Global Times: SCO expands membership and international appeal as President Xi outlines priorities of solidarity, shared benefits

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BEIJING, September 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Chinese President Xi Jinping and other leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member countries delivered fruitful results Friday through the Samarkand statement and a series of documents and statements for not only regional countries but also the international community to sign, show the world that the organization and the regional countries are jointly striving for stability and development in the midst of a complicated global geopolitical situation.

The prosperous organization becomes a stronger force in maintaining international order by appealing to more countries to join and play a more important role on the global economic scene, such as serving as a stabilizing force of international energy and food markets. The region is working closely together to redouble counter-terrorism efforts in this region. The SCO represents an ideal international relationship that countries have long desired, experts say.

President Xi attended the closed session of the 22nd meeting of the SCO’s Council of Heads of State on Friday. While delivering a keynote speech, he pointed out that since its inception more than 20 years ago, the SCO has upheld the Shanghai Spirit and managed to break new ground for the development of international organizations.

Xi also outlined several priorities for the future for the SCO state members, including remaining committed to the Shanghai Spirit and strengthening solidarity and cooperation, maintaining strategic independence and ensuring regional stability, pursuing inclusiveness and shared benefits in the promoting development cooperation, and promoting the SCO enlargement process and strengthening SCO institutions.

Zhu Yongbiao, Executive Director of the Research Center for the Belt and Road and Director of the Center for Afghanistan Studies at Lanzhou University, told the Global Times on Friday that the fruitful content of the Samarkand statement shows that the SCO is on track to become a more international organization of a regional organization as its membership increases along with the interests of the member states.

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The Shanghai Spirit supported by SCO members can also be applied in dealing with international issues, Zhu said.

On Friday, SCO member states signed the Samarkand Declaration and made statements on ensuring global food and energy security, tackling climate change and maintaining a safe, stable and diversified supply chain.

In addition to traditional regional security and development cooperation, the Samarkand Declaration also addressed several international issues, such as concerns about unilateral protectionist actions undermining the multilateral trading system. It also showed that the SCO has matured and contributed more to the international governance system and the improvement of world order, Zhu said.

An important part of the statement is the call for concerted efforts to combat terrorism. It noted that based on the laws and coordination of each country, the state members are working to form common principles and positions on creating a unified list of banning terrorist, separatist and extremist activities.

The upgrading of several counter-terrorist institutions into a comprehensive center for security threats, as well as joint statements on issues such as food security and climate change are a natural extension after 20 years of development of the organization, and is also a necessary step amid new security challenges facing the region, it said. zhu.

In addition to emphasizing joint counter-terrorism efforts, the Samarkand Declaration has also expressed Member States’ concerns about space security and other controversial areas.

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“Member States stand for keeping space free from weapons of any kind and declare the great importance of the unerring implementation of the existing legal framework that provides only for the peaceful uses of space,” the document said.

The SCO’s proposals on international issues have greatly increased the importance and inclusiveness of the UN, as many international mechanisms represent the will of developed countries, but fail to take developing countries sufficiently into account, Zhu says.

Getting bigger with a better future

One of the most important achievements in Samarkand is the enlargement of the Member States. The SCO was established in 2001 with six members and has since expanded to eight, in addition to four observer states and six dialogue partners. On Friday a memorandum of obligations on Iran’s The SCO membership was signed and the SCO members began a process of admitting Belarus to the SCO.

Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Egypt formally become SCO dialogue partners with the signing of relevant documents, and award negotiations will be conducted Bahrainthe Maldives and the status of dialogue partner of other states.

Chinese analysts said more countries are expected to sign up to become full members of the SCO due to its growing appeal.

The appeal of SCO is that it helps Member States ensure their independence and sovereignty, gives them more scope for cooperation and increases their international voice and influence. It also helps members deal effectively with changes in international and regional situations, mitigate external pressures and respond to security threats, and resolve disputes through dialogue and consultation, said Zhao Huirong, an Eastern European study. expert from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Global Times on Friday.

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Zhao said China and Russia, as founding members and permanent members of the UN Security Council, have an important leading role in the development of the SCO, and the two countries have common interests in promoting peace and development in the region and providing many initiatives. The two countries have established a high level of strategic coordination partnership, which greatly guarantees the stable development of the SCO, Zhao said.

SCO Secretary General Zhang Ming recently told the media that many other countries have also expressed hopes of becoming members, observer states or dialogue partners.

The Shanghai Spirit, which characterizes mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for diverse civilizations and the pursuit of common development, is becoming more and more important in the current international environment amid hegemony and small cliques, and more preferring countries multilateralism and peaceful development are attracted to the SCO because the organization can maintain unity and solve stability and development problems in the region, Yang Jinan associate research fellow at the Institute of Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.

Zhou Ronga senior researcher at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies of Renmin University of Chinasaid the SCO has evolved from an organization primarily focused on border security cooperation to include countries from a broader geographic context.

“It will be an organization representing emerging countries, which will play a crucial role in ensuring stability and peace in the world,” Zhou said.

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SOURCE Global times

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