At SCO summit, member states support China’s Belt and Road Initiative

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in the northern Chinese port of Qingdao (

BISHKEK (TCA) — Chinese President Xi Jinping ushered Pakistan and India into the political and economic bloc led by China and Russia as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit took place in the northern Chinese port of Qingdao on June 9 and 10, RFE/RL reported.

Xi on June 10 welcomed Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the gathering, calling their presence “of great historic significance.”

“More member states means greater strength of the organization as well as greater attention and expectations of people of regional countries and the international community,” Xi said.

Pakistan and India last year joined the bloc, which along with China and Russia includes Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia have SCO observer status.

Opening ceremonies were held on June 9, while June 10 was the main working day.

Xi praised the “unity” of the SCO event, which got under way just as the Group of Seven summit in Canada was ending in what appeared to be disarray.

Xi told the SCO summit that “we also share greater responsibilities in maintaining regional security and stability and promoting development and prosperity.”

“We reject selfish, shortsighted, closed, narrow policies. [We] uphold World Trade Organization rules, support a multilateral trade system, and building an open world economy,” Xi said in a speech.

In recent years, the SCO’s economic component has grown, highlighted by Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative, a trillion-dollar foreign policy and infrastructure program.

Russia and China have been deepening ties since the U.S. national security strategy began describing them as top adversaries.

“We should reject the Cold War mentality and confrontation between blocs,” Xi said, adding that the countries should “oppose the practices of seeking absolute security of oneself at the expense of the security of other countries.”

Still, many differences remain among SCO countries, including competition between Beijing and Moscow for influence in the region and the bitter, long-standing disputes between nuclear powers Pakistan and India.

A press communique was issued after the summit, which said that Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan reaffirmed their support for the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, Xinhua reported.

The next SCO summit will be held in Kyrgyzstan in June 2019.

Sergey Kwan


Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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