In the name of peace and stability
June 06. Kazpravda
On the eve of the 12th SCO summit, President Hu Jintao gave a media interview.
– How would you rate the results of a ten-year development of the SCO and its prospects? Your expectations from the upcoming summit?
– The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, founded 10 years ago, has set itself the aim of securing peace and promoting common development in the region. Over the elapsed years, the member-states, joining efforts to strengthen unity and cooperation, have made significant progress in the following aspects.
The first one is formation of a new-type model of inter-state organization. The agreement on long-term good-neighborly friendship and cooperation between SCO members legally framed the idea of eternal friendship and lasting peace. The document aims to develop good-neighborly friendship and cooperation and promote mutual trust, mutual benefit, solidarity and cooperation among member states onto the highest level.
The second one is assertion of values corresponding to the spirit of the time – peace and development.
Guided by the “Shanghai Spirit” – mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for cultural diversity and pursuit of common prosperity, the member states broaden mutual understanding, harmoniously co-exist and make joint efforts for development. The “Shanghai Spirit”, which runs through the history of the organization is a valuable asset, valuable experience in forming a new type of international relations and promoting the evolution of international political and economic order to a more equitable and rational direction.
Third – ensuring peace and stability in the region. Pursuing the task of combating terrorism, separatism and extremism, the member states adopted an anti-terrorism convention, also political and diplomatic measures to respond to situations that threaten peace, security and stability. Among them are dozens of joint counterterrorism exercises and special operations to combat the three evils, drug trafficking and transnational organized crime.
Fourth – promoting common development of the region. Signed by the member states program of multilateral trade and economic cooperation provides significant progress in cooperation projects in transport, energy, and communications. For the financial support of these projects the Chinese side promised to provide SCO members states with credits on concessional terms the size of 12 billion dollars.
Compared with ten years ago the share of SCO member states in world trade has increased from 8 to 13%, the total GDP volume – from 4.8 to 13%. We are continuously expanding interaction in culture, education, health, science and technology, emergency assistance of varied forms. All of this contributes significantly to the overall development of the region.
Fifth – strengthening the position and authority of the organization in the international arena. SCO, strictly following the goals and principles of the UN Charter, actively carries out extensive international cooperation through its permanent bodies – the Secretariat and the RATS, involving four observers and two dialogue partners, establishing communication and cooperation with the UN and other international and regional organizations. The organization is actively involved in the Afghan settlement, and contributes to acceleration of peaceful reconstruction of the country, becoming an important force, without which security in the region is hardly possible.
Success of the SCO shows that the organization is a major factor in ensuring regional peace and stability and promoting common prosperity of the region and meets the spirit of the time as a form of regional co-operation of a new type.
The modern world is undergoing great development, great changes and transformations. All countries face unprecedented opportunities and challenges. The next decade is crucial for development of SCO member states and the organization itself. We will be guided by “Shanghai spirit”, striving for creation of a new type of model for regional cooperation and in every way deepen and expand exchanges and cooperation between SCO members, with emphasis on practical and security cooperation.
Also, we will make efforts to form a political environment of solidarity and harmony, a stable security environment, development of conditions for mutual benefit and a favorable external environment, so that the organization contributed more to protection of common interests of member states and for the region’s economic development and prosperity.
This Beijing Summit is of special importance for continuation and multiplication of traditions. It will analyze the opportunities and challenges caused by changes in international and regional situation, develop a new program for development of the organization. Adoption and signing of important cooperation documents is expected, which will identify strategic directions and objectives of the long-term development of the SCO.
I am confident that with joint efforts the summit will be successful and will open a new chapter in the history of our association.
– In what, do you think, does the SCO differ from other international and regional organizations?
– The viability of the SCO is that it took an entirely new way of cooperation development in the form of regional organization. The organization meets the spirit of the time and the common aspiration of the people in the member states for peace, development and cooperation. A new security conception was formed – the conception of cooperation, development and civilizations.
The essence of the new security conception of the SCO is to steadfastly defend sovereignty, security and development interests of the member states taking into account their individual realities and conditions. The parties are unanimously in favor of the settlement of local issues by the countries of the region, against the outside interference in any form.
The essence of the new cooperation conception is that the parties, basing on the principle of maintaining peace, and settling disputes by cooperation, are committed to develop partnership, not block relations.
The essence of the new development conception is that the parties will, in accordance with the general trend of economic globalization and specific to regional economic development, ensure complementarity of advantages, mutually beneficial cooperation and create favorable conditions for their own development, economic growth and welfare.
The essence of the new concept of civilizations is to promote dialogue among civilizations, recognition of differences in cultural traditions, social systems, values and willingness to cooperate and respect each other’s independent choice. This is useful for mutual enrichment and harmonious development in diversities.
