Xi Jinping, President of China that holds the rotating presidency of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), addresses a joint press conference at the SCO summit in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, on June 10. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov, Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon and Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev also attended the press conference (XINHUA)
On June 10, Chinese President Xi Jinping chaired the 18th Meeting of the Council of Heads of Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Qingdao, Shandong Province, and delivered a keynote speech, which was a summary of the positive development trends and the great changes currently taking place in the world.
Xi laid out requirements for the further promotion of the Shanghai Spirit and provided solutions to address the problems of the world today. He also made major suggestions for building an SCO community with a shared future and promoting the construction of a new type of international relations, making China's contribution to the SCO's new development stage and era.
Over the past 17 years, the SCO has developed into a comprehensive regional cooperation body that covers the largest land mass and population in the world. With its ever rising international influence, the SCO has become an important force for promoting global peace and development and upholding international justice and fairness. What the SCO faces now is a world undergoing major transformation and adjustment, which are not only reflected in the changes in international economic power, but also in international order and rules and the conflicts in and recalibration of international relations.
Against this international backdrop, the SCO must inherit and carry forward the tradition of friendly cooperation advanced over the past years and make scientific and rational plans to achieve sustainable development. Xi's speech fully reflected China's foresight for the future development of the SCO, exerting the country's wisdom and confidence.
A lights and fireworks show takes place in Qingdao, the host city of the 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit, on June 9 (XINHUA)
In light of the current international situation, many are concerned about whether the SCO can adhere to its own path and avoid disturbances. Xi pointed out four trends favoring SCO development:
First, although hegemony and power politics still persist in the world, the growing call for a more just and equitable international order must be heeded. Democracy in international relations has become an unstoppable trend in the world today.
Second, although various traditional and non-traditional security threats continue to emerge, the force for peace will prevail because security and stability are what all peoples long for.
Third, although unilateralism, trade protectionism and the backlash against globalization are taking new forms, in the global village where countries' interests and future are so interconnected, the pursuit of cooperation for mutual benefit represents a surging trend.
Fourth, although the rhetoric about the clash of civilizations or the superiority of one civilization over another can be heard, it is the diversity of civilizations that sustains human progress. Indeed, mutual learning among different cultures is a shared aspiration of all peoples.
These conclusions are not only helpful to SCO member states, but also to the international community because they form a clear understanding of international development trends.
Notwithstanding the fact that the world development is at a promising stage, it also faces various challenges. The SCO must further promote the Shanghai Spirit to solve today's problems, resolve risks and challenges and achieve sustainable development. Based on this line of thought, Xi put forward a five-pronged proposal on development, security, cooperation, cultural exchange and global governance. For instance, the organization should bridge the gap in development and promote shared prosperity. The organization should oppose the practices of seeking absolute security for one country at the expense of others, so as to achieve security of all. The member states should uphold WTO rules and support the multilateral trading system so as to build an open world economy. Also, it is important for SCO members to overcome cultural misunderstandings, clashes and supremacy through exchanges, mutual learning and coexistence. In addition, the member states should reform and improve their governance systems and work with all other countries to build a community with a shared future for humanity.
These five requirements include the five major development concepts proposed at the Fifth Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China in 2015, the Belt and Road Initiative, Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, the Asia-Pacific security concept and the proposal of building a community with a shared future for mankind. They are the expansion of the Shanghai Spirit and the starting point and foothold of new international relations, and represent the expectations and consensus of the international community.
Xi also raised five suggestions for cooperatively building an SCO community with a shared future:
First, the SCO needs to strengthen unity and mutual trust.
Second, the SCO needs to strengthen the foundation for shared peace and security.
Third, the SCO needs to build a powerful engine to achieve common development and prosperity.
Fourth, the SCO needs to forge closer ties through cultural and people-to-people exchanges.
Fifth, the SCO needs to expand international cooperation partnership networks.
These suggestions serve as vital measures for implementing the building of an SCO community with a shared future. They include the major keywords for new international relations such as mutual trust, peace, security, prosperity, exchange and cooperation. They also demonstrate China's willingness and openness and its key position in the current world situation.
The SCO's success has been achieved through the mutual understanding, tolerance and cooperation of countries with different systems, cultures and peoples that have a shared vision. It has proven the success of the concept of the peaceful development of human society. Xi put forward the suggestions for the future development of the SCO and it is believed that the organization will take the Qingdao Summit as a new starting point for a new development journey.