations are applying to join as dialogue partners.

The SCO endorses consensus on decision-making and multi-level cooperation covering security, economy and culture. The SCO Tashkent Summit recognizes the grave threats of terrorism, separatism and extremism.

According to statistics, the number of people from the five Central Asian countries participating "jihad" in the Middle East has reached more than 2,000. Domestic counter-terrorism pressures in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are rising.

The SCO must deepen security cooperation to meet new challenges and safeguard stability in northern Afghanistan and other regions. Accelerating development is fundamental way for handling security challenges.

In 2015, according to the purchasing power parity (PPP) standard, the combined GDP (gross domestic product) of the SCO stood at $ 37 trillion, accounting for one-third of the global amount.

SCO member states should seize opportunities of the Silk Road Economic Belt to expand on cooperation, upgrade interoperability of infrastructure, and boost trade and investment in local regions.

The SCO should explore cooperation in e-commerce, green economy and other emerging fields, while strengthening exchanges with the United Nations and other international organizations to implement sustainable development goals.

Beijing plays an important role in promoting SCO development and believes that bright prospects for the organization lie ahead. Xi Jinping sees the Shanghai Spirit as a guide to achieve a new leap for the SCO.

The author is a research fellow from The Chahar Institute.

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