Source: Global Times
The annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was held Tuesday via video link.
President Xi Jinping attended the meeting and delivered an important speech. Russia holds the rotating presidency of the SCO this year.
Although it was held online, the conference attracted massive attention with the COVID-19 raging worldwide, uncertainties increasing, tensions intensifying on the China-India border, and the breakout of conflicts in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. The SCO is a banner in safeguarding multilateralism. It’s also an important platform to promote regional security and cooperation. Strengthening the organization is in the interests of all its member states, and in promoting global governance.
Established in 2001, the SCO was initially aimed at fighting the three evil forces of terrorism, separatism, and extremism through coordination. It has been upgraded gradually to foster regional cooperation. The member states also participate in other international organizations. Compared to those organizations, the SCO is a group whose members are geographically close to each other. It starts from regional security and expands to economic development, thus involving the major interests of all members. Its importance is self-evident and the development potential is almost unlimited.
In our view, it’s very necessary for SCO member states to build this organization as an important platform to safeguard national interests and regional common interests. They should develop good relations with other members, figure out common concerns, and jointly promote the SCO to exert a greater influence in the world. This should be one of the bases for the members’ diplomacy.
If cooperation within SCO moves slowly while inter-regional cooperation involving some SCO member states makes faster progress, then it is necessary for both the organization and its member states to ask why. After all, it is believed that what SCO can provide to its member states should be more like a “main course” rather than a side dish, considering the close geographical location of the SCO members and the depth of their common interests.
There are bilateral conflicts between SCO member states, such as the intense border friction between China and India this year. However, the very existence of the organization is a reminder to the China-India bilateral interests as well as the collective interests in the region that the border friction should not and cannot be all for China-India relations. Taking the border disputes under control, handling the relations well and jointly promoting regional cooperation is more conducive to the strategic interests of both China and India.
For those not willing to see the strengthening of the SCO cooperation, from the US to other Western countries, badmouthing the organization and hyping the conflicts among the SCO member states has always been the value orientation of their public opinion. They believe that multi-polarization should also be centered on the West, and SCO should not form a center of gravity alone. Therefore, SCO member states need to be vigilant about such opinions, and keep sober and have independent thinking on Western propaganda.
It’s fair to say that the growth of the SCO since its establishment is not at an ideal speed, but it has promoted the interests of all members. Terrorism, separatism and extremism have been hit and suppressed in the region, and political stability in most member states has been strengthened. It has been increasingly aware that it’s necessary to expand economic cooperation among member states. Some results have been achieved.
SCO members are all emerging markets. It’s in the best interest of all countries to realize further development. These countries are facing a similar development environment, difficulties and problems. They share a lot in common in these aspects and could understand each other easily. The SCO is a community. All members should make collective efforts to contribute to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.