Xi's attendance at SCO summit, Asian visits to boost neighborhood diplomacy

Updated: 2014-09-11 09:53

By Zhang Yunbi and Zhang Zhouxiang(Xinhua)

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BEIJING - President Xi Jinping will attend a Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit before paying visits to four Asian countries.

Xi is scheduled to attend the SCO summit on Thursday and Friday in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. After the summit, he will visit Tajikistan, the Maldives, Sri Lanka and India.

Xi's trip is yet again another effort to promote China's neighborhood diplomacy of building an "an amicable, tranquil and prosperous neighborhood," with adherence to the principles of "amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness."

Strengthening SCO, promoting cooperation

Xi's attendance at the SCO summit will be an important event of his trip.

Founded in 2001, the SCO has continuously grown to be an important force in safeguarding regional peace and promoting common development. At the end of July this year, the SCO foreign ministers adopted a draft strategy to guide the organization's development until 2025. At the upcoming summit, the leaders will further strengthen top-level design for long-term development of the SCO.

The development strategy will make a comprehensive assessment of the various cooperation areas, said Sun Zhuangzhi, secretary-general of the SCO Research Center under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).

Denis Tyurin, director of the SCO Business Club, told Xinhua that the strategy will plan the future development of the SCO and determine the future direction of the organization's priorities.

The summit will also approve the legal documents of SCO expansion, which indicates an increasing influence and attractiveness of the organization, said Jabin Thomas Jacob, deputy director of India's Institute of Chinese Studies.

Security and economy are the "two wheels" to continuously push forward the SCO. Since the establishment of the SCO, its member countries continue to strengthen political mutual trust and economic cooperation. China's total trade with other SCO members has increased from $10 billion to $100 billion.

During the 2013 Bishkek summit, Xi advocated an agreement on facilitation of international road transportation within the SCO so as to build transport corridors connecting the Baltic Sea and the Pacific Ocean, and linking Central Asia with the Indian Ocean and with the Gulf. The leaders are expected to witness the signing of this agreement at this summit.

Sergey Sanakoev, secretary-general of the Russia-China Electrical Association, said that the signing of this agreement will be an important part of Xi's proposal to build the "Silk Road Economic Belt," and the SCO member countries will benefit from the agreement.

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