Twin Central Asian summits providing platform for cooperation
BEIJING. KAZINFORM Last week, summits of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) were held in Central Asia. Their results will contribute to strengthening of the security system and the socio-economic development of all of Asia, contributing to the spread of the "Shanghai spirit" and the building of a "common-destiny community" in the Asian region.
On June 13-14, in the capital of Kyrgyzstan - Bishkek - the SCO summit was held. It took place in a period of difficult international situation, against the background of the emergence of new and diverse threats. Destabilization in Afghanistan stimulates the growth of the danger of terrorism and drug trafficking for the SCO countries, trade wars, lead to the fragmentation of the international market.
According to Afghan journalist Hujjatullah Zia, the heads of summit delegations searched for cooperation with observer states and dialogue partners in their fights against terrorism.
"It should be noted that the SCO signed a protocol with the Afghan government during the last year's meeting in Qingdao to establish the Afghanistan Contact Group and support Afghanistan in combating terrorism and insurgency, but has yet to reach its desired result. Moreover, the SCO member countries also need to reinforce their cooperation for anti-terrorism activities under the Tashkent-based Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure", he wrote in an article for chinadaily.com.cn.
Among the main issues of the Bishkek meeting were joint fight against drug trafficking, the work of the Organization's contact group to resolve the crisis in Afghanistan, the problems of fighting terrorism, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. They also discussed the issue of creating a new SCO structure to combat economic crimes, including smuggling and money laundering.
Next year, an active joint work is planned on border security, including for the prevention of drug trafficking and the penetration of militants from the territory of Afghanistan. This is, in particular, the continuation of the joint operation of border services "Solidarity 2019-2021", as well as information cooperation through the RATS and other structures.
According to Hujjatullah Zia, the summit provided a platform for the SCO member states, observers and dialogue partners to enhance multilateral cooperation and reinforce trade and investment among BRI member states and organizations. In short, it will expand the space for the Eurasian collaboration so as to ward off a "not in my backyard" mindset.
In fact, the Bishkek summit was marked by the expansion of the economic functions of the organization. The participants discussed the problems of industrial cooperation, the creation of technology parks on the territory of the SCO, the transition in trade among the member countries to national currencies. The work on the conjunction of the Silk Road Belt and the EAEU projects within the Greater Eurasia idea was on the agenda. As a result, a number of specific agreements were signed, including those on cooperation between the SCO Secretariat and the Astana International Financial Center in Kazakhstan.
Many initiatives at the summit were put forward by President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev.
"The initiatives of Kassym-Jomart Tokayev at the SCO summit in Bishkek to form a pool of modern technology parks and the Eurasian financial consulting mechanism within the SCO are very relevant and implementable, they reflect the pragmatic approach of Kazakhstan to develop cooperation within the Organization," Deputy Director of the Center for Russian Studies at China People's University Wang Xianju said in an interview with Kazinform correspondent in China.
According to Yao Peisheng, former ambassador of China to Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan's initiatives at the last SCO summit in Bishkek drew attention of the Organization's member countries and will be carefully studied.
"The SCO Summit in Bishkek was successful. Chinese President Xi Jinping called on the SCO to become a community of a common destiny, which is fully in keeping with the dictates of the times. At the same time, the wisdom of the "Shanghai spirit" can be the key to cohesion", he said.
Yao Peisheng reminded that Kazakhstan and China closely and very effectively cooperate in the SCO, CICA and other multilateral structures.
"The first meeting of PRC President Xi Jinping with President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Bishkek aroused great interest in Chinese society. The heads of the two countries unanimously confirmed the achievements of cooperation between Kazakhstan and China over the past 30 years, expressing their sincere aspiration for the future. I think that this is not just a protocol meeting of politeness, but an important event in relations between the two countries," summed up the Chinese expert.
On June 15, 2019, Dushanbe hosted the 5th CICA Summit. The participants discussed military-political, economic, humanitarian and environmental issues, the activities of the CICA, as well as set future goals.
President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Russia Vladimir Putin, President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping, President of Iran Hassan Rouhani, President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev, President of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbay Jeenbekov, President of Bangladesh Abdul Hamid, President of Sri-Lanka Maithripala Yapa Sirisena, President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, Chief Executive of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Abdullah Abdullah, Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Novruz Mammadov and Prime Minister of Cambodia Hun Sen took part in the meeting.
The summit was also attended by high-ranking representatives of Bahrain, Vietnam, Egypt, Israel, India, Jordan, Iraq, Qatar, South Korea, Mongolia, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Palestine, Thailand, Belarus, Indonesia, USA, Philippines, Malaysia, Ukraine and Japan, UN, OSCE, SCO, CIS and TurkPA.
Speaking at the summit, President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon emphasized the importance of further efforts of strengthening peace, stability and security in Asia, deepening multilateral cooperation and implementing confidence-building measures in the political, economic, environmental and humanitarian spheres. He also urged to pay attention to the situation in Afghanistan.
At the same time, Chinese President Xi Jinping noted that trade disputes should be resolved based on consultations and with the consideration of multilateral rules, but not on the basis of unilateral approaches and protectionism.
The Chinese leader also emphasized Beijing's desire to resolve territorial disputes peacefully and reduce tensions in hot spots through the dialogue.
In turn, President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev noted that growing security threats and ideological and ethnic-religious tensions are of particular concern in Asia.
"We believe that in these conditions we need systemic and comprehensive approaches to the solution of key issues of Asian security," said Tokayev.
The President also noted that the development of joint systemic approaches to countering international terrorism was an urgent task.
According to Hujjatullah Zia, there are formidable challenges to sustainable development, and poverty is a chronic problem across the region. Abject poverty and unemployment are major concerns. With this in mind, CICA stakeholders will "resolve to free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and want and to heal and secure our planet," the preamble of the UN 2030 Agenda reads. They will be "determined to take bold and transformative steps urgently needed to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path."
It has been said that freedom from fear and want and building a moderately prosperous society are the highest aspirations of the people. To achieve these goals, global and regional actors, the SCO member countries and the CICA participants have to advocate the "Shanghai Spirit" - mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for cultural diversity, and pursuit of common development - and seek common ground.