Over the 15 years since its inception, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has developed a new type of international relations among its member states featuring mutual benefit and common development, which has greatly contributed to regional economic development and stability.
Upholding the “Shanghai Spirit” of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for cultural diversity and pursuit of common development, the SCO prime ministers’ meeting in Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek on Nov 3 will further deepen pragmatic cooperations on economy and security among its member states.
During the meeting, Premier Li Keqiang and other top officials will review the cooperations and developments in all fields of SCO, and to discuss ways to carry out the Belt and Road Initiative and other regional cooperation mechanisms.
Premier Li will also propose concrete initiatives to further deepen SCO cooperation in such areas as finance, trade, science and innovation.
The SCO members will announce 38 measures designed to boost cooperation in areas such as transport, science and technology, infrastructure construction and environmental protection.
Since all SCO member states are neighbors, a special geopolitical reality allows a favorable environment to be created for the joint development of countries in the region.
The Tashkent Declaration of the 15th Anniversary of the SCO signed at an SCO summit in June in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent reiterated that the member states were committed to further develop good neighborliness and friendly relations in areas of mutual interest.
Facing complicated security challenges, the SCO has forged a series of mechanisms that have played an irreplaceable role in safeguarding regional stability and security.
The mechanisms included the 2009 SCO Counter-Terrorism Convention, meetings of chiefs of general staff of the armed forces of the SCO member states, and the “Peace Mission - 2016” joint anti-terror drills.
These efforts will not only intensify the fight against terrorism, extremism and separatism to prevent the penetration of the aforementioned “three evils” into the SCO countries, but also reinvigorate Afghanistan, which has also applied for the bloc’s membership, and prevent the spread of unrest in western Asia to its east regions.
As economies of the SCO member states are highly complementary, more efforts are needed to promote major joint projects and create financial platforms of mutual assistance as well as research centers of innovation and high technology, which will help transform the region into a geo-economic plateau with high vitality.
At the 15th meeting of the Ministers of Economy of the SCO member states held earlier last month in Bishkek, China proposed to create special institutions to facilitate trade and investment in fields such as e-commerce, logistics and financing.
Furthermore, the integration of each member’s development strategies will broaden the path of the SCO and promote the overall progress of the region.
At the Tashkent summit, China promised to facilitate the alignment of its Belt and Road Initiative with the development strategies of other SCO member states, and hoped that the SCO would play a positive role in this process by creating more cooperation opportunities.
The other SCO member states have expressed interests, with their leaders voicing confidence in this regard.
With the appeal for dovetailing each other’s development strategies growing among a number of countries in southern and western Asia, the SCO, under the Shanghai Spirit, is expected to develop into a multilateral platform that will become an important driving force for a new and balanced world order.