Media to play positive role in strengthening SCO: Xi
By Li Ruohan
Global Times

Journalists seek more people-to-people exchanges

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) media summit will play a positive role in building up strength for the organization, said Chinese President Xi Jinping Friday.


A dance group from Kyrgyzstan performs at the Beijing Dance Academy on Friday. It was part of the people-to-people exchange activities for artists from countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. (Photo: Li Hao/Global Times)

Media, as an important bridge for communication, cooperation and people-to-people connectivity among SCO member states, should make more efforts to promote the Shanghai Spirit, expand practical cooperation and spread friendliness among the peoples, Xi said in a congratulatory letter to the summit held in Beijing.

"China resolutely supports the development of the SCO and is willing to join hands with all parties to build a more close-knit community with a shared future for the region and promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind," he said.

The purpose of the media summit was to improve people-to-people exchanges and cooperation, said Xi. 

Representatives from 110 media outlets from 16 countries attended the media summit and shared opinions about how to promote fair and balanced reporting of major issues around the world.

"You cannot have people-to-people connectivity unless you have connectivity among media. The media are the most important part in helping create the image of a country," Sarmad Ali, president of the All Pakistan Newspaper Society, told the Global Times on Friday.

"Today we are living in the world of fake news, there are also fake news about China, and we need to make joint efforts to create a favorable environment to counter such news," said Ali, adding that cooperation between media organizations will help create a more vivid image of China and what China stands for in the changing world.

At a panel discussion on Friday afternoon, reporters from SCO countries stressed that developing countries are suffering great losses as Western media still hold hegemony of reporting, while media exchange among blocs like SCO are important to breaking the status quo. 

The change is not going to happen overnight, and continued progress is expected, Alexey Nikolov, managing director of Russia Today, told the Global Times on Friday. 

The large number of media outlets in SCO countries is a powerful group that can introduce the organization's role and benefits to the people in the region, Rashid Alimov, secretary general of the SCO, said at the Friday's media summit.

Bigger block, bigger mission

The 18th SCO Summit will be held from June 9 to 10 in Qingdao, East China's Shandong Province. The summit will be the first since the SCO expanded to include India and Pakistan in 2017.

The inclusion of the two influential countries in Asia has also brought new development opportunities for SCO, said Alimov. 

"India's inclusion is a very important complement to the block. India has a very strong relationship with Russia and a very good and longstanding relationship with China," said K.V. Prasad, associate editor of The Tribune, the largest daily newspaper in North India.

This year's summit is a chance to explore how India and SCO countries can work together, Prasad told the Global Times on Friday. "Countries can disagree on a lot of issues but multilateral forums will get them to the ideas of how they can cooperate on the issues of common interest and take them forward," he said. 

Ali said he hopes the SCO summit in Qingdao will fully implement the signed agreements, such as agreements that promote media and people-to people exchange that are inclusive and practical.

The SCO was established in 2001, with China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as founding members. With the inclusion of India and Pakistan, the eight SCO member states now account for more than 60 percent of the Eurasian landmass, nearly half of the world's population and over 20 percent of global GDP.