Xi calls for bolstering SCO unity, cooperation

2024-07-05 09:22:43China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

President Xi Jinping poses for a group photo on Thursday with other leaders attending the 24th Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization at the Independence Palace in Astana, Kazakhstan.

President Xi Jinping stressed on Thursday the necessity for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to bolster unity and cooperation, saying that the grouping must safeguard its security baseline, defend the right to development and build up its unity.

In a speech delivered at the 24th Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO in Astana, Kazakhstan, the Chinese president said it is critically important for the world that the grouping always stands on the right side of history and upholds justice and fairness.

The SCO formally approved the accession of Belarus to the grouping during Thursday's summit, and decided that China will hold the rotating presidency of the 10-member organization for 2024-25. The other members of the grouping are India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Xi noted that the SCO, which was founded 23 years ago, has seen its family, including observer states and dialogue partners, expand to 26 countries, spanning three continents.

With more partners, the foundation of cooperation is more solid, he said.

The organization must ensure the bottom line of security "in the face of real threats of the Cold War mentality", he said, highlighting the need for member states to practice the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security.

The SCO must address complex and intertwined security challenges through dialogue and coordination, respond to the profoundly changing international landscape with a win-win approach, and endeavor to build a world of lasting peace and universal security, he stressed.

Faced with the real risks of the "small yard, high fences" approach, Xi called on member states to safeguard their right to development, saying that joint efforts must be made to advance sci-tech innovation, ensure stable and unimpeded industrial and supply chains, and stimulate regional economic vitality to achieve common development goals.

The Chinese president also appealed for enhanced unity and strength inside the grouping in facing the real challenges of interference and division.

SCO members should jointly resist external interference, firmly support each other, accommodate each other's concerns, and peacefully resolve internal differences, he said.

President Xi Jinping delivers a speech on Thursday during the 24th Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Astana, Kazakhstan. (FENG YONGBIN/CHINA DAILY)

Xi underlined the importance of peaceful solutions in resolving internal differences, and pooling strength to address difficulties in cooperation, so that the destiny of SCO member nations and regional peace and development can be firmly grasped in their own hands.

The SCO has been able to withstand the tests of changing international dynamics thanks to its steadfast commitment to the traditions of unity and cooperation, the path of equal and mutually beneficial collaboration, the pursuit of fairness and justice, and a broadminded embrace of inclusiveness and mutual learning, he pointed out.

Xi reiterated the importance of the SCO remaining true to its original aspiration, upholding the "Shanghai Spirit", enhancing mutual support, and building the organization into a reliable backbone for the common prosperity and revitalization of its member states.

Addressing the summit, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev noted that the SCO has become an effective mechanism of friendship, good-neighborliness, equality and mutual support, based on the "Shanghai Spirit".

"The SCO has established itself as a unique platform, where the interests and arguments of the member states are equally taken into account," he said.

He highlighted the strengthening of mutual trust and cooperation in security as the priority for the organization, saying that the SCO has unique capacities to ensure security in the Eurasian region.

Tokayev also identified strengthening transportation network through the creation of efficient corridors and reliable transportation chains as the next direction for cooperation, saying "we place great emphasis on the further development" of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.

The leaders of the member states also adopted the Astana Declaration and an initiative calling for solidarity among countries to promote world justice, harmony and development.


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