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CGTN: SCO’s ‘big family’ expands, ushers in new chapter of cooperation

BEIJING, July 5, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The opening ceremony of the Trans-Caspian International Transportation Route was held in Kazakhstan on Wednesday, marking the debut of Chinese trucks utilizing a road transport route to reach the Caspian Sea.

Before that, ChinaEurope freight trains originating from China and crossing the Caspian Sea had already maintained seamless operations for two years. Now, a comprehensive, multi-dimensional network integrating road, rail, air and pipeline transportation has been established.

As two founding members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the project between China and Kazakhstan showcases the Shanghai Spirit, which features mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for the diversity of civilizations and pursuit of common development.

The appeal of Shanghai Spirit continues to grow as Belarus officially joined the SCO during the 24th Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO in Astana on Thursday, becoming the 10th member state.

Building a world of universal security

During the SCO summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping urged member states to ensure security in the face of a real threat from the Cold War mentality, address complex and intertwined security challenges through dialogue and coordination, and respond to the changing international landscape with a win-win approach to build a world of lasting peace and universal security.

The SCO members adopted the Astana Declaration, and they vowed to continue counter-terrorism cooperation and crack down on drug trafficking as well as transnational organized crime.

The members also called on UN member states to conduct general and complete disarmament under effective international control, consolidate the global nuclear nonproliferation regime and oppose an arms race in outer space, according to an initiative calling for solidarity among countries to promote world justice, harmony and development issued on Thursday.

They said in a statement that current security risks and challenges are global in nature and can only be resolved through the building of a multipolar world, the improvement of global economic governance and coordinated efforts to tackle both conventional and non-conventional security threats.

“Real security can only be realized when every country is secure,” Xi said when attending the “SCO Plus” meeting on Thursday.

Mutual beneficial cooperation

Xi also noted at the SCO summit that member states should adhere to mutual benefits and inclusiveness, keep industrial and supply chains stable and smooth, stimulate the internal impetus of regional economies and work towards common development goals.

China has been promoting economic cooperation among SCO member states and has proposed initiatives such as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to promote common development.

The ChinaKyrgyzstanUzbekistan railway project marked a milestone project of the BRI as well as a measure to boost connectivity and trade among the SCO members. The three countries signed an intergovernmental agreement on the project in June.

Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev said that the railway will become the shortest land route linking China and Central Asian countries when congratulating the signing via video link. It will also open up big markets in South Asia and the Middle East, benefiting cooperation among regional countries and China, he added.

The railway will begin in Kashgar, northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and enter the territory of Uzbekistan through Kyrgyzstan. In the future, it can extend to West Asia and South Asia.

The SCO members noted in the initiative issued on Thursday that it is important to continue to defend and strengthen an open, transparent, equitable, inclusive and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system to promote the building of an open world economy.

Covering more than 60 percent of the Eurasian continent and nearly half of the world’s population, the SCO would provide a strategic opportunity for regional land and sea transport corridors to play a role, according to the initiative. 

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