The launching ceremony for China’s first blue book on the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is held in Beijing on January 10, 2019 (WEN QING)
At 18, a person is considered an adult in most societies. Thus, 2019 marks the 18th year of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and its coming of age. Befittingly, a blue book titled Shanghai Cooperation Organization: Looking Back and Looking Forward was released in Beijing on January 10, 2019. The book outlines the past achievements of SCO countries, analyzes its future challenges and prospects, and puts forward several suggestions.
Cooperation in security, economy and people-to-people exchanges are the three pillars of the SCO. "Security cooperation has been the priority and also the driving force of the SCO since it was first initiated," said Li Ziguo, a researcher on the SCO with the China Institute of International Studies and one of the main contributors to the blue book. "The SCO achieved remarkable results in safeguarding regional stability and peace in past years."
For example, SCO countries conducted close cooperation in anti-terrorism. Through joint law enforcement and information exchange, they successfully thwarted more than 600 terrorist attacks, destroyed six extremist groups and killed over 400 terrorists, according to the blue book.
"Under the framework of the SCO, member countries also held various cultural exchange activities, such as culture and arts festival and women's forums, among others." Li said. The bilateral tourism cooperation has been surging, especially between China and Russia. China is the largest source of tourism for Russia among all countries outside of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Moreover, Russia is the third largest tourist country to China.
Along with cooperation in security and cultural areas, huge potential still remains untapped in economic and trade cooperation among SCO countries, Han Lu, an associate researcher on SCO economic study, told Beijing Review. "Indian and Pakistani accession injected fresh impetus to the SCO. In the future, the SCO should continue to advance regional trade facilitation and strengthen support for small and medium enterprises."
Copyedited by Rebeca Toledo
Comments to email@example.com