What is the key to the success and progress of the SCO?
On September 16, Samarkand hosted the Summit for the member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Today, when the world is beginning to diverge into different poles, such formats as the SCO are of particular importance. Right now it is necessary to develop mechanisms for collective problem solving, it is important to search for solutions and multilateral cooperation that can respond to emerging challenges and threats.
China was one of the initiators and co-founders of the SCO. The Chinese spirit shows in the name of the organization. The SCO Secretariat is located in Beijing, and the main principles of cooperation within the organization come from the "Shanghai spirit", which embodies mutual trust, mutual benefits, equality, mutual consultations, respect for the diversity of cultures, and the desire for common development. That is, everything that China’s civilization stands on and what underlies the policy of modern China.
The President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping talked about these principles in his speech at the summit. These are the strengthening of political interactions, the development of mutually beneficial cooperation, equality, openness and tolerance, and justice.
What does this mean? This means that there are no major or minor members in the SCO, all members of the organization respect and support each other, cooperating in achieving peace and prosperity for partners. All issues in the organization are resolved by consensus, taking into account the interests of the parties, on the basis of dialogue. Dialogue is something that is so lacking in the modern world.
The ability of countries to talk to each other and perceive the interests of a partner is inherent in the "Shanghai spirit". This set includes not only mutually beneficial political and economic partnership, but also sincere respect for other cultures and values, as well as inter-civilizational exchange.
A very important point that Xi spoke about is the promotion of the principle of justice. That is, the SCO member countries should not try to satisfy their interests at the expense of partners, but all problems should be resolved on the basis of justice. It must be said that it is on these principles that Beijing builds its foreign policy.
China is very interested in the development of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Beijing is well aware that cooperation is the future, the economy is the future, and the more neighbors developed in this regard the country has, the more profitable it is. Therefore, China seeks to increase the overall potential of the SCO, to promote the socio-economic development of the member states of the organization.
China implements all these principles in its own policy, including within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The SCO member countries are on equal positions, the interests of both large and small states are taken into account equally. But China occupies an unspoken special position as the second economy in the world, stretching the threads of interaction around the world, rich and able to solve problems.
Over the years of the existence of the SCO, Beijing has repeatedly come up with important initiatives, including at the level of senior leaderships, in the field of security, politics, economics, and in the humanitarian sphere.
Thus, in September 2003, at the SCO summit in Beijing, the Chinese side made a proposal to create a free trade zone on the territory of the SCO states, and also focused on the need to develop joint energy projects. This idea was reflected in the Long-term Program of multilateral trade and economic cooperation (until 2020), signed during the summit.
Moreover, China allocated material assistance to speed up the process of creating a permanent executive and coordinating body - the SCO Secretariat. In February 2021, China announced a "complete victory" in eradicating absolute poverty, and, at the same time, its readiness to train its SCO partners in the methods that brought this success. The PRC plans to allocate one thousand quotas to the SCO member countries for training in anti-poverty skills within the next three years.
In his speech at the summit, Xi very wisely noted that the history of mankind is capricious like the weather: there are sunny days, and sometimes it rains and storms rage.
Indeed, the same thing is happening in human society, especially in recent decades. The world is changing right before our eyes. And along with the changes, new challenges and threats appear and the old ones become more acute. Unfortunately, the world is gradually slipping back into the Cold War era and old stereotypes are coming back.
The number of conflicts and wars is increasing, terrorism is gaining strength, and “color revolutions” are breaking out. Under these conditions, more than ever, joint actions are needed, if not on the scale of all mankind, then at least in the format of one organization.
According to the Chinese leader, in this situation, it is necessary to strengthen mutual support, intensify contacts and strategic dialogue at the highest level, support each other's efforts to protect security, and jointly counter terrorism and other threats.
In China, the interests of all parties are taken into account. In principle, China does not need to prove anything to anyone in order to demonstrate its economic and political power. The policy, philosophy and capabilities of China are based on very different principles. On the very principles of the "Shanghai spirit", aimed at achieving the good for all. This makes China the undisputed leader of the region and the Shanghai format in particular. A country with which you want to have a stable, long-term relationship. And this, undoubtedly, is the key to the success and progress of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
The author is the director of the international expert club EurAsiaAz and editor-in-chief of Azerbaijan news agency Baku Tribune.
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