Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov, Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Erlan Abdyldaev, Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Tajik Foreign Minister Sirojidin Aslov, Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov, Secretary-General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Rashid Alimov and director of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) Executive Committee Yevgeniy Sysoyev in Beijing, capital of China, April 23, 2018. (Xinhua/Li Tao)
China regards boosting the development of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as one of its diplomatic priorities, President Xi Jinping said Monday, adding that he believes the upcoming SCO summit in the coastal city of Qingdao, Shandong Province, in June will be a success.
Xi made the remarks at a group meeting with foreign ministers from Russia, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, as well as with SCO secretary-general, and the director of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure Executive Committee.
The officials are in Beijing to attend the meeting of the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers, scheduled for Tuesday.
The SCO, established nearly 17 years ago, has undergone an extraordinary development process and become a comprehensive regional organization with vast influences, Xi said.
Member countries have promoted cooperation in various areas and played constructive roles in regional and international issues, and therefore set an example of a new-type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness and justice, and win-win cooperation, he said.
Currently, the SCO is proceeding steadily in six areas, namely politics, economy, security, people-to-people exchanges, external exchanges, and mechanism building, with comprehensive cooperation continuing to improve, he said.
Under the new circumstances, all the member countries need to remain true to their original aspirations and firmly advocate the "Shanghai Spirit" of the SCO, give play to its advantages, fully release the potential of the SCO expansion, and forge ahead with all-round cooperation, Xi said.
The "Shanghai Spirit" features mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for cultural diversity and pursuit of common development.
Xi said China stands ready to work with other member countries to continue to support each other politically and provide the SCO wisdom and plans, safeguard regional security and stability, promote coordination levels and implementation capabilities, enhance cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative, gradually establish institutional arrangements of regional economic cooperation, and expand people-to-people exchanges and cultural cooperation.
Leaders of the SCO member countries will gather in Qingdao for a summit in just over one month, said Xi, adding that he believes the SCO Qingdao summit will be a success thanks to the joint efforts of all sides.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Erlan Abdyldaev, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, and Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif spoke on behalf of the foreign ministers.
The leaders of all the member countries attach great importance to and look forward to the SCO Qingdao summit, and speak highly of China's efforts as the host country, the ministers said.
The SCO needs to stick to the "Shanghai Spirit" after expansion and further intensify coordination and cooperation on regional and international affairs in line with the development of global situation, they said.
All member countries support the initiatives China has proposed in order to promote the SCO development and enhance cooperation between the member countries, and are willing to cooperate with China to make joint efforts in preparations for the Qingdao summit to ensure the success of the meeting, the foreign ministers said.