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FEATURE STORY: Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Meeting Results and Future Plans
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Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)
Meeting Results and Future Plans
By Harold Murphy

BT 201808 Feature 01

Council of Heads of Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Qingdao, east China's Shandong province, June 10, 2018.

就在今年的6月9日,青岛市海滨波光粼粼的海面上,绚烂的焰火腾空而起,点亮无垠的夜空,《有朋自远方来》灯光焰火艺术表演精彩绝伦,见证着上海合作组织着眼未来发展的历史性时刻——6月9日至10日,上海合作组织青岛峰会在山东青岛召开。9日晚,国家主席习近平在青岛国际会议中心举行宴会,欢迎出席上海合作组织青岛峰会的上合组织成员国、观察员国领导人以及国际组织负责人。这是上合组织扩员后举行的首次峰会,也是今年中国主场外交的一大盛事。上合组织峰会再次回到始发地中国,向历史致敬,朝未来进发,高举“上海精神”的旗帜,在全球发展的激扬跌宕处谱写友谊与合作、共建人类命运共同体的崭新篇章。

上海合作组织,简称上合组织,是中华人民共和国、哈萨克斯坦共和国、吉尔吉斯斯坦共和国、俄罗斯联邦、塔吉克斯坦共和国、乌兹别克斯坦共和国于2001年6月15日在中国上海宣布成立的永久性政府间国际组织。其前身是“上海五国”会晤机制。上海合作组织成员国元首理事会第十五次会议2015年7月10日在俄罗斯乌法举行,乌法峰会通过关于启动接收印度、巴基斯坦加入上合组织程序的决议,上合组织扩员的大门正式打开。至2017年6月1日,中国外交部发言人华春莹在例行记者会上表示,印度和巴基斯坦将在阿斯塔纳上合组织峰会上成为正式成员。这是上合组织2001年成立以来首次扩大组织成员规模。

本届上合组织青岛峰会意义重大,首先要考虑到中共十九大提出构建新型国际关系、构建人类命运共同体这个大背景,同时,国际形势和国际秩序发生的重大变化也不可忽视。在青岛峰会上,各成员国就朝核问题、伊核问题、叙利亚问题等热点问题共同发声,对单边主义和贸易保护主义表明共同立场,就全球治理发出响亮的“上合声音”。此外,印度和巴基斯坦于去年成为上合大家庭的新成员,首次扩员后的上合组织进入了发展关键期。上合组织如何行稳致远也是青岛峰会的重要议题。

上合组织作为国际舞台上不可忽视的一支力量,必将在未来对各国产生巨大的积极影响。我国也将在上合组织中继续发挥推动作用。如习主席所言:“让我们以青岛峰会为新的起点,高扬‘上海精神’的风帆,齐心协力,乘风破浪,共同开启上海合作组织发展新征程!”进入新时代的中国将在更大范围、更广领域、更高水平上推进对外开放,必将为上合组织各国提供更广阔的市场和更多的合作契机。

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), also known as the Shanghai Pact, is a security, political and economic organization launched in 2001 and it was formally established in 2002 by members of the Shanghai Five group and Uzbekistan. The Shanghai Five group, founded in 1996 in Shanghai, comprised of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan. In addition to the original six nations, India and Pakistan also joined the SCO in June 2017, making the Organization one of the most powerful in the world in terms of military and economic power, geographical coverage, population and political influence.
 

And the 18th summit in Qingdao, China, concluded the spectacular results of SCO member states. The GDP of the six founding nations experienced a seven-fold increase since 2001, and reached $12.6 trillion in 2017. The total trade volume also increased to almost $5 trillion in 2017, as compared to $672 billion in 2001.
 

Overview of the 18th SCO Summit

SCO member states hold annual summits at alternating venues, the last of which was held in Qingdao, China, on 9th and 10th of June, 2018. The summit in the Chinese coastal city, which was the first meeting that included India and Pakistan as full members of the Organization, concluded with the stunning results that the member states have achieved over the last 17 years and stated that countries will continue to strengthen their economic ties in the areas of finance, agriculture, investment and business, enhance mutual trust, and support the Belt and Road initiative.

 

The SCO member states also signed a total of 23 cooperation documents covering a wide range of fields including economy, culture, politics and security. Furthermore, the Council of Heads of Member States issued a declaration which promotes cooperation in times of an increasingly diverse geopolitical situation and growing uncertainties, and stated that “building a community with a shared future for humanity” is a concept which should be adopted by all member states.

BT 201808 Feature 02The SCO at a glance: Population and GDP of member states

SCO Dedicated to Fight Terrorism, Extremism and Separatism

The SCO member states endorsed the role of the Organization’s regional counter-terrorist agencies in safeguarding security of the region. The agency fights against terrorism, separatism and extremism in the region, and plays a vital role in ensuring safe conditions for cooperation among countries. All Council of Heads have concluded that it is very important to fight against any kind of global threats, including those in the online world, and to use diplomatic and political means for settlement of global conflicts, according to the principles of international law.
 

Diplomatic Approach to Korean Peninsula and Iran’s Nuclear Agreement

The Council of Heads concluded that the member states are aware that a diplomatic approach and dialogue can produce long-lasting peace in Northeast Asia by promoting denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Member states also supported the international peace initiative to mitigate tensions in the region.
 

"SCO members support dialogue and contact between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the Republic of Korea, and between the DPRK and the United States, and calls on all related parties to facilitate the development of dialogue," according to the signed declaration. The declaration also reads that it is very important to support and enforce the international agreement regarding Iran’s nuclear program.
 

Pakistan and Uzbekistan Improving Bilateral Relations

Uzbekistan played an important role in Pakistan’s membership in Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and leaders of the two countries have agreed to improve their bilateral relations at the Qingdao summit. President of Pakistan, Mamnoon Hussain, congratulated the President of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, and the country’s leading role in SCO’s Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS).
 

Both leaders have also agreed to improve mutual cooperation between the two countries in the fields of agriculture, education, energy, infrastructure and transportation.
 

Reactions to the 18th SCO Summit

Results of the 18th SCO Summit held in Qingdao earned praise from around the world. Luigi Gambardella, president of a Belgium-based international association named China-EU, said that the summit successfully demonstrated unity among member countries, and the commitment of leaders in multilateralism and cooperation.
 

Jon R. Taylor, professor of political science at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas, said that Xi “projected creative statesmanship” and was able to project “a win-win consensus”, while Trump “looked like a man out of his league.”
 

Conclusion

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization has proved to be an important Eurasian alliance covering nearly half of the human population. At the 18th summit held in Qingdao, China, member states reaffirmed their dedication to good neighborliness and cooperation in the fields of economy, investments, transportation, culture and education. The Council of Heads also supported China’s ambitious Belt and Road initiative, and with India and Pakistan becoming full members of the SCO, the Organization will remain one of the most influential alliances in terms of political, military and economic influence during the coming period.

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