By He Yin, People's Daily
Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend the 22nd meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in the city of Samarkand, and pay state visits to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan from Sept. 14 to 16.
As the world is going through profound changes and a pandemic both unseen in a century, and international and regional situations continue to undergo complex and profound changes, President Xi's trip to Central Asia will inject new vitality into the building of a closer SCO community with a shared future and kick off a new chapter of deepening regional solidarity and cooperation.
This year is of landmark significance for the SCO, as it marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the SCO Charter and the 15th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty on Long-Term Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation of the SCO Member States.
Since the founding of the organization, it has been closely obeying the above two documents and following the Shanghai Spirit, exploring a new development path for regional organizations and setting a good example for regional and international cooperation.
As the world has entered a period of new turbulence and transformation, the role of the SCO is not diminishing, but expanding, and SCO member states are not seeing a shrinking demand for cooperation, but an increasing one.
It is expected that the SCO can contribute its strength to safeguarding and practicing true multilateralism and protecting international justice and equity, when the world is seeing a complicated international situation, frequently emerging hotspot issues and a relapse into unilateralism and protectionism.
As an important founding member of the SCO, China always values, supports and promotes the development of the organization.
Since 2013, President Xi has attended multiple SCO summits where he raised a series of important proposals and initiatives to promote SCO development and regional cooperation. These proposals and initiatives have received warm response from relevant parties.
In the Qingdao Declaration, the SCO members made "building a community with a shared future for humanity" a common concept, and organization is promoting synergy between the Belt and Road cooperation and the development strategies of various countries and regional cooperation initiatives such as the Eurasian Economic Union, creating important opportunities for regional development.
The Global Development Initiative proposed by President Xi has been recognized by relevant parties under the SCO framework. They believe that the initiative is of great significance for alleviating today's global development predicament.
Besides, many member states speak highly of President Xi's Global Security Initiative, and recognize the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security.
China advocates independence and security for all, and opposes creating bloc confrontation and undermining regional stability. At the SCO Samarkand Summit, President Xi will exchange views with relevant parties on enhancing SCO construction in the new era and better dealing with major international and regional challenges, which will be conducive to safeguarding true multilateralism and protecting the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries, and make important contributions to promoting regional peace and development.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and the five Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
Over the past 30 years, China and the five countries have established strategic partnerships, deepening political trust and mutually beneficial cooperation, blazing a new trail of good-neighborly friendship and win-win cooperation, and setting a good example of fostering a new type of international relations. The two sides have also reached important consensus on building a closer China-Central Asia community with a shared future.
President Xi's upcoming visit to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan will definitely further deepen China's cooperation with the five Central Asian countries.
Over the past 30 years, China's relations with Kazakhstan have been constantly lifted to new levels, and the two countries have established a permanent comprehensive strategic partnership, which is important for regional and even international peace and stability.
It was in Kazakhstan nine years ago that President Xi proposed the building of the Silk Road Economic Belt, a component of the landmark Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) which also includes the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. The two countries implemented a series of cooperation projects of strategic importance and achieved fruitful results, which brought tangible benefits to the two peoples and set a good example for win-win cooperation.
Over the past 30 years, China-Uzbekistan relations have achieved leapfrog development. The two countries have become good neighbors sharing mutual respect and trust, good partners for mutually beneficial cooperation, and good friends benefiting from people-to-people exchanges.
At present, the two countries are facing important opportunities to enhance their comprehensive strategic partnership. They have pledged to achieve an annual trade turnover of $10 billion as soon as possible and set new targets, and decided to jointly implement the five-year plan for economic, trade and investment cooperation, and draw up a list of priority cooperation projects for the future. The two sides will continue deepening cooperation on connectivity, poverty alleviation and medical care.
China fully supports Uzbekistan's chairmanship of the SCO and is willing to work with the country to jointly achieve national development and vitalization.
Changes of the world, of our times and of history are unfolding today in ways like never before. At the critical stage that concerns world peace and development, the coordination and solidarity between China and regional countries will inject positive energy into global peace, development and cooperation, and make new contributions to building a community with a shared future for mankind.