Security, economic, cultural cooperation lights up SCO’s future

By Pei Guangjiang, Xie Yahong, Huan Xiang, Ji Peijuan, Wang Yuan from People’s Daily

The 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit opened its curtain on Saturday evening in Qingdao, east China’s Shandong Province, bringing its stakeholders towards a gorgeous future based on its three pillars of security, economic and cultural cooperation.

The splendid light and fireworks show, carrying a wish for the organization’s bright prospects, brightened the night sky of the beautiful coastal city renowned for its scenery and beer.

“Guided by the Shanghai Spirit, our organization has delivered fruitful outcomes in security, economic and cultural cooperation and made historic strides in institution-building.” Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed the organization’s extraordinary journey and blueprint at his address during the welcoming dinner.

“Today, with eight member states, four observer states and six dialogue partners, the SCO has become an important force for upholding regional security, promoting common development and improving global governance.” he added.

Security cooperation has been high on SCO’s agenda. The first press conference for this year’s summit held on Thursday was rightly about such topics.

Over the past years, the SCO member states have made eye-catching achievements in cooperation of drug prohibition, border defense and information security, Liao Jinrong, head of the international cooperation department with the Ministry of Public Security told the press, adding that hundreds of premeditated terrorist attacks were thwarted by such cooperation.

During the Qingdao Summit, heads of state from the members are expected to approve the three-year outline for cooperation on combating terrorism, separatism and extremism from 2019 to 2021.

A joint appeal by SCO heads of state to young people and its action plan, which aim to prevent the young people from engagement of terrorism and extremism, are planned to be adopted as well.

All of these efforts, which are of great significance to regional security and stability, will help pass on the torch of peace from generation to generation.

Economic cooperation has injected inexhaustible energy into SCO’s development, with China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative an epitome of such endeavor by the member states.

“Kyrgyzstan was one of the first countries to support and participate into the Belt and Road Initiative and related construction,” Xi said when meeting with Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov who is now in China for the SCO summit.

China would like to make joint efforts with Kyrgyzstan to open minds and explore potentials to lift bilateral cooperation to a new level, the president pledged.

The Chinese president, when holding talks with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, pointed out that in the past five years, the cooperation between China and Kazakhstan in building the Belt and Road has entered a new stage of deep integration and mutual promotion.

“With concerted efforts, cooperation between China and Russia in various areas has maintained a strong momentum, and the integration of mutual interests has deepened constantly,” Xi told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

The two sides have reaped important early harvests in aligning the Belt and Road Initiative with the Eurasian Economic Union, Xi noted.

Cultural exchanges among the SCO members also add glamour to civilization. Xi, together with Nazarbayev, on Thursday met the members of the cast of Composer, the first movie co-produced by China and Kazakhstan.

They also watched the trailer of the film that tells the rarely known life story of the late Chinese composer Xian Xinghai in Kazakhstan in 1940s and his friendship with Kazakh composer Bakhitzhan Baykadamov.

The touching story happened 70-plus years ago proves that the SCO members, who are close in both geographic location and people’s bonds, have great potential in enlarging cultural exchanges, bridging hearts and bolstering civilization dialogues.

The security cooperation who serves as a foundation, along with the pragmatic economic cooperation who expands the organization’s development space, and the cultural collaboration who connects civilizations, will work as three pillars and three wheels to drive the SCO towards prosperous development.

The Qingdao summit is believed to further pool consensus and take SCO to the track of building a community of shared future for the mankind.