Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi: “Shanghai Spirit” is highlighted at the Qingdao Summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

Monday, June 18, 2018

On June 10, 2018, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi gave an interview to the media in Qingdao, introducing the outcomes of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Qingdao Summit. The following is an excerpt:

Q: China hosts the SCO Summit again after six years. Meanwhile, it is also the first summit held after membership expansion of the SCO, to which the international community has paid high attention. What do you think of the features and significance of this Summit?

A: Compared with previous SCO summits, the Qingdao Summit is the largest one running at the highest level, delivering the most outcomes and creating a series of records of the SCO. This is the first summit held after membership expansion of the SCO. At present, the SCO has 8 member states, 4 observer states, and 6 dialogue partners. Its economic aggregate and total population account for more than 20 percent and 40 percent of those of the world respectively. It stands as a comprehensive regional organization that covers the largest area and population in the world today. Heads of state or government from 12 countries, and principals from 10 international organizations or institutions gathered together in Qingdao. The registered foreign guests exceeded 2,000 people, and Chinese and foreign journalists who covered the Summit surpassed 3,000 people. Under the host of President Xi Jinping, all state leaders of the big family of the SCO jointly reviewed the extraordinary journey of the SCO over the past 17 years, and made a comprehensive plan for the path and direction of the SCO in the future, as well as reached a series of important consensuses. The leaders of the member states signed and witnessed 23 cooperation documents, making the Qingdao Summit the most fruitful one compared with the previous summits. It is fair to say that under the joint efforts of China and all member states, the outcomes of the Qingdao Summit exceeded the expectation. The Qingdao Summit is a new milestone in the development process of the SCO, and of important significance in inheriting the past and ushering the future for the development of the SCO. The following three aspects are the most important ones:

First, the “Shanghai Spirit” has been highlighted. The “Shanghai Spirit” can be summarized as mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for diversity of civilizations, and pursuit of common development. President Xi Jinping stressed at the Summit that the SCO enjoys strong vitality. This, in the final analysis, is attributed to our adherence to the “Shanghai Spirit”. The Qingdao Declaration also reiterated that it is by following the “Shanghai Spirit” that the SCO stands the test of international vicissitudes and becomes an extremely important and stable force for the current international situation which is full of uncertainties. The “Shanghai Spirit” highly matches with the traditional Chinese concept of “unity and harmony”, which transcends such outdated concepts as clash of civilizations and Cold War and zero-sum mentality. It has become the core value of the SCO, and will continue to provide strong guarantee for the development and growth of the SCO. Meanwhile, the “Shanghai Spirit” has in fact revealed the basic norms which should be abided by in state-to-state exchanges. It completely conforms to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations (UN), which will surely exert positive and far-reaching influence on the building of a new type of international relations for all countries.

Second, the awareness of a community with a shared future has been formed. The building of a community with a shared future for mankind is a major initiative put forward by President Xi Jinping who takes the front line of the times, grasps the direction of human progress and focuses on the common interests of all countries. As the SCO member states live side by side as neighbors with similar development tasks and closely interlinked destiny, they should play a leading role in building a community with a shared future. At this Summit, all parties established the common vision of a community with a shared future for mankind in the Qingdao Declaration and uttered the loudest voice of sharing weal and woe and the same destiny of our times. This will not only be conducive to deepening the mutually beneficial cooperation among the SCO member states and injecting inexhaustible impetus into the development of the SCO, but also promote the common development and prosperity of the region and the world at large.

Third, the SCO propositions on global governance have been put forward. President Xi Jinping pointed out that we should adhere to the outlook of global governance on the basis of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, constantly reform and improve the global governance system, and push all countries to join hands in building a community with a shared future for mankind. The Qingdao Declaration also emphasized that the SCO will promote a more equitable and balanced international order on the basis of equal, common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. This is the political consensus reached by the member states based on common needs, contributing the SCO wisdom to the improvement of global governance. Global governance is the common cause of all countries. The SCO has the responsibility and capability to play a constructive role in this regard. I believe that as the SCO continues to develop and grow, it will surely become an important and active force in the process of global governance.

Q: President Xi Jinping delivered important speeches at the Qingdao Summit. We have noticed that there are many new concepts in his speeches. What kind of important influence will these new concepts and propositions of President Xi Jinping exert on the future development of the SCO?

A: At the SCO Qingdao Summit, President Xi Jinping delivered several important speeches, in which he comprehensively summarized the development progress and useful experience since the establishment of the SCO 17 years ago, systematically mapped out the development of the SCO in the future and made clear the general direction.

Xi Jinping stressed that the “Shanghai Spirit” is the soul and shared asset of the SCO, which should be adhered to and carried forward. We should, guided by the “Shanghai Spirit”, continue to work together and cooperate sincerely to push the SCO, the new comprehensive organization, to be an example of regional cooperation.

President Xi Jinping put forward the outlooks on development, security, cooperation, civilization and global governance. The five outlooks summarized the basic concept of building a new type of international relations, adding new epochal connotation to the “Shanghai Spirit” and endowing the SCO with new historical missions.

President Xi Jinping called on all parties 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. As agreed by all parties, “the formation of a common vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind” was written into the Qingdao Declaration, becoming the most important political consensus and goal that the eight SCO member states strive for.

President Xi Jinping also suggested that the SCO should, in line with the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, advance the “Belt and Road” construction, promote the alignment of the development strategies of various countries and build a new engine to achieve common development and prosperity, opening up broader space and prospects for the SCO to conduct mutually beneficial cooperation.

The above mentioned important proposals put forward by President Xi Jinping completely match with the development requirements of the SCO, the common interests of various countries in the world as well as the epochal trend of the development and progress of the world, which will not only boost vigorously the SCO’s own development, but also be conducive to promoting the peace and prosperity of the region and the world at large.