SCO to safeguard security, stability, build community of security for all

By He Yin


Chinese President Xi Jinping put forward a major initiative for safeguarding security and stability and building a community of security for all when addressing the 20th Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) via video link on Nov. 10.


“Security and stability are the number one precondition for a country’s development, and thus concern the core interests of all countries. We need to act on the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, address all forms of threats and challenges effectively, and foster a sound security environment in our region,” Xi said.


While the international situation remains intricate and complex, the COVID-19 pandemic is adding complexity to international and regional security.


To join hands to tackle risks and challenges and promote security, stability and prosperity is a challenging task for the SCO.


Xi’s remarks have diversified the SCO’s security cooperation, charting the way forward for the organization. It is generally believed that China’s stance is of great importance and has far-reaching influence.


The common pursuit of cooperation and development encapsulates the founding principle of the SCO.


Over the years, guided by the vision of common security and a shared future, the SCO members have carried out practical and highly efficient cooperation on the security front, ensured the overall security and stability of the region and made important contributions to world peace and development.


In today’s world, rising non-traditional security threats and the hotspot issues in the traditional security field are interwoven, becoming major factors affecting world peace and stability.


What’s worth more attention is that international terrorist organizations and separatists, religious extremists and terrorists in the region are growing worrisome again, and some forces from outside the region have interfered in the internal affairs of countries in the region with various excuses.


This year’s summit adopted and issued the “Moscow Declaration of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO Member States” and a series of statements on joint response efforts against the novel coronavirus infection, in connection with the 75th anniversary of victory in World War II, on cooperation in international information security, on cooperation in the digital economy, on countering the spread of terrorist, separatist and extremist ideology, including online, and on countering the drug threat. All this demonstrated the organization’s firm determination to safeguard security and stability.


China’s proposal of building a community of security for all is a significant move to build a closer SCO community with a shared future.


At the SCO summit in Qingdao in 2018, Xi called on countries to work closely to build an SCO community with a shared future, move toward a new type of international relations, and build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity. At last year’s summit in Bishkek, Xi called for making the SCO an example of common security.


These important propositions China has put forward are in line with the Shanghai Spirit, a creative vision initiated and followed through by the SCO that champions mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for diversity of civilizations and pursuit of common development. While providing broad horizons for regional countries to uphold security, these propositions have been well received by these countries.


The outcome document of this year’s SCO summit emphasized that the member states will respect for the civilizational diversity and peoples’ independent choice of the path of their political and socio-economic development, equitable partnership of states in the interests of ensuring equal, joint, indivisible, comprehensive and stable security, progressive growth and prosperity in the SCO space. That underlined the SCO members’ high recognition of China’s propositions.


To safeguard political security and social stability of the SCO member states and cement their political foundation featuring solidarity and mutual trust is an important part of building a community of security for all.


“We need to firmly support countries concerned in their law-based efforts to steadily advance major domestic political agenda, firmly support countries in safeguarding political security and social stability, and firmly oppose interference by external forces in the domestic affairs of SCO members under whatever pretexts. We need to deepen solidarity and mutual trust, and resolve disputes and differences through dialogue and consultation, in order to cement the political foundation for SCO development,” Xi said.


The international community believes that these propositions reflect China’s firm determination to safeguard regional security and stability, and its constructive attitude to resolve disputes and differences through dialogue and consultation.


The security situation may change as time and circumstances change, and so should security cooperation.


China has called on the SCO member states to forestall terrorist, separatist and extremist attempts to exploit the pandemic for disruption, curb the proliferation of drugs, crack down on Internet-based propagation of extremist ideology, and deepen SCO members’ law-enforcement cooperation. It is important for the SCO members to uphold bio-security, data security and outer-space security, and engage in active communication and dialogue in this field. The SCO countries also need to make good use of the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group to help the country realize peace and reconstruction.


China also welcomes the participation of all parties in the Global Initiative on Data Security it has launched, which demonstrates the country’s responsibilities as a major country to shape a peaceful, secure, open, cooperative and orderly cyberspace.


These proposals were warmly received by all sides. Russian President Vladimir Putin fully agreed with China’s proposals, saying that Russia supports the Global Initiative on Data Security.


Nothing is more beneficial than stability, and nothing is more detrimental than chaos. Security and stability are what people long for, and the pursuit of cooperation for mutual benefit represents a surging trend.


For the SCO, joining hands to build a community of security for all is conducive to continuously deepening solidarity and cooperation, and maintaining the hard-won overall situation of regional stability. By doing so, the SCO will surely provide a reliable security guarantee for common development in the region and make important contributions to safeguarding world peace and stability.