Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday called on members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) to build a closer community with a shared future for the group.
While addressing the 19th SCO summit in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek, Xi noted that since the summit in China’s eastern port city of Qingdao last year, all members, following the Shanghai Spirit, have facilitated a deeper and more practical all-round cooperation, and boosted fresh development for the SCO from a new starting point.
In the speech, he said that peace, development, cooperation and win-win approach remain the irreversible trend of the times despite a changing international landscape.
He urged the SCO members to have a keen appreciation of the trend toward world multi-polarisation and economic globalisation, search for wisdom in the Shanghai Spirit and draw strength from unity and cooperation so as to build a closer community with a shared future for the organisation.
The Chinese leader called on the members to develop the SCO into a model organisation that highlights unity and mutual trust.
Xi said the SCO needs to stick to the Shanghai Spirit, which features mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for cultural diversity and pursuit of common development, as its core value and shared philosophy, abide by the purposes and principles enshrined in the SCO Charter and the Treaty on Long-Term Good-Neighbourliness, Friendship and Cooperation Between the Member States of the SCO, step up political mutual trust and mutual support, and expand their overlapping interests.
To turn the group into a model that underscores the sharing of weal and woe, the SCO members, said the Chinese leader, need to hold fast to the concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, take multiple measures to combat the “three forces” of terrorism, separatism and extremism, and enhance de-extremization cooperation.
The group also needs to play a constructive role in promoting peace, reconciliation, stability and development in Afghanistan, he said.
To build the SCO into a model organisation that stresses mutual benefit and win-win results, Xi called on the SCO members to advocate multilateral trading system, build an open world economy, and put forward more institutional arrangements in trade and investment liberalisation and facilitation.
They also need to make good use of such cooperation and sharing platforms as the China International Import Expo for further opening-up, convergence and integration of regional economy, he said.
The SCO countries need to implement the agreements reached at the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, and further synergize the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the development strategies of other members, as well as such regional cooperation initiatives as the Eurasian Economic Union so as to promote an all-dimensional inter-connectivity, said Xi.
He also called on the group to adhere to innovation-driven development, and foster new growth areas in digital economy, e-commerce, artificial intelligence and big data.
Xi called on member countries to build the SCO into a paradigm in inclusiveness and mutual learning.
In this regard, he said, it is advisable to discard the concept of a clash of civilisations and uphold openness, inclusiveness and mutual learning.
He called on member countries to deepen cooperation in such areas as culture, education, tourism, sports and media, and at local levels, as well as increase public involvement and sense of fulfilment.
Xi called for a show of international responsibility by SCO members in the face of mounting global challenges.
The countries need to uphold a vision of global governance featuring extensive consultation, joint contributions and shared benefits, safeguard the international system with the UN at the core, promote multilateralism and free trade, and push for the development of a more just and equitable world order, he said.
The SCO needs to optimise its pattern of partnerships, play a more active role in regional and global affairs, and make joint efforts to promote lasting peace and common prosperity of the whole world, he added.
“Let us uphold the Shanghai Spirit, and work together with practical actions, so as to create an even brighter future for the SCO,” Xi said.
At the summit, leaders of the SCO member countries and observer states, as well as representatives of regional and international bodies, discussed the progress of implementing the outcomes of the Qingdao summit, exchanged views on the status quo and prospect of the group, and major international and regional issues under current global political and economic conditions, and have reached broad consensus.
Leaders at the meeting reiterated the need to uphold multilateralism and follow the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, dedicated themselves to creating a new type of international relations based on international law, and confirmed the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind.
Many leaders spoke highly of the progress made in the joint construction of the Belt and Road and reiterated support in docking the BRI with development strategies of various countries.
They also vowed to deepen practical cooperation in trade, finance, investment, transportation, energy, agriculture, innovation, high-tech and cultural and people-to-people exchanges, advance facilitation of trade and investment, promote regional integration, jointly construct an open world economy, safeguard the authority and effectiveness of the World Trade Organisation and oppose unilateralism and protectionism in all forms.
The leaders stressed that member countries need to jointly safeguard security, stability and sustainable development of the SCO region, show firm resolve in combating international terrorism, separatism, cross-border and organised crimes, and jointly cope with threats of drugs.
They agreed that the issue of Afghanistan is of a regional security concern, thus it is necessary for the SCO to play an even bigger role in the political settlement of the issue.
Russia will take over the SCO rotating presidency and host the summit next year, according to the summit.
Bishkek Declaration of the SCO’s Heads of State Council and 13 other cooperation documents in areas such as information communication, technology, drug control and cooperation at local levels were signed following the meeting.
A press release on the meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO was also issued.
After the meeting, Xi sat together with leaders of other countries and representatives of international and regional organisations for a welcome banquet hosted by Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov.