Xi urges SCO states to build community of security for all members | Pakistan Today

Xi urges SCO states to build community of security for all members

-Calls for helping WHO in fighting pandemic
-Urges opposing attempts to politicise pandemic or mislabel the coronavirus, and jointly resist any ‘political virus’
ISLAMABAD: Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged the countries of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) to jointly safeguard security and stability and build a community of security for all member states.
Addressing the participants of the 20th Shanghai Cooperation Organization Council of Heads of State (SCO-CHS), in a video conference format, President Xi said that 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,” he said.
Xi said that “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. It is important that we forestall terrorist, separatist and extremist attempts to exploit the pandemic for disruption, curb the proliferation of drugs, a crackdown on Internet-based propagation of extremist ideology, and deepen SCO members’ law-enforcement cooperation,” he added.
He also said that it is important that we uphold bio-security, data security and outer-space security, and engage in active communication and dialogue in this field.
“China has launched the Global Initiative on Data Security, which aims to galvanise efforts to shape peaceful, secure, open, cooperative and orderly cyberspace. We welcome the participation of all parties in this Initiative,” he further said.
Thanking President Putin and Russia for the thoughtful organisation of this meeting during its presidency of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Xi said that Russia has earnestly performed its duties and advanced the SCO’s sound development despite the impact of Covid-19.
China highly commends Russia for its contribution, he added.
He said that the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated shifts in the international landscape and the world is entering a period of turbulence and transformation. “The international community now faces a major test with choices to be made between multilateralism and unilateralism, openness and seclusion, cooperation and confrontation. What is going on with the world? What shall we do about it? – These are the questions awaiting answers from the people of our time, ” he observed.
Xi Jinping said that humanity lives in a global village where the interests and destinies of all countries are intertwined. People across the world increasingly yearn for a better life.
“The trend toward peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit is unstoppable. History has proven and will continue to prove that good-neighbourliness will prevail over a beggar-thy-neighbour approach, mutually beneficial cooperation will replace zero-sum game, and multilateralism will win over unilateralism, ” he said and added that in the current circumstances, the SCO is required to carry forward the Shanghai Spirit and deepen solidarity and collaboration.
“Together, we will contribute more to the stability and development of countries in the region and take more steps toward building a community with a shared future for mankind.
First, we need to step up anti-epidemic cooperation and build a community of health for us all. Right now, Covid-19 is still presenting an ongoing threat. To fight the virus that respects no borders, we must take up the most powerful weapon of solidarity and cooperation, and rise up to the most imperative task of saving people’s lives,” he said.
The Chinese leader said that “we need to strengthen our joint response to Covid-19, support each other’s containment efforts, and uphold regional and global public health security”.
“We need to support the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) crucial leadership role, oppose attempts to politicise the pandemic or mislabel the coronavirus, and jointly resist any ‘political virus’. We need to put the SCO’s health cooperation mechanisms into full use, and deepen exchanges and cooperation in epidemic monitoring, scientific research, and disease control and treatment,” he said.
Xi proposed that hotline contacts be created between SCO members’ centres for disease control (CDCs) for timely updates on cross-border transmission of communicable diseases.
“The unique value and important role of traditional medicine have been highlighted in the battle against Covid-19, and we need to continue to hold the SCO Forum on Traditional Medicine to deepen exchanges and mutual learning in this field. Vaccines play a vital role in defeating the virus. China has joined the COVAX facility, and will actively consider SCO countries’ need for vaccines to help protect people’s safety and health in our countries, ” he added.
Xi said that the situation in Afghanistan involves the security and stability in the wider region and we need to make good use of the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group to help the country realise peace and reconstruction.

Mian Abrar

The writer heads Pakistan Today's Islamabad Bureau. He has a special focus on counter-terrorism and inter-state relations in Asia, Asia Pacific and South East Asia regions. He can be reached at [email protected]