World Economy

China Promoting SCO Economic Strategy

China Promoting SCO Economic StrategyChina Promoting SCO Economic Strategy

The “Belt and Road” initiative, a development strategy proposed by China, will inject fresh impetus into economic cooperation among members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

The 15th meeting of the SCO Heads of State Council was held on Friday in Ufa, capital of Russia’s Bashkortostan Republic.

During the meeting, leaders of SCO member states–China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan– ratified the SCO Development Strategy until 2025, a comprehensive blueprint that covers a variety of issues.

The summit, aimed at boosting the further development of the organization, was of great significance for safeguarding regional security and stability, and promoting common development of its member states.

A major topic on the agenda was the linkage between China’s Belt and Road initiative and other SCO members’ development strategies.

The “Belt and Road” initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013 aiming to revive ancient trade routes between Asia and Europe. The network passes through more than 60 countries and regions, with a total population of 4.4 billion.

 Important Platform

During a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Xi suggested that the two countries take the SCO as an important platform to dovetail China’s Belt initiative with Russia’s aspiration under the Eurasian Economic Union framework, expand room for their practical cooperation, and facilitate development, cooperation and prosperity of the whole Eurasian continent.

Xi recalled his last meeting with Putin in May when the two heads of state agreed to connect China’s construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt with the development of the EAEU, prioritizing cooperation in such areas as investment, finance, energy, aviation, space, construction of high-speed railways and other infrastructure, as well as the development of Russia’s Far East region.

The eagerness of countries to join the SCO reflects the fact that the “Shanghai Spirit” of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for cultural diversity and pursuit of common development is being widely recognized by the international community.

Meanwhile, Chinese and Russian experts expressed their earnest expectations for the role played by the Belt and Road initiative in promoting economic cooperation among SCO member states.

Alexander Lukin, director of the Center for East Asia and SCO Studies at Moscow State University for International Relations, said that the Silk Road Economic Belt project could help relieve the SCO of many economic problems.

“Russia supports the idea of increasing the SCO’s role in implementation of the Silk Road Economic Belt project,” he said.

Echoing Lukin, Sergey Katyrin, president of Russia’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the SCO would gain more momentum in economic cooperation as it would act as an interaction platform for the Silk Road Economic Belt and the EEU initiatives.

“Since the founding of the SCO, economic cooperation along with security issues has been one of the major directions of the organization’s activities,” Katyrin said.