Sum­mit to open new page for SCO: Chi­nese an­a­lysts

In­dia, Pak­istan bring more op­por­tu­ni­ties to bloc

Global Times - Weekend - - TOP NEWS - By Li Ruo­han in Qing­dao

This week­end’s 18th Shang­hai Co­op­er­a­tion Or­ga­ni­za­tion (SCO) Sum­mit in Qing­dao will open a new page for the bloc in shap­ing a new type of in­ter­na­tional or­der, Chi­nese an­a­lysts said Fri­day.

Lead­ers of SCO mem­ber states and ob­server states, as well as heads of in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions, will at­tend the an­nual event to be held Satur­day and Sun­day in the East China coastal city.

“The sum­mit this year will open a new page for the bloc,” Deng Hao, sec­re­tary gen­eral of the China Cen­ter for SCO Stud­ies, told the Global Times on Fri­day.

“Af­ter 17 years of in­ter­nal build­ing, the bloc now has a sound work­ing mech­a­nism on co­op­er­a­tion at dif­fer­ent lev­els and in dif­fer­ent sec­tors,” Deng said. “It’s stand­ing at a brand new start­ing point.”

This is the fourth time the sum­mit has been held in China, a found­ing mem­ber and the cra­dle of the bloc.

The bloc will set a model for build­ing a new type of in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions that fea­tures “no-al­liance, no-con­flict, and no moves against any third coun­try,” which is to­tally dif­fer­ent from the tra­di­tional Western or­der that fea­tures a zero-sum men­tal­ity, Deng said.

Af­ter China en­ters a new era of devel­op­ment, the coun­try will con­trib­ute more wis­dom and solutions for the bloc to build a wider con­sen­sus in se­cu­rity, econ­omy and peo­pleto-peo­ple ex­changes in a world full of un­cer­tain­ties and chal­lenges, Deng said.

Chi­nese an­a­lysts said the fo­cus of the 2018 sum­mit in Qing­dao will be on se­cu­rity is­sues, and devel­op­ment and co­op­er­a­tion of the China-pro­posed Belt and Road initiative.

Friendly ties

Since the es­tab­lish­ment of the bloc, SCO mem­ber states have jointly held se­cu­rity drills, and pre­vented and busted hun­dreds of crim­i­nal cases, cap­tur­ing guns and ex­plo­sives, Liao Jin­rong, di­rec­tor-gen­eral of the In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion De­part­ment at China’s Min­istry of Public Se­cu­rity, said at a press con­fer­ence in Qing­dao on Fri­day.

Se­cu­rity co­op­er­a­tion will be fur­ther en­hanced in the fu­ture, as re­gional se­cu­rity still faces se­vere chal­lenges from ter­ror­ism, drugs, or­ga­nized cross-bor­der crimes and in­for­ma­tion se­cu­rity threats, Liao said.

The 2018 sum­mit is the first af­ter a mem­ber­ship ex­pan­sion.

In­dia and Pak­istan were ac­cepted as full mem­bers of the SCO in 2017 dur­ing a sum­mit in As­tana, Kaza­khstan.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion was es­tab­lished in 2001 by six found­ing mem­bers.

“China is full of con­fi­dence for the fu­ture of SCO af­ter the ex­pan­sion,” Liao said.

The in­clu­sion of In­dia and Paki- stan as SCO full mem­bers brings more co­op­er­a­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties to the bloc.

Sev­en­teen years af­ter its es­tab­lish­ment, the SCO has evolved from a se­cu­rity co­op­er­a­tion plat­form into an or­ga­ni­za­tion for com­pre­hen­sive co­op­er­a­tion, in­clud­ing eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion and peo­ple-to-peo­ple ex­changes.

Rus­sia, In­dia and Kaza­khstan are the most pop­u­lar SCO coun­tries for Chi­nese tourists, Xue Yap­ing, an official with the Min­istry of Cul­ture and Tourism, said at a sep­a­rate press con­fer­ence in Qing­dao on Fri­day.

More than 800,000 In­di­ans visited China in 2017 and about 200,000 Chi­nese tourists visited In­dia, Xue said.

Gao Fei, a pro­fes­sor with the China For­eign Af­fairs Univer­sity, told the Global Times on Fri­day that as a mul­ti­lat­eral plat­form, the bloc in­cludes mem­bers with dif­fer­ent demands.

“The coun­tries are also di­verse in po­lit­i­cal sys­tem, ide­ol­ogy, le­gal and so­cial mech­a­nisms, as well as cul­ture, which means dis­agree­ment could oc­cur from time to time,” Gao said.

What makes SCO spe­cial is “Shang­hai Spirit,” which high­lights joint devel­op­ment and re­spect for di­ver­sity, could bring the coun­tries to fo­cus on com­mon in­ter­est and man­age dif­fer­ence in a prac­ti­cal way, Gao said.

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