Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the 22nd Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, in mid-September, the first time for the SCO leaders to meet face to face since COVID-19 hit.
The SCO has stayed true to its founding mission and promoted joint efforts among its member states for stability and development. The organization has set a fine example of a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation, and proved itself a constructive player in the Eurasian region and beyond.
In the current volatile international situation, uncertainties and instability are on the rise, highlighting the importance of organizations including the SCO in maintaining regional peace, security and stability. In recent years, many countries have expressed a strong interest in joining the SCO, which currently comprises eight members. This year's summit made arrangements for more countries that agree with the organization's vision, known as the Shanghai Spirit, to participate in various ways including becoming full members.
This year also marks the 30th anniversary of China's diplomatic ties with Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, to which Xi made state visits this month. Over the past 30 years, China and the two countries have demonstrated mutual respect, fostered good neighborliness, strengthened solidarity and pursued mutual benefit. In particular, since it was proposed by Xi during his visit to Kazakhstan in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative has become a platform for cooperation that is open, inclusive, and highly valued by the international community.
It remains a pressing task for all SCO member states to work hand in hand to combat terrorism, separatism, extremism, drug trafficking and transnational organized crime, and ensure the security of oil and gas pipelines. At the same time, they should stand against interference by external forces and work together for lasting peace and long-term stability in the region.