Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

SCO shows the Shanghai Spirit

By Wang Yusheng (China Daily) Updated: 2013-09-12 07:34

Discussions based on mutual trust and respect will strengthen economic cooperation and enhance further regional stability

With the 13th summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to be held in Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan, on Friday, a look back at the preceding 12 years will reveal that the SCO has progressed in leaps and bounds and made enormous achievements in the region and beyond.

Since it was founded 12 years ago, when Uzbekistan joined the members of the Shanghai Five China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan and the six heads of state signed the Declaration of the Establishment of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the SCO has met with all kinds of interference, but it has successfully overcome them all. The cooperation among its member states, which started with security issues, has gradually expanded to encompass politics, the economy and culture. In doing so the organization has become an exemplary model of cooperation in the dawning of a new era of international relations.

The most significant achievement of the SCO over the last 12 years has been the emergence of the Shanghai Spirit. The simple words and phrases that define the Shanghai Spirit are "mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for diverse civilizations and seeking common development", which are the characteristics of a new era of relations between countries, as well as the common goal of all the SCO member states. As Vladimir Putin wrote in 2006, in a widely quoted article during his first term as prime minister of Russia, the SCO has opened a new mode of successful international cooperation. Kirill Barsky, Russian President Vladimir Putin's SCO envoy, said in an interview prior to the upcoming SCO summit in Bishkek, which Putin is due to attend, that the SCO has become a vigorous organization that is a powerful stabilizer in the region.

The successful development of the SCO is built on the foundation that all members of the SCO have equal standing within its framework, embodying the bloc's principles of "non-alliance, non-confrontation and not being directed against any third party".

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