Making progress together
BY 花消英气 from 21st Century
Published 2021-10-11
Guests visit the 2021 Shanghai Cooperation Organization International Investment and Trade Expo in Qingdao on April 26. XINHUA

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). So what do you know about the SCO?

Artykbaev Beketai, a student from Kyrgyzstan who has lived in Beijing for more than five years, has lots to say.

Beketai is a member of the SCOLAR Network Youth Platform, which is affiliated with the SCO Secretariat. Scolar stands for Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s Leaders with Aspiration and Respect. It brings together talents from 18 countries to strengthen connectivity, promote dialogue and create social impact through projects in three key fields: education, culture and entrepreneurship.
别克泰是上合国家青年平台(SCOLAR)的成员,该平台隶属于上合组织秘书处。Scolar代表 “上海合作组织胸怀壮志并彼此尊重的青年领袖”。上合国家青年平台汇集了来自18个国家的人才,通过教育、文化和创业三个重点领域的项目,加强互联互通,促进对话,产生社会影响。

Beketai told China Report Press that the SCO has provided members of the SCOLAR network with a lot of help, such as chances for cultural exchanges, resources for academic research and business opportunities.

The youth platform is a project based on the SCO’s aspiration of cooperation and exchanges.

The SCO was established to ensure security while promoting common development among member states. Set up in 2001 by six founding members – China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – the SCO expanded to eight members, with India and Pakistan joining in 2017. Together with its four observer countries and six dialogue partners, the organization covers three-fifths of the Eurasian continent and nearly half of the world’s population. The core of the SCO is the Shanghai Spirit, featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for cultural diversity and the pursuit of common development.

Over the past 20 years, the SCO has made remarkable achievements, noted Xinhua.

The overall security and stability of the region have been maintained despite a complex regional situation. Facing issues like terrorism and the challenges of COVID-19 control and prevention, the SCO members have responded with unified actions. Meanwhile, the social and economic developments of various countries have been promoted. China’s trade volume with other SCO member states reached $245 billion (about 1.584 trillion yuan) in 2020, up from $12 billion in 2001, reported Xinhua.

People-to-people exchanges have also been largely promoted. Back in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of visits between China and other SCO members exceeded 7 million, 3.5 times as many as in 2001.

The 20-year mark is a new starting point, noted Xinhua. The organization is looking to work more closely to strengthen its cooperation among its member states.

On Sept 17, President Xi Jinping urged unity, common security and openness among the SCO members in order to create a closer community with a shared future at the 21st meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO.

“I am confident that the growing SCO family will stride ahead together with all the progressive forces of the world, and be the builders of world peace, contributors to global development and defenders of the international order,” said President Xi.

(Translator & Editor: Li Xinzhu AND Luo Sitian)
Kyrgyzstan  吉尔吉斯斯坦
Secretariat  秘书处
Founding  发起的
Observer countries  观察员
Dialogue partners  对话伙伴国
Consultation  协商
Terrorism  恐怖主义
Exceeded  超过
Stride ahead  前进