Foreign Minister Wang Yi on May 24 made a five-pronged proposal for the development of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), calling on all member states to expand and strengthen their cooperation with more effective measures and better coordination.
For starters, he urged all members to strengthen political mutual trust and unity. While promoting the “Shanghai Spirit,” featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for cultural diversity and pursuit of common development, Wang called for firm and mutual support inside the SCO on major issues involving core interests of member states.
As for security risks challenging the region, Wang asked SCO members to strengthen their cooperation in such fields as counter-terrorism intelligence communication, crisis warning, emergency management and joint law enforcement, among others.
Members should take strict measures to prevent infiltration of extreme terrorist forces, build network sovereignty awareness, curb drug overflow and play an active role in promoting stability and security in Afghanistan, said Wang.
As to practical cooperation inside the SCO, Wang said China stands ready to strengthen policy coordination and alignment of development strategies with other members, based on the joint construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt.
Fourth, Wang called for the gradual expansion of SCO membership. The inclusion of more members into the SCO demonstrates the vitality of the organization and its bright future, marking that the SCO is stepping into a maturer new stage. China is in favor of gradually enlarging SCO’s membership on the basis of consensus, he said.
Fifth, Wang said people-to-people links should be cemented and mutual understanding among the peoples should improve. According to Wang, China has taken the lead in establishing institutions such as the China-SCO Environmental Protection Center and a committee for good-neighborliness, along with initiating other plans.
He called on all parties in the SCO to make full use of the abovementioned mechanisms and platforms to draw the hearts of the different peoples closer with more welfare projects.
China treasures the multilateral cooperation between SCO members, and is willing to join hands with other SCO members to contribute to a successful Tashkent summit.
Wang called on SCO member states to seize the timing of the group’s 15th anniversary since its establishment, to carry forward the “Shanghai Spirit,” push for the growth and strengthening of the group, and ensure the SCO move forward in steady and concrete steps, so as to better benefit the region and its people.
Other foreign ministers echoed Wang, saying the SCO has made gratifying achievements and has played an important role in promoting peace, security and growth in the region and in the world. The SCO’s reputation and influence is steadily rising in the world.
The foreign ministers added that in face of new circumstances, the SCO should improve cooperation in security, economics and culture.
All member states supported the SCO’s special role in connecting the Belt and Road initiative and the Eurasia Economic Union and in promoting the prosperity of the Eurasia region.