Monday July 22, 2024

President Xi speech at SCO and community with a shared future

Second-largest economy and formidable global power, China aims to strengthen and build a multidimensional organisation that can play a prominent role at the global level

By Shakeel Ahmad Ramay
July 08, 2024
Chinese President Xi Jinping gestures as he meets with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (not pictured) in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, June 19, 2023 — Reuters
Chinese President Xi Jinping gestures as he meets with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (not pictured) in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, June 19, 2023 — Reuters

China, in collaboration with Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, established SCO to find a peaceful formula for coexistence. It was built on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, concisely embodied in the “Shanghai Spirit”. SCO strictly adheres to the principles of mutual respect, mutual non-aggression, and peaceful solutions to issues.

These principles, along with the promotion of respect for sovereignty, non-interference and respect for domestic systems are a testament to SCO’s unwavering commitment to peaceful coexistence. The Chinese philosophy of “dialogue and development” was adopted as the main instrument to steer the process and resolve the differences and issues.

These factors have contributed to building a positive image of SCO and facilitated its expansion over time. With the recent inclusion of Belarus, SCO now boasts ten full members: Belarus, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Additionally, there are three dialogue partners, and many attend the summits as observers. After the addition of Belarus, SCO represents 40pc of world’s population, and its member countries contribute approximately over $23 trillion to global GDP.

As a founding member, second-largest economy and formidable global power, China aims to strengthen and build a multidimensional organisation that can play a prominent role at the global level. Under the leadership of President Xi, China has introduced numerous initiatives and multiple opportunities for member states to make SCO a platform for peace, development, and prosperity. The launch of the vision of a Community with a Shared Future has accelerated and consolidated these efforts.

President Xi has announced many initiatives to make the dreams of peace, development, and prosperity a reality for SCO member states.

President Xi, on multiple occasions, emphasised China, as a leading country in SCO partnership, should play its role and contribute, especially in the fields of economy and technology. President Xi Jinping, as he likes to walk the talk, has already launched two specific initiatives to promote economic linkages and technological cooperation.

He introduced “China-SCO Local Economic and Trade Cooperation Demonstration Zone”. It is a specialised and tailored initiative for SCO countries, which offers multiple opportunities in the fields of trade, investments, technology, tourism, etc. It provides an excellent opportunity for SCO countries to invest in Chinese market and attract funding from China for their ventures. With better planning, countries can easily become part of Chinese supply chain.

President Xi is cognizant of the fact technology is a leading force of connectivity and will play a critical role in development of countries in the coming decades. He has announced China will be working to deepen technological cooperation with all SCO members and share the technological dividend with all member countries.

China, in 2021, organised China-SCO Forum on the digital economy industry. It was a step in the right direction, especially with the effects of COVID-19 kept in mind and the importance of technology in combating the challenges.

The cooperation is expected to be a good opportunity for all members to benefit from Chinese technological development. As we know, China is a leading player in many technological fields like 5-G, quantum computing, space technology, artificial technology, etc.

China has already initiated a process to provide scholarships like 1,000 International Chinese Language Teachers Scholarships and offered 3,000 “Chinese Bridge” summer camp opportunities to member countries. It started inviting young scientists to China to promote scientific research cooperation, and 100 young scientists will be invited. China has also hosted events on rural revitalisation and climate response and encouraged member countries to participate.

China has opened new avenues of cooperation in the agriculture field. It is inviting member countries to benefit from the demonstration base for agricultural technology exchange and training.

While addressing the 24th summit of the heads of state, President Xi elaborated on how China will take practical steps to expand cooperation under SCO to build a community with a shared future. President Xi’s speech clearly spells out China is busy erecting institutional mechanisms to support SCO and its members in constructing a community with a shared future. The speech also indicates China is making a community with a shared future vision a guiding principle for future interaction with SCO members. Following its legacy of walking the talk, President Xi announced numerous initiatives to strengthen the SCO.

President Xi reiterated China will remain committed to implementing 8-point cooperation agenda for high-quality development under the BRI. The 8-point agenda is a comprehensive vision to build modern infrastructure, adopt a high-quality development philosophy, pursue green growth, enhance connectivity, deep cooperation in the fields of technology, people to people cooperation, etc.

Cooperation in the areas of agriculture, smart agriculture and technology will be further accelerated. China is open to cooperation in sharing the services of Beidou Satellite Navigation System and urges members to participate in development of International Lunar Research Station. China will also provide 1000 training for member countries in digital technology.

China will continue to organise Forum on Traditional Medicine, Forum on People-to-People Friendship, Youth Campus and Youth Development Forum. Moreover, China will offer 1000 young people opportunity to visit China under the exchange programme. Youth engagement is important in strengthening relationships and carrying the mantle to future generations.

President Xi offered countries opportunity to join China’s modernisation drive, as being a shared goal of all members. China will work with nations to find new forces of growth and development. This is in line with high-quality development of BRI and New Quality Productive Forces. Therefore, China has decided to designate 2025 as the year of Sustainable Development for SCO.

He emphasised the need to modernise SCO’s governance system to improve its effectiveness and operation. This is considered very important for an expanding organisation with enhanced global influence. President Xi attaches great importance to governance, both at domestic and global levels, for ensuring well-being of people, peace and building a community with a shared future. He has made modernisation of governance a key pillar of reforms in China.

He believes governance systems must be result-oriented, dynamic, inclusive, coherent and technologically advanced. It is essential to build a pluralistic, democratic and cooperative society. It is expected President Xi will keep these elements at the core to reform the SCO’s governance system.

China is making sincere efforts and wants to work closely with SCO member states to build a community with a shared future. China is supporting these efforts with concrete opportunities and practical steps.