SCO, rejecting annexation and confrontation, provides a harmonious co-existence and development of countries with different cultures, religions and social systems, duly responds to the threats and challenges, and maintains the dynamics of socio-economic development of its member states. The organization became a model in deepening of good-neighborly relations, friendship and cooperation between different countries on the Eurasian continent, promoting common prosperity, peace and stability in the region, and is also an example of inter-civilizational dialogue.
– SCO has entered the second decade of development. In the current international and regional situation profound changes are going on, with more challenges to security. Against this background, it is very important from what positions the member states will respond to these challenges?
– In the present international situation complex changes are ongoing, “hot spots” keep emerging, negative impact of the world financial crisis makes itself felt, as well as three evils, there is drug trafficking and transnational organized crime. All these are factors of instability to the region. Under these circumstances it is essential to strengthen solidarity and cooperation in order to maintain regional peace and stability and promote common development.
We will consistently adhere to the new concept of security; focus on common and indivisible security through cooperation in order to comprehensively enhance the organization’s ability to respond to real threats and all possible dangers. We strongly advocate settlement of regional affairs independently by the states in the region, prevent negative impacts of alarming situations outside and play a major role in the peaceful reconstruction of Afghanistan.
Issuing from it, we must accurately determine the key issues and factors affecting regional security, and build on this basis a better mechanism for security cooperation in order to increase capacity and efficiency of the organization in preventing and responding to crises. In this regard, we will strengthen contacts and coordination of the positions and actions on major international and regional issues.
At the Beijing summit we will finalize the Regulation on political and diplomatic measures and SCO response mechanisms to the situations that endanger peace, security and stability in the region, and adopt a cooperation program in combating terrorism, separatism and extremism for 2013-2015 years . I am convinced that these steps will work for peace, security and stability in the region.
– In what way will SCO members strengthen friendship and multifaceted cooperation under the program of the summit? Will any measures be adopted to enhance cooperation in infrastructure construction, trade and investment activities and financial support tools?
– One of the agenda items is measures to further strengthen the friendship and cooperation among the member states, seeking ways to maintain peace, stimulate development and cooperation of SCO members in the long term. The relevant decisions will be reflected in the declaration on development in the region of lasting peace and common prosperity, and the Program of SCO strategic development directions in the mid-term.
Transport is among priority cooperation areas. Agreement on Facilitation of international road transport is currently under harmonization, designed to stimulate the formation of a network of highways on the SCO space, and to identify the huge potentials of the region’s transit traffic.
The Agreement will also create favorable conditions for a free movement of goods, and people, stimulate economic growth in the member states. We will actively promote mechanism of financial security in the SCO framework.
– How will the SCO members strengthen interaction in resolving such critical issues as the North Korean and Iranian nuclear programs and Afghan settlement?
– The SCO has established a mechanism for regular consultations between the member states on international and regional issues of common interest, for coordinating approaches to them.
The member states believe that dialogue and consultation is the only correct solution to the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, and are interested in denuclearization of the region and maintaining peace and stability on the peninsula and in Northeast Asia through the six-party talks.
The SCO members support the efforts of the “six” to launch a sustained negotiating process with Iran and are in favor of politico-diplomatic settling of the IRI nuclear issue and calls to abandon rhetoric and actions that could lead to escalation of the confrontation. It certainly is important to find a comprehensive, lasting and proper solution to the problem of Iran’s nuclear program.
SCO supports the establishment of an independent, peaceful, prosperous neighborly Afghanistan as a country free of terrorism and drug-related crime, and supports the UN’s leading role in coordinating efforts to assist the IRA. The SCO has established a contact group “SCO – Afghanistan.” At the upcoming summit, Afghanistan will be given an observer status. In future the SCO will continue consultations and conferences on this issue in order to provide practical support to Afghanistan in its peaceful reconstruction.
– Concurrent to the summit, the leaders of Kazakhstan, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are paying state visits to China. How would you assess the relations between China and these countries?
– China and Russia are largest strategic partners. The bilateral relations are dynamic. A scaled program for development of bilateral relations over the next 10 years is under implementation, and we have achieved impressive results in multifaceted cooperation. We strongly support each other on matters involving core interests, and continuously strengthen mutual political trust. Bilateral trade in the last year reached a record high figure of 80 billion dollars. A number of major strategic projects are under implementation or under harmonization. We are actively promoting tourism and cultural exchanges, protecting common interests, defending the UN Charter and basic norms and principles of international relations.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is paying a state visit to China, first after taking office. I am confident the visit will give new impetus to the development of multifaceted cooperation between the two countries and will be of mutual benefit.
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are good neighbors of China and important cooperation partners. This year marks the 20th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between China and Central Asian nations.