China Focus: Shanghai Spirit - strong momentum behind steady SCO development

Source: Xinhua| 2018-05-22 22:24:16|Editor: Xiang Bo
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BEIJING, May 22 (Xinhua) -- As the bedrock of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the "Shanghai Spirit" has showed strong vitality and will continue to promote solidarity among member countries and raise the organization's influence, a new report said.

The Shanghai Spirit is "the soul of the SCO" and the essential distinction of the organization from other international organizations, said a report on SCO development released Monday by the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China, together with two other institutes.

The Shanghai Spirit of "mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, mutual consultations, respect for cultural diversity, and pursuit of common development" is the organization's principle for internal affairs.

Created in 2001, the SCO has not only focused on regional peace, security and stability, but also devoted itself to regional development by facilitating trade and investment, enhancing industrial cooperation, and promoting people-to-people exchanges.

The organization accounts for over 60 percent of the Eurasian landmass, nearly half of the world's population and over 20 percent of global GDP. Its founding members are China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

In June 2017, India and Pakistan were accepted as full members of the SCO at the Astana summit in Kazakhstan.

Apart from the eight member states, the SCO also has four observer states and six dialogue partners.

"The membership expansion was evidence for broader prospects for the development of the SCO," the report said.

After the enlargement, it will be even more necessary to uphold the Shanghai Spirit and to internalize it as a code of conduct for all members, the report said.

The spirit is the underlying reason for the member states to overcome differences and identify with the organization, the report said.

As the soul and guiding concept of the SCO, the Shanghai Spirit has shown great vitality, and continued adherence to it will effectively maintain internal solidarity and raise the organization's international influence, said the report.

"It is safe to say that the sustained development would be opportunities instead of challenges for member countries, and boon instead of threat for the international community," the report said.

The report described the organization as a paradigm of cooperation among nations with different social systems, ideologies, development models, and cultures.

Steady development and expansion of the SCO would not have been possible without the Shanghai Spirit as the "soul," said Yao Peisheng, former Chinese ambassador to countries including Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

The spirit shares similar elements embodied in the vision of a community of a shared future for humanity and the global governance principle of achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration, and will continue to deliver strong vitality, said Li Yongquan, head of the China Society for Russian, Eastern European, and Central Asian Studies.

Since China took over the rotating presidency of the SCO last June, more than 120 activities have been held as of the end of June, covering a wide spectrum including politics, economy, security, people-to-people exchanges, and external exchanges.

In June, the 18th SCO summit will be held in the coastal city of Qingdao in east China's Shandong Province.