China welcomes SCO expansion in upholding 'Shanghai Spirit'

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, July 11, 2015
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Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed welcome Friday over the planned enlargement of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and called on the member states to uphold the "Shanghai Spirit" for common development.

Xi and other SCO leaders passed a resolution Friday on starting the procedures of granting India and Pakistan full membership of the organization at the 15th SCO summit in the southwestern Russian city of Ufa.

Currently, both India and Pakistan are observers of the SCO. Pakistan applied for a full membership in 2006 and India in 2014.

Also Friday, the SCO elevated Belarus to the status of observer from dialogue partner, and took in Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia and Nepal as new dialogue partners.

China believes that the admission of new forces into the SCO will inject new impetus into the organization's all-ranging cooperation, Xi said while delivering a speech at the summit.

He said that the SCO should continue to expand external exchanges with other regional and international organizations, and improve the dialogue and cooperation mechanism with its observers and dialogue partners.

Founded in 2001, the SCO now has China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as its full members, with Afghanistan, Belarus, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan as observers, and Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey as dialogue partners.

'Shanghai Spirit'

In his speech, Xi called for upholding the "Shanghai Spirit" of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for cultural diversity and pursuit of common development, in a bid to build a community of shared destiny in the region.

Over the past 15 years, the "Shanghai Spirit" has become the foundation of the SCO for its existence and growth, and the spirit represents the direction of contemporary international relations, Xi said.

He said that the SCO should continue to take the "Shanghai Spirit" as a guide to safeguard international fairness and justice, advocate multilateralism and the ideal of opening, respect each other's interests, oppose interference in other countries' internal affairs, solve disputes through peaceful means, and boost common development with the win-win ideal.

The SCO should continue to stand as a staunch force of safeguarding the outcomes of the victory of WWII, and allow no one to distort history and trample on peace.

On regional security, the president called on SCO member states to forcefully boost cooperation in terrorism fighting, drugs control and border defense, and strengthen policy coordination to maintain security and stability of member states.

The SCO should enhance security cooperation with Afghanistan, help its security forces strengthen capability building, and play a bigger role in the process of national reconciliation and economic reconstruction in Afghanistan, Xi said.

China welcomes the signing of an agreement on border defense at the summit by SCO member states, and is willing to work with all sides to draw up a treaty on anti-extremism, he said.

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