Working Together with Sincerity and Dedication to Take SCO to a New Level
Speech by H.E. Xi Jinping
President of the People’s Republic of China
At the 14th Meeting of the Council of the Heads of State of
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization Member States
Dushanbe, 12 September 2014
Your Excellency President Emomali Rahmon,
It is my pleasure to attend the SCO summit in Dushanbe. I would like to thank the Chair Tajikistan for making meticulous preparations and thoughtful arrangements for the summit. Over the past year, under the theme of “year of cooperation, common development and prosperity”, Tajikistan has made considerable and fruitful efforts for the growth of this organization, for which China expresses high appreciation.
Since the Bishkek summit, the organization has achieved new progress in its cooperation across the board. The parties, upon the consensus of that summit, have fully carried out the Action Plan for the Implementation of the Treaty on Long-term Good-neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation. We fought against the “three forces”, drug-trafficking, organized cross-border crimes, and cybercrimes, vigorously promoted practical cooperation in transportation, energy, finance and agriculture, carried out people-to-people exchanges in such areas as culture, health, education and disaster relief, and deepened our cooperation with observer states and dialogue partners. All these demonstrate the strong vitality of the SCO and constitute a solid foundation for the future growth of the organization.
The world today is undergoing profound and complex changes. Conditions favoring overall stability of the international landscape are increasing, but the world remains far from being tranquil. Peace and stability is faced with seemingly endless regional conflicts and local wars, heating-up of multiple hot-spots and mounting regional tensions and confrontations. World economic recovery continues to be slow, as a result of lackluster growth. Injustice and inequality remain disturbing phenomena in international relations. Upholding world peace and promoting common development is still a long and arduous task.
The SCO has entered an important phase of building on past achievements and opening up new prospects. It is our shared responsibility and mission to ensure that the SCO development stays on track for greater security and wellbeing of member states and the people of member states. We must have a strong sense of responsibility for our region and world peace, stability and development, and see each other in a common endeavor and a community of shared destiny and interests. We must work together with sincerity and dedication to build the SCO into an organization of better institutions, comprehensive cooperation, seamless coordination and greater openness, so as to benefit the people of our region.
First, we need to take upon ourselves to safeguard regional security and stability. Security is the prerequisite for development. Without security, development would find no foundation. As religious extremism resurges and terrorism increasingly colludes with drug-trafficking in this region, the SCO, as an organization built on security cooperation, should stand up to the grave situation, strengthen capacity-building for maintaining stability and take real actions to provide credible security guarantees for countries in this region in their pursuit of stability, development and a better life for their people. We must continue to improve law-enforcement and security cooperation network, enhance existing cooperation mechanisms and increase in an all-round way the capability of law enforcement agencies to maintain stability and manage emergencies.
China supports adding drug control to the mandate of the SCO Regional Counter-Terrorism Structure at an early date and on such basis establishing a center to cope with security challenges and threats so as to form synergy and delink terrorism and drug trafficking.
We must take a multi-pronged approach and make concerted efforts in combating the “three forces”, tackling not only the symptoms but also the root causes. The current focus of combating efforts should be religious extremism and cyber terrorism. We need to root out the sources and block the channels of dissemination of terrorist and extremist ideologies, enforce stronger vigilance and surveillance against attempts of infiltration, and prevent them from being manipulated by external forces for the purpose of sabotaging regional security and stability and stirring up social unrest.
China suggests that this organization should negotiate and sign a convention against extremism, look into the establishment of mechanism for taking actions against cyber terrorism and hold regular, practical joint counter-terrorism exercises so as to build up our joint counter-terrorism capability.
Second, we need to take common development and prosperity as our goal. The primary task of governance is to enrich the people. Given the increasing uncertainties in the world economy and resurgence of trade protectionism in some countries, the SCO should, in a win-win spirit, tap the potential of regional cooperation and jointly create opportunities for cooperation to increase the member states’ inherent development momentum and their capability to fend off risks. We need to accommodate each other’s interest and concerns, and based on that, discuss ways to expand and elevate cooperation in trade and investment. We should grant each other Most Favored Nation status, promote regional economic integration and develop an integrated space for economy, investment and logistics in our region. Parties should work to sign an international road transportation facilitation agreement and seize this opportunity to ensure on-schedule opening of related routes, explore their respective potential of transit transportation and boost the development of countries along those routes.
