By Wang Haiyun
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit, which was held over the weekend in Qingdao, Shandong Province, has drawn worldwide attention. This year’s meeting concluded with a series of joint statements and guidelines to ramp up cooperation on national security, trade and economy, cultural communication and international interactions. The SCO’s growing influence has also raised the issue of developing the organization and further empowering it to have a greater impact on international affairs.
The years have witnessed the SCO playing a significant role in promoting cooperation to address regional issues. The values it advocates – mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for cultural diversity and the pursuit of common development – have gained consensus among the members and propelled the establishment of a community of shared future for mankind.
The community of shared future is a commitment to building a new framework of global governance. It also refers to China’s contribution to the development of the world order toward a more stable and well-organized landscape. Now, the world is experiencing a transformation from unipolarity to multi-polarity, during which conflicts in the hemisphere of established powers are exacerbating, while emerging countries like China are playing a more important role of leading the establishment of a new world order.
After years of development, the SCO is capable of serving as a pioneer in facilitating the building of a community of shared future for mankind, which is also the core value of China’s diplomatic strategy in the new era.
The SCO is a regional organization, and periphery is the priority in China’s new diplomatic strategy. It is impossible for China to become an international powerhouse without a stable and friendly periphery. The SCO will focus on regional security, stability and economic cooperation, which will be instrumental for China’s diplomacy.
By achieving these goals, the SCO will become an exemplary model for building a community of shared future. It is easier for SCO members to find common ground not only because of their geographical proximity but also their pursuit of a stable political environment and economic prosperity as emerging countries. Members are more willing to establish a new world order that values equality, mutual respect, cooperation and fair competition. Such commonly accepted ideas will enable the SCO to lay a foundation for building a community of shared future.
The Qingdao summit has further elaborated on the spirit of the organization – the Shanghai Spirit, and proposed a few new measures to strengthen the consensus, but the SCO still needs to do more to come into full play.
It is imperative that the SCO articulate its strategic goals in a more systematic manner, which will better integrate members. How to improve strategic mutual trust and collaboration and unite more emerging powers should be the focal point of political cooperation. Security is one of the founding elements of the SCO. Building an inclusive platform for national security cooperation should also be a priority.
The Shanghai Spirit also needs more emphasis in the future. It represents SCO members’ pursuit of a new framework of cooperation and a new world order. So far, there are eight members in the SCO. How to expand their common ground in terms of identity, position, interests and mind-set is also crucial to facilitating the SCO’s role in building a community of shared future.
China, as the host of Qingdao summit as well as the founding member and driving force of the organization, has shown to other members and the world its dedication and commitment. It is inspiring to see the SCO take concrete measures to head for the big picture.
[The author is former military officer of the Chinese Embassy in Russia and a member of the International Advisory Committee, The Charhar Institute. The article is an excerpt of his speech at a seminar on the SCO and Asia-Europe peace and cooperation organized by The Charhar Institute.firstname.lastname@example.org] (Global Times)
SCO can help build a community of shared future
By Wang Haiyun