Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech delivered Friday at the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has been applauded by many overseas experts and scholars.
Speaking at the summit in Astana, Kazakhstan, Xi called on the SCO member states to strengthen solidarity and cooperation, urging them to join hands to tackle challenges, enhance people-to-people bonds, and uphold openness and inclusiveness.
Xi said China will contribute an additional 10 million yuan (1.47 million U.S. dollars) to the SCO Secretariat to facilitate its work, and proposed that the SCO draw up a five-year outline for implementation of the Treaty on Long-term Good Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation.
On security issues, the Chinese president said the SCO should continue to give priority to its commitment to maintain regional security and stability.
Srikanth Kondapalli, professor at Center for East Asian Studies, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University of India, said “Xi’s speech is important and comprehensive.”
Kondapalli stressed the importance of unity in the current context of global and regional uncertainties, adding there is a looming danger for many countries from terrorism.
“There are no winners in this tussle if we have differences on the issue of terrorism,” the professor said while stressing the need to counter the threat.
B.R. Deepak, professor at the Center for Chinese and Southeast Asian Studies of Jawaharlal Nehru University of India, said “I believe he (Xi) is right when he says unity and coordination is important, the unity would be essentially demonstrated by way of cooperation by the member countries in various domains.”
“For example, President Xi has proposed promotion of youth exchanges and pushing forward cooperation on sanitation, disaster relief, environmental protection, sports and tourism. These are the areas where no country should have any problem,” he said.
Vasily Kashin, a senior fellow at the Institute of Far Eastern Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said that the security cooperation among SCO member states is quite fruitful.
Under the SCO framework to combat terrorism, the member states could exchange anti-terror intelligence, and their military institutions have coordinated effectively.
Kashin also noted that Russia and China boast cooperation experience in the area of information security, and a series of cooperation agreements have been signed between the two sides.
As for Xi’s call for exploring possible ways to establish the SCO development bank, Kashin said the proposal is “quite positive.”
It is necessary for the SCO to further strengthen economic cooperation, and Central Asian countries welcomed the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, which gives more impetus to the economic cooperation among SCO member states, Kashin said.
While China holds the rotating chair of the SCO, it needs to make more efforts in promoting and implementing the concept of common economic development, which is the core of the Belt and Road Initiative, said Alexey Maslov, head of the Oriental Studies Department at the Russian Higher School of Economics Research University.
Maslov added that efforts need to be stepped up in ensuring the common security of the SCO member states, combating against terrorism and ensuring transportation and cyber security.
Ghafar Gardizi, an Afghan political analyst, believed that Xi’s call for combating the “three evil forces” in the region, namely terrorism, extremism and separatism, was made at just the right time.
Gardizi also said that the Belt and Road Initiative is of significance to the security and economy of the region and the world as a whole, saying Afghanistan will benefit from the initiative in the long run.