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Global Times

Xi urges SCO shared future

Global Times

By Liu Xin in Bishkek and Zhao Yusha in Beijing Source:Global Times Published: 2019/6/14 23:26:21

Hails member states for implementing consensus

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday called on Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states to build a closer community of shared future and to encourage multilateralism, free trade and a more reasonable and fair international order.

Xi made the remarks during a speech at the 19th meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO, which began on Friday in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

Leaders of China, India, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan took part in the SCO Summit as permanent members of the organization. The presidents of Belarus, Afghanistan, Iran and Mongolia were attending as representatives of observer countries.

Xi said that the SCO has kept a good momentum, with member states actively implementing the consensus they had reached and pushing forward cooperation in every field.

He added that SCO member states should jointly build a closer SCO community of shared future and make the organization a new model of mutual trust, safeguarding regional security, mutual benefit and tolerance.

Heads of the SCO member states signed the Bishkek Declaration and other documents of cooperation in various fields on Friday.

Deng Hao, secretary-general of the China Center for SCO Studies, told the Global Times that the world now has a greater anticipation in and demand for the SCO as it sees the rise of unilateralism and protectionism.

"The world is eager to learn how the SCO, an organization representing 41 percent of the global population and covering the largest and most complicated regions, works to promote political, security, cultural and other cooperation between its members," Deng said.

Talasbek Mashrapov, dean of the Faculty of Oriental Studies and International Relations in Bishkek Humanities University, told the Global Times that the Shanghai spirit, the core value of the SCO, has been widely welcomed by member states and their people.

"State members have helped each other's development without intervening in each other's internal affairs. With more members and a growing influence in Asia, the SCO will play a greater role globally," Mashrapov said.

India and Pakistan were formally made members of the SCO in 2017.

Deng said "India and Pakistan agreed not to bring their conflict into the organization when they joined it. The SCO's partnership, featuring 'non-alliance, non-confrontation and not targeting any third party,' provides a guideline for soothing their conflicts."

Enhancing mutual trust

Xi noted in his speech on Friday that SCO member states should join hands in fighting terrorism and extremism and enhance cooperation on de-radicalization.

Xi met with Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Thursday in Bishkek. Xi said that China will, as always, continue to help Afghanistan build its capacity in fighting terrorism and maintaining stability.

Ge Lixing, an expert on diplomatic affairs in Central Asia, told the Global Times that the efficient cooperation on counter-terrorism among SCO members has contributed to regional stability and peace in recent years, which is good for economic development and the promotion of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Ge noted that since terror threats have risen in north Afghanistan in recent years, SCO members should further improve counter-terrorism cooperation, including the sharing of information.

Mashrapov said that people in Kyrgyzstan and other Central Asian countries are looking forward to economic development opportunities brought by the SCO cooperation agreement and the Belt and Road Initiative.

He said stability is crucial for joint development among SCO members. And only by enhancing mutual trust and communication at multilateral events and organizations, including the SCO and the upcoming 5th summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), can countries in Asia achieve joint development.

Xi, together with many heads of the SCO member states, will attend the CICA summit in Tajikistan's capital, Dushanbe, on Saturday, said Xinhua.

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