The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Qingdao Summit which concluded Sunday marks an important milestone for China and the world, in terms of both international development and diplomacy.
The organization emphasizes mutual trust, reciprocal benefit, equality, consultation, and respect for diversity. This “Shanghai spirit” has stimulated the member states to cooperate and ensured the development of the SCO.
From the functions of the SCO and the positive expectations voiced by India and Pakistan after joining the SCO, it is obvious that the two new member states will play a positive role in regional development.
The SCO is a “non-Western organization” in the eyes of Western countries. The new membership of India and Pakistan may change the bias of the Western countries toward the SCO and help establish a variety of flexible cooperation mechanisms between the SCO and the West.
For instance, the two sides could establish an anti-terrorism cooperation mechanism and an anti-drug cooperation system.
The new membership of India and Pakistan has significantly enlarged the scale of the SCO for both economic and trade potential. Regional development will greatly enhance economic integration.
Both countries’ membership will help strengthen social and economic pragmatic cooperation among the SCO countries, in areas including investment, infrastructure development, and industrial and technological cooperation.
We might see more synergy created among SCO government departments, and expanded multilateral special economic zones.
As China’s neighbors, India and Pakistan are closely associated with China in terms of geopolitical security. Being close to Afghanistan, Pakistan has a great influence on stabilizing the situation there.
In terms of diplomacy, the SCO has inspired countries to rethink the basic principles of international relations.
In the face of new challenges, old mindsets will not help solve the problems. Forty years ago, China’s economy benefited from globalization. Now, the country is ready to contribute more of its wisdom and innovative practices to deal with major development, transformation and adjustment.
This year’s SCO summit has defined a surging trend in our global village, in which countries’ interests and future are interconnected.
SCO leaders’ expectations of future cooperation reflect all members states’ shared ideas. Multilateralism is supported. Trade cooperation is stressed, instead of unilateralism and trade protectionism.
As President Xi Jinping stressed in his speech at the summit, the SCO has embodied the Shanghai spirit, moving beyond cultural clashes, the Cold War mentality and zero-sum games. This is a new chapter in the history of international relations, with widespread recognition from the international community.