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Xi Jinping’s Speech to the SCO on New International Realities

July 6—Under the title: “Joining Hands To Build a More Beautiful Home of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization,” China’s President Xi Jinping spoke to the SCO Plus Meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan on July 4. He opened with a Chinese saying: “No mountain or ocean can distance people who have shared aspirations.” He added: “Today, we get together for our first ‘SCO Plus’ Meeting, with good friends and new partners in the same room holding important discussions. This shows that under the new circumstances of the new era, the vision of our Organization is widely popular, and that SCO member states have friends across the world.” Belarus became a new permanent member of the SCO yesterday at the Heads of State Council Meeting.

On the international situation, President Xi said: “The international landscape is undergoing rapid transformation. A new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation is advancing fast. As human civilization marches forward in big strides, factors of insecurity, instability and uncertainty are evidently increasing. To cope with this major transformation, the key is to have the wisdom to see the changes, the ability to deal with the changes, and the courage to make changes. We need to bear in mind that we live in a community with a shared future, and always uphold the Shanghai Spirit.”

He proposed altogether five principles to be followed:

• First, we should build a common home of solidarity and mutual trust. A few days ago, China held the Conference Marking the 70th Anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. The Shanghai Spirit is consistent with the essence of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. It is the shared value of our Organization, and should be all the more cherished and faithfully observed at all times.

• Second, we should build a common home of peace and tranquility. Security is a prerequisite for national development, and safety is the lifeline to happiness of the people. No matter how the international landscape changes, our Organization must hold the bottom line of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. Real security is premised on the security of all countries…. As the current chair of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure, China will do what it can to ensure the success of the Interaction-2024 joint counterterrorism exercise and other events.

• Third, we should build a common home of prosperity and development. Modernization is the shared goal of all countries in the SCO. China proposes that 2025 be designated as the SCO Year of Sustainable Development so as to help us focus on fostering new forces for growth. China is ready to work with all parties to fully implement the eight major steps under high-quality Belt and Road cooperation…. We will also expand local currency settlement, and actively promote the establishment of an SCO financing platform.

• On people-to-people relations, Xi said: “Fourth, we should build a common home of good-neighborliness and friendship,” adding that “In the next five years, China will host 1,000 young people from countries in the SCO for exchange opportunities in China.”

• “Fifth, we should build a common home of fairness and justice. … the Astana Declaration … is a strong message of the new era, one that calls for solidarity, cooperation and justice rather than division, confrontation, and hegemonism,” he said.

He closed: “China will take the rotating presidency after the Astana Summit. We will work with SCO partners in the spirit of solidarity and cooperation, and join hands with more countries and international organizations that identify with the Shanghai Spirit to strive for common progress and foster brighter prospects for a community with a shared future for mankind.” 

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