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Success of 18th Summit of SCO

By Zamir Ahmed Awan | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-06-12 09:12
President Xi Jinping presides over a plenary session of the 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit in Qingdao, Shandong province, on June 10. [Photo/Xinhua]

Congratulations! The 18th SCO Summit was held Saturday and Sunday in Qingdao in East China's Shandong province. It was attended by right full members, four observer countries, six dialogue partners, and guest attendees from the UN, CIS, ASEAN & Turkmenistan. China being the host country, President Xi Jinping chaired the summit. The summit was very smooth and successful. All the participants were happy and satisfied. President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech. He emphasized the Shanghai spirit and proposed 5 suggestions as below:

“First, we need to build up strength of unity and mutual trust. We should ensure full implementation of the Qingdao Declaration, the Outline for the Implementation of the Treaty on Long-Term Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation, and other documents. We should respect each other's choice of development paths and accommodate each other's core interests and major concerns. We should enhance mutual understanding by putting ourselves in others' positions and boost harmony and unity by seeking common ground and setting aside differences. This will enhance the cohesion and appeal of our organization.

Second, we need to strengthen the foundation for shared peace and security. We need to actively implement the 2019-2021 program of cooperation for combating the "three evil forces" of terrorism, separatism and extremism, continue to conduct the "Peace Mission" and other joint counter-terrorism exercises, and enhance cooperation on defense security, law enforcement security and information security. We need to give full play to the role of the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group to facilitate peace and reconstruction in Afghanistan. China offers to train 2,000 law enforcement officers for all parties in the next three years through China National Institute for SCO International Exchange and Judicial Cooperation and other platforms to enhance law enforcement capacity building.

Third, we need to build a powerful engine to achieve common development and prosperity. We should increase complementarity of our respective development strategies, continue to advance the Belt and Road cooperation under the principle of delivering shared benefits through extensive consultation and joint contribution, accelerate regional trade facilitation, and step up the implementation of the Agreement on International Road Transport Facilitation and other cooperation documents. China will welcome all parties to the first China International Import Expo to be held in Shanghai in November this year. The Chinese government supports building a demonstration area in Qingdao for China-SCO local economic and trade cooperation, and will set up a committee of legal services for SCO member states to provide legal support for business cooperation.

In this connection, I hereby announce that China will set up an RMB 30 billion equivalent special lending facility within the framework of the SCO Inter-bank Consortium.

Fourth, we need to forge closer ties through cultural and people-to-people exchanges. We should actively implement the outline for environmental protection cooperation and other documents, ensure the continued success of such well-recognized programs as the youth exchange camp, and secure solid progress in cooperation in education, science and technology, culture, tourism, health, disaster relief and media. In the next three years, China will provide 3,000 training opportunities of human resources development for SCO member states to enhance public understanding of and support for the SCO family. China offers to provide meteorological services to all parties using its Fengyun-2 weather satellites.

Fifth, we need to expand partnership networks of international cooperation. By intensifying exchanges and cooperation with SCO observer states, dialogue partners, and other countries in our region, by enhancing partnerships with the United Nations and other international and regional organizations, and by engaging in dialogue with the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other international financial institutions, we can contribute our share to resolving hotspot issues and improving global governance.”

All the participating countries welcomed his suggestions. Especially Pakistan, which is already engaged on all five suggestions. Pakistan enjoys ideal relations with China and is already collaborating with China under BRI initiatives called the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). With central Asian countries, we have historical relations, ethnic relations, cultural relations, and definitely, Pakistan will enhance its all-dimensions' relations further, under the SCO umbrella of the SCO, with Shanghai spirit and the five suggestions proposed by President Xi. With Russia, our relations witnessed rapid growth in recent years and after joining the SCO, these relations will obviously improve further, with the Shanghai spirit. We are optimistic that India will follow the Shanghai spirit and normalize its relations with Pakistan. Pakistan has taken all possible measures to normalize its relations with India.

The 18th SCO Summit was very successful and important for Pakistan. Pakistan has committed to play its role and contribute to the best of its capabilities. Pakistan is optimistic, that the SCO will help generate more economic activity and bring prosperity not only for Pakistan, but also for all member states and the whole region.

The author is a sinologist (ex-Diplomate), non-resident fellow of the Center for China and Globalization, National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan.

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