Your Excellency President Sooronbay Jeenbekov,
It gives me great pleasure to attend the 19th meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of State in the beautiful city of Bishkek. Let me begin by thanking our host Kyrgyzstan for the great preparation and thoughtful arrangements for this event. China highly commends the tremendous efforts Kyrgyzstan has made to promote the development of the SCO since taking over the SCO presidency last June.
The SCO has maintained a sound momentum of development since the Qingdao Summit. The propositions on development, security, cooperation, civilization and global governance put forth by China at the Qingdao Summit were warmly received by all sides and added to the SCO’s vision on cooperation. Guided by the Shanghai Spirit and the consensus of the leaders, SCO members have deepened cooperation in various fields and scored new achievements in moving the organization forward from a new starting point.
Despite immense changes in the international situation, peace, development and win-win cooperation remain the irreversible trend of our times. As a line in the Chinese classics goes, “Those who farm observe the shift of seasons, those who govern follow the change of the world.” We need to keep a profound understanding of the overriding trend toward multi-polarity and economic globalization, draw inspiration from the wisdom of the Shanghai Spirit, and seek strength from solidarity and cooperation so as to jointly build a closer SCO community with a shared future.
First, we must make the SCO an example of solidarity and mutual trust. The SCO has maintained a strong momentum of development and become an important and constructive force for regional security, stability and prosperity. The ultimate reason for its success lies in the Shanghai Spirit, which calls for continued enhancement of solidarity and mutual trust. We have on our shoulders the expectations of the people of SCO countries and we must think and work in one mind to build the momentum we need to achieve our common goal.
The Shanghai Spirit embodies the core values and common vision of the SCO. It has to be upheld and kept up-to-date in light of the evolving circumstances and the development of the organization. We must abide by the purposes and principles established by the SCO Charter and the Treaty on Long-term Good Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation, strengthen political mutual trust, give each other greater support, expand convergence of interests and create more favorable conditions to deepen bilateral and multilateral cooperation.
Second, we must make the SCO an example of common security. Over the years, guided by the vision of common security and a shared future, SCO members have carried out practical and highly efficient cooperation on the security front and ensured the overall security and stability of the region. Facing grave challenges from terrorism, extremism and other threats, we must all act together and with forceful measures to tackle our common challenges.
We must pursue common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. We must further improve the legal foundation for security cooperation. We must step up information sharing, joint operations and cyber law enforcement to strengthen the SCO’s ability to respond to complex situations. We must take a multi-pronged approach against terrorism, separatism and extremism, and fend off the resurgence of extremist and terrorist forces. As the SCO Convention on Countering Extremism enters into effect, we must further strengthen cooperation on deradicalization to curb the spread of extremist ideology. Afghanistan is neighbor to many SCO member countries and an important observer state of the organization. We have been following the developments in Afghanistan closely. Our thoughts are with the Afghan people who are suffering from war and chaos. The SCO firmly supports the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process. We will make full use of the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group, step up cooperation in various fields and play a constructive role in the early realization of peace, reconciliation, stability and development in Afghanistan. China will continue to do what it can to help with Afghanistan’s peace and reconstruction.
Third, we must make the SCO an example of mutually beneficial cooperation. SCO countries enjoy a sound momentum of development on the whole, as evidenced by the steady increase of the region’s share in the world economy and its contribution to global growth. Our region’s incomparable advantages like rich natural endowment, a huge market, and strong scientific and technological innovation capability provide us with abundant driving force for development and bright prospects for cooperation. We need to seize the momentum and strive for new progress in the integrated development of the region.
We must uphold the multilateral trading system, build an open world economy, work toward more institutional arrangements on trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and make full use of such cooperation and sharing platforms as the China International Import Expo to pursue greater economic openness, exchange and integration in our region. It is important that we earnestly deliver on the outcomes of the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) and give full play to the unique strengths of countries in the region to better synergize the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) with the development strategies of countries in the region as well as regional cooperation initiatives such as the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). We need to leverage the Joint Commission on Facilitation of International Road Transport and other relevant mechanisms to make railways, highways, and oil and gas pipelines more interconnected, so as to achieve all-round connectivity.
We need to pursue innovation-driven development and foster new areas of cooperation such as digital economy, e-commerce, artificial intelligence and big data. China will be happy to set up an SCO demonstration base in Shaanxi Province for exchange and training on agricultural technologies to strengthen cooperation on modern agriculture with other countries in the region.
Fourth, we must make the SCO an example of inclusiveness and mutual learning. Our region is home to many ancient civilizations where different nations, cultures and religions have coexisted and drawn strength from each other. We need to celebrate the diversity of civilizations as a precious asset of our region, and say no to the idea of clash of civilizations. We need to uphold openness, inclusiveness and mutual learning, with a view to creating durable impetus for the lasting friendship between our peoples and the common development of our countries.
We need to deepen our cooperation in culture, education, tourism, sports and media, and strengthen exchanges between women, the youth and other communities to ensure greater involvement of and greater benefit for our people. Last month, an International Medical Innovation and Cooperation Forum was successfully held in Fangchenggang in Guangxi Province of China, where participants from medical institutions and businesses of SCO countries reached extensive common ground on cooperation. We also support the initiative to set up an International Medical Opening-up Pilot Zone (China) in Fangchenggang to further promote medical innovation and cooperation within the SCO. China will be happy to host an SCO forum on traditional medicine in due time to help improve public health and medical services through traditional medicine. Since last year, Chelyabinsk of Russia and Chongqing of China have successfully held the first and second SCO Heads of Region Meetings. We need to earnestly implement the documents on sub-national cooperation to be approved by this summit and mobilize local governments and private actors to make sub-national cooperation a new highlight in our people-to-people cooperation.
In the face of increasing global challenges, it is imperative that we live up to our international responsibilities, stay committed to the vision of global governance based on extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and step up coordination and collaboration. It is imperative that we uphold the international system with the United Nations at its core, promote multilateralism and free trade and make the international order more just and equitable. The SCO needs to improve its network of partnerships, encourage broader participation in cooperation by observer states and dialogue partners, strengthen exchanges with the UN and other international and regional organizations, play a more active role in international and regional affairs, and jointly contribute to durable peace and common prosperity of the world.
China extends congratulations to Kyrgyzstan for successfully hosting this summit upon wrapping up its SCO presidency, and to President Vladimir Putin for taking over the chairmanship of the SCO Council of Heads of State. China will work with all other SCO members to provide Russia with full support in its work.
As a Kyrgyz saying goes, “From solidarity comes our strength for survival.” Let us act in the Shanghai Spirit, stay focused and take solid actions for an even brighter future of the SCO.
Home » Opinion » Staying Focused and Taking Solid Actions For a Brighter Future of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization
Your Excellency President Sooronbay Jeenbekov,