Xi Lays Out the Blueprint for the SCO’s Future Development

Chinese President Xi Jinping presided over most talks and delivered a number of key speeches during the 18th SCO Summit in Qingdao.

By Zhao Baoling, Tang Aijun

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) held its eighteenth meeting of Council of Heads of State in Qingdao, China on June 9 and 10, 2018.

Chinese President Xi Jinping presided over most talks and delivered a number of key speeches. These were of considerable importance and offered a unique perspective on China’s views. Xi laid out his proposals for win-win cooperation and carrying out new measures according to a framework of new theories.

The SCO reflects the principle whereby “all nations live side by side in perfect harmony, all states make concerted efforts and cooperate with each other, and all people belong to one family”. We believe that the SCO, upholding the Shanghai Spirit, will play a bigger role in regional development and international cooperation.

In his speech, Xi announced that China is to set up an equivalent special lending facility within the framework of the SCO Inter-Bank Consortium, to provide training opportunities for human resource development for SCO member states, and to offer to train 2,000 law enforcement officers for all members. He drew up a blueprint for the further development of the SCO following on from its achievements over the past 17 years.

The Innovative Development of the SCO

The SCO was established 17 years ago.

Over the past 17 years, the agenda of the SCO Summits has gradually expanded from the original strengthening trust in border areas, to comprehensive and mutually beneficial cooperation in politics, security, democracy, trade, and people-to-people exchanges. The SCO has developed from a “security community” to a “development community”. This development is innovative mainly in three respects: first, the SCO has created a new model for regional cooperation, which is of great significance to regional peace, stability and development; second, today the SCO stands as a comprehensive regional cooperation organization that covers the largest area (from the Arctic Ocean to the Indian Ocean) and population (over 3 billion) in the world; thirdly, the SCO has become an important force for promoting global peace and development and upholding international justice and fairness.

Win-Win Cooperation is the General Trend

In Xi’s speech, he mentioned that while unilateralism, trade protectionism and backlash against globalization are taking new forms, in this global village of ours where countries’ interests and future are so interconnected, the pursuit of cooperation for mutual benefit represents a surging trend.

It can be inferred that, despite the international instability, peace and development remain the trends of our times and a shared aspiration of all peoples.

Although unilateralism, trade protectionism and a backlash against globalization are renascent in this global village of ours where countries’ interests and future are so interconnected, the pursuit of cooperation for mutual benefit represents a surging tide; although various traditional and non-traditional security threats continue to emerge, security and stability are what people long for and the force for peace will prevail; although hegemony and power politics still persist in this world, the growing call for a more just and equitable international order must be heeded, for democracy in international relations has become an unstoppable trend of the times; although we keep hearing such rhetoric as the clash of civilizations or the superiority of one civilization over another, it is the diversity of civilizations that sustains human progress, and mutual learning between different cultures is a shared aspiration of all peoples.

A New Interpretation of the Shanghai Spirit

As the soul of the SCO, the Shanghai Spirit, transcending outdated concepts such as clash of civilizations, Cold War and zero-sum mentality, has opened a new page in the history of international relations. The Shanghai Spirit is reflected in the following five concepts: innovative, coordinated, green, open and inclusive development; common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security; open and inclusive cooperation for win-win outcomes; equality, mutual learning, dialogue and inclusiveness between civilizations; and the principle of achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration in engaging in global governance.

Xi said that we should work with all countries to build a global community of shared future under the guidance of the Shanghai Spirit.

The SCO has strengthened the mutual trust of its member states, enhanced people-to-people exchanges, and promoted common development. The SCO Qingdao Summit has drawn up an inspiring blueprint for the SCO to play a bigger role in international cooperation in the future.


Zhao Baoling, member of CPC Longkou Municipal Party School

Tang Aijun, associate professor of Party School of the CPC Central Committee, member of the standing committee and deputy mayor of Longkou City

Editor: Cai Hairuo

Opinion articles reflect the views of their authors, not necessarily those of China Focus