To establish an SCO financial institution is of great significance to the development of this region. Countries should build up consensus and reach agreement as soon as possible to provide financing support to SCO’s large-scale projects that benefit multiple parties. We should fully leverage the role of the Energy Club, strengthen coordination and cooperation among member states on energy policy and supply and enhance cooperation on security of transnational oil and gas pipelines so as to guarantee energy security. We should strengthen food policy coordination, expand trade in agriculture produce among member states and increase the overall food production capacity. China proposes that an SCO food security forum be held, an SCO scientific and technological partnership program be formulated and efforts to build a platform for information sharing on environment protection be accelerated with the support of the China-SCO Environmental Cooperation Center.
In order to consolidate and strengthen SCO regional economic cooperation, China has decided to provide a loan of US$5 billion to SCO member states to finance cooperation projects. The China-Eurasia Economic Cooperation Fund, whose establishment was announced by the Chinese side at last year’s meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of the SCO member states, has been officially launched. With a start-up input of US$1 billion, the Fund will expand to as much as US$5 billion. Through this Fund, we stand ready to assist member states, observer states and dialogue partners in their economic development. Moreover, the Chinese side will hold an exhibition fair for products of the SCO members during the Western China International Fair in October 2015 so as to facilitate the competitive products of the SCO countries to enter the Chinese market.
Third, we need to increase understanding between our people, which is the very purpose of our work. “People, if united, will be stronger”. The SCO’s future, above all, is in the hands of the people of the SCO members. We need to support friendly exchanges between business communities, academia, media groups, think tanks, art groups and other communities, and expand our cultural and people-to-people exchanges to all dimensions. We need to enhance mutual understanding and traditional friendship between our people, so as to consolidate public support for the SCO development. We should actively explore new channels of cultural and people-to-people exchanges, build up the SCO’s capability of international communication, and promote its ideals and principles. We should let the world know the “stories of the SCO” and hear the “voice of the SCO”.
China proposes that media cooperation be strengthened among the SCO countries and a forum of the SCO media cooperation be held for this purpose. China also supports the SCO countries in sharing experience on public policies and governance. To this end, China is ready to provide 2,000 training opportunities to officials and management and technical personnels from member states between 2015 and 2017, host seminars for 50 young leaders from SCO countries annually in the next five years, and with the support from the China-SCO International Judicial Exchange and Training Center, help member states train judicial professionals.
Next year marks the 70th anniversary of the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War. We should honor this major historic occasion with grand commemorations, and, in particular, help our younger generation, remember and draw lessons from history.
Fourth, we need to expand external exchanges and cooperation, which is a driving force of our growth. “Jade can be polished by stones from other hills”. To expand external exchanges and bring in new members serve the need of a growing SCO that is inherently open and inclusive. With more than a decade of prudent studies and consultations, the SCO has basically finished the legal preparations for its expansion, and the door to SCO expansion will be officially opened. We welcome those countries that have the willingness and meet the requirements to apply for official membership and inject new impetus into the SCO. We need to strengthen cooperation between member states and observer states and communication between member states and dialogue partners, further improve the “6+5” working mechanism, and take credible steps to bring observer states and dialogue partners into SCO related cooperation. We should also step up cooperation and mutual learning with the United Nations and its agencies, the Commonwealth of the Independent States (CIS), the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC) and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and other international and regional organizations.
China highly commends the signing of an MOU in Shanghai during the fourth Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) between the Secretariat of the SCO and the Secretariat of CICA. As the CICA chair for the period of 2014-2016, China will actively support greater exchanges and cooperation, mutual learning and common development between the SCO and CICA.
During my visit to Central Asia last year, I put forward the initiative of the Silk Road Economic Belt, which received great attention and enthusiasm from the international community, in particular the SCO member states. I am greatly encouraged and deeply appreciative of this. Currently, the building of the Silk Road Economic Belt is entering a new stage featuring practical cooperation. A plan formulated by the Chinese side has taken shape. China welcomes the active participation from SCO member states, observer states and dialogue partners so that together we can work out plans, build projects, share benefits, establish a new model of regional and south-south cooperation, and promote the connectivity and new industrialization of our region.
Amidst the readjustment in the international landscape, development of the SCO faces major opportunities and bright prospects. As members of the SCO family, we should adhere to the principle of win-win cooperation, uphold the “Shanghai Spirit” featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for diverse civilizations and the pursuit of common development, implement the Asian security concept that highlights common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security and, united in cooperation, jointly rise up to threats and challenges. In so doing, we will foster greater development of the SCO.
China will give its full support to Russia, the next Chair of the SCO, in hosting a successful SCO Summit in Russia.
I believe that through our relentless efforts in promoting cooperation and coordination, the SCO will definitely add new splendor to its achievements and attain new heights.
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