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Year-ender: Shanghai Cooperation Organization in 2015: Driving the Silk Road Economic Belt

Editor: Li Kun 丨CCTV.com

12-21-2015 18:27 BJT

By Sun Zhuangzhi, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is advocating new cooperation thinking and making rich achievements in several fields. The year 2015 is about to pass, which is a special year for the SCO.


The organization has built an updated version of multi-lateral cooperation based on Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) construction, attempting to handle international and regional challenges, carrying out practical actions to defend regional stability and peace  and promote mutual development.

Demonstrating the importance of SCO platform

The SCO Ufa summit on July 10 and the prime ministers’ meeting in Zhengzhou on Dec. 15 had secured consensus on greater cooperation, as well as SREB construction proposed by Beijing.

The head-of-state summit signed more than 10 documents, including the SCO Development Strategy 2025 and Border Cooperation Agreement, while the prime ministers’ meeting passed files including Five-year Plan of Customs and Statement on Regional Economic Cooperation. The SCO has placed more emphasis on practical achievements in priority areas in the second ten-year plan.

Chinese President Xi Jinping had proposed building a community of regional destiny in the summit, and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang had endorsed cooperation platforms of security, capacity, mutual connection, finance, regional trade and well-being.

Russian President Vladimir Putin keyed in on the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers in June, in regards to documents signed by Beijing and Moscow on China's "Silk Road Economic Belt" initiative with the Eurasian Economic Union opening up new prospects for SCO development.

In May, the Council of Ministers of Transport had touted multi-modal transport to establish convenient networks of connected infrastructure.

In September, the Ministerial Conference of SCO Member States on external economy and trade activities focused on the One Belt And One Road, along with the launch of more development activities in five years, setting-up a facilitation work team, and etc.

The Meeting of the Board of the SCO Business Council and Meeting of the Council of the Interbank Consortium held in Russia strengthened the coordination between member states over macroeconomic and financial policies.

Enhancing safety cooperation to combat terrorism

With the rise of terrorism in the Middle East and Afghanistan, SCO is facing more tasks to combat extremism and terrorism, and paying attention to further coordination with law enforcement for public safety.

The Secretarial Meeting on Security in April and the Third Ministerial Meeting of Public Security and Internal Affairs in June discussed key issues including anti-drugs, combating transnational organized crimes and protecting legal rights of citizens and organizations.

On June 30, the SCO Ministerial Meeting of National Defense was held in St. Petersburg, in which opinions of international and regional security issues were exchanged and a Joint Communique was signed. 

Member states have strengthened judicial cooperation. In August, the 13th Meeting of Chief Procurator decided to further combat cross-border drug crimes. Also in August, the 3rd Ministerial Meeting of Justice signed a cooperation agreement to establish unified electronic database on the laws of member states.

The first Orient-2015 law enforcement move between China and Kyrgyzstan border departments was launched in Xinjiang, northwest China in June. In October, the SCO first joint maneuver targeting Internet terrorism was held in Xiamen City, south China.   

Extending SCO cooperation with people-to-people exchanges
The 12th meeting of ministers from SCO member countries was held in Moscow last April. In March, the tourism departments of member countries met in Moscow to discuss cooperation plans.

Additionally, the education departments of the member countries have implemented an activity list of government agreements for 2015-2016.

Cooperation in the fields of hygiene and disaster-relief has broadened with national health departments meeting each other. Cultural exchanges have proven fruitful, which enhance stronger mutual understanding.

Both the leaders and premier meetings of member countries had emphasized extending cooperation through dialogue, along with hosting entrepreneur committees and Interbank Consortiums.

The SCO Ufa summit and BRICS have passed a resolution to start the procedure for accepting India and Pakistan as new members, and endorsed Belarus as observer country, as well as Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia and Nepal as dialogue partner countries.

Leaders of member countries had worked together to announce a joint declaration of the 70th anniversary of the victory of the anti-fascist war, and attended the military parades held in Moscow and Beijing  to demonstrate unity.

As the world is changing, and challenges remain on the horizon, the SCO is facing increasing difficulties to move forward on multilateral cooperation.

Yet as long as the organization stays together, the "Shanghai Spirit," practice the "New Security Outlook", and seek mutual interest benefits, the organization will grow steadily, while making major contributions to regional prosperity and boost international relations.


( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )



Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.


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