Youth representatives from 12 member and observer countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization visit the Qingdao International Convention Center in Qingdao, Shandong province, on Monday. The youths were participating in the ongoing SCO Youth Campus. (Li Ziheng/Xinhua)
More than 200 youth representatives from 12 member and observer countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization vowed to stand together to face new threats and challenges around the world and to strengthen trade, cultural and humanitarian cooperation.
The youths were participating in the ongoing SCO Youth Campus, which opened in Qingdao, Shandong province, on Monday.
The exchange event, now in its third year, was initiated by President Xi Jinping at the SCO summit in Ufa, Russia, in 2015 to enhance youth exchanges. The first event was in 2016. China agreed to host the event for five consecutive years.
One of the delegates' major tasks is to find ways to respond to the high expectations of their countries' leaders.
At this year's SCO summit in Qingdao in early June, Xi said China would continue to host the youth program. The heads of SCO countries issued a joint statement calling for more youth efforts to maintain regional peace and development.
"This was the first time leaders of SCO countries have given specific advice for youth and reflected their expectations that the younger generation will join causes important to SCO countries," Dong Xia, deputy secretary-general of All-China Youth Federation, said at the event's opening ceremony.
Dong added that the event is an important part of Chinese support for youth development and has served as an effective platform for youth exchanges by SCO countries.
Pavel Krasnorutskiy, vice-president of a Russian social organization - the Russia Youth League - said the campus will continue to connect members of the younger generation in related countries and provide a solid foundation for related countries' concerted cooperation while contributing to a harmonious relationship.
He said his organization has long committed its efforts to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship by young people and has engaged in practical cooperation with China.
"We are planning to boost the development of startups for young people in other SCO countries, including Uzbekistan, Belarus, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan this year," he said.
During the opening ceremony, the youth delegates also witnessed the naming ceremony of a sailboat and learned basic sailing skills. The boat was christened SCO Youth, symbolizing concerted efforts, joint endeavors and new journeys for the younger generation.
Themed "New SCO, New Partnership", the 2018 SCO Youth Campus was hosted by the All-China Youth Federation in Qingdao and Beijing. It runs until July 22.
In Qingdao, participants will visit renowned enterprises, advanced port facilities and scenic spots. They will also attend a high-level forum and a cultural exhibition. After that, they will go to Beijing to continue the journey, visiting the SCO Secretariat, the Palace Museum and the Great Wall.