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SCO pools wisdom to address critical development challenges

Source: China Daily | 2020-11-11

Photo taken on June 12, 2019 shows the Qingdao multimodal transportation center at a demonstration zone for China-SCO local economic and trade cooperation in Jiaozhou city, East China's Shandong province. [Photo/Xinhua]

This is an editorial from China Daily.

The Summit of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization conducted via video on Tuesday provided fresh impetus for regional and global development in the post-pandemic era.

Having withstood the vicissitudes of the past 20 years, the SCO has developed into an essential platform for regional collaboration and cooperation.

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus and the rise of unilateralism, hegemonism and protectionism have only heightened the value of the Shanghai Spirit the organization upholds.

This spirit transcends the outdated Cold War zero-sum mentality. It embodies mutual respect, mutual trust and mutual benefit. It has opened a new chapter in the history of international relations and gained the increasing endorsement of the international community.

That the organization has grown from a six-member mechanism into a regional comprehensive cooperation organization with eight members, four observer states and six dialogue partners since its establishment in 2001 testifies to the pertinence of the Shanghai Spirit.

And the Shanghai Spirit has by no means just symbolic meaning, as when manifest in tangible actions it also has great practical significance.

To drive home the shared commitment to the Shanghai Spirit, President Xi Jinping in his remarks on Tuesday, called on the SCO to make more explorations to build a community with a shared future for humanity.

He urged the SCO members, partners and observers to strengthen solidarity and mutual trust, deepen cooperation in epidemic control and public health governance, enhance their security cooperation and boost their synergy to seek common development, saying that history has proven and will continue to prove that multilateralism will win over unilateralism.

The meeting made clear that the priorities for the organization's multilateral cooperation strategy are boosting common development, preserving collective security and stepping up exchanges in the region and beyond.

As the organization has evolved from a regional security bloc into a platform for the countries to work together to address common concerns, seek common development and collectively respond to common challenges, it is ridiculous for some to compare the SCO to a bloc set up to counter the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Although it will firmly oppose any interference by external forces in the internal affairs of its members, the SCO, which represents nearly half of the world's population, will continue to play a positive role in maintaining a secure and stable environment, and stimulating growth and development not only in the region but the world over.