Summit Ascent:Ascent

发布时间:2020-03-26 来源: 历史回眸 点击:

     WELL SUITED: The participation of more regional countries and international organizations in the latest Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit, along with the six member states, shows the organization’s growing influence and prestige
  The Shanghai Cooperation Organiza-tion (SCO) Summit on June 15 received extraordinary media coverage in China. Broadcast live on state radio and television and on the Internet, the summit made headlines in almost all Chinese newspapers the next day. Reports hailed the success of the gathering, unprecedented in the history of the five-year-old organization, as they explored its significance.
  An editorial published by China’s official Xinhua News Agency stated, “The fact [that there was a large turnout in the summit] shows that Eurasian countries, which are home to nearly half of the world’s population and boast distinctive civilizations, have united under the banner of the ‘Shanghai Spirit.’ They all hope to enhance equal, mutually beneficial bilateral and multilateral cooperation, safeguard regional peace and stability and seek common development.”
  More state leaders and heads of international organizations attended this year’s summit in Shanghai, birthplace of the SCO, than any previous SCO summit.
  In addition to the presidents of the organization’s six member nations and representatives from the four observer countries of Mongolia, Pakistan, Iran and India, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Commonwealth of Independent States and Afghanistan were represented at the summit as guests of the host country.
  After a closed-door meeting, the six heads of state joined other participants in the “big group talks,” during which each of them voiced their comments and expectations of the SCO, ideas that are expected to define the organization’s future. The summit has opened a new chapter in the aspiring organization, some Chinese analysts say.
  Summit success
  MEDIA FRENZY: This Russian cameraman is among some 800 Chinese and foreign journalists in Shanghai to cover the summit
  Sun Zhuangzhi, Secretary General of the SCO Research Center under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), said he believes the summit is a milestone in the development of the SCO.
  “From now on, the SCO has entered a brand-new era,” Sun said. He summed up the achievements of the summit into three main parts.
  First, 10 documents were signed during the summit. Covering the fields of politics, the economy and security, and personnel and cultural exchanges, they provide a testament to the progress made by the SCO on various fronts. Second, while commenting positively on the development of the SCO, the state leaders made detailed suggestions on furthering cooperation within the framework of the SCO, which will provide impetus to the organization’s future development. Third, the summit raised the SCO’s international prominence.
  In a speech, Chinese President Hu Jintao made a four-point proposal for building regional harmony--strengthening strategic cooperation and cementing good neighborly relations, promoting across-the-board development through deepened pragmatic cooperation, consolidating the social foundation by expanding personnel and cultural exchanges and conducting cooperation in the spirit of openness to promote world peace.
  Meanwhile, he called for the formation of a convention featuring lasting good neighborly relations and cooperation within the SCO.
  Li Lifan, Deputy Secretary General of the SCO Research Center under the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, said that Hu’s suggestions, focusing respectively on politics, the economy, culture and the organization’s international standing, provide a blueprint for the SCO.
  Li added that the four-point proposal is a summary of successful SCO experiences in the past five years and an embodiment of the “Shanghai Spirit” featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for the multifaceted cultures and aspiration to joint development. Hu’s proposal of drawing up a convention for lasting good neighborly relations within the SCO is conducive to the organization’s long-term development and serves the common interests of all member countries, he said.
  “We should respect and support the interests and concerns of all SCO member countries, enhance coordination and cooperation in international and regional issues, and have timely consultations on measures to cope with major international and regional issues,” Hu said in his speech to the summit.
  He called for better cooperation between law-enforcement and security departments, especially information exchanges so that the SCO members can raise their capability of joint antiterrorism activities.
  On economic cooperation within the organization, Hu said the most urgent job at present is to fulfill the documents and consensus reached among the member countries, identifying energy, electricity, transportation and telecommunication as the major fields of cooperation.
  On personnel and cultural exchanges, he asked for the thorough implementation of an education cooperation agreement inked at the summit and strengthened cooperation on joint programs cultivating talented people.
  WELCOME TO SHANGHAI: A Shanghai Cooperation Organization logo serves as scenery in China’s biggest city, conveying a Chinese greeting to the summit
  Echoing Hu’s remarks, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said that the SCO has become an important element in current international relations over the past five years.
  Safeguarding regional security and stability, the SCO has witnessed an increasing status and a stronger antiterrorism capability, Nazarbayev said.
  Russian President Vladimir Putin, for his part, called on defense authorities from SCO member states to take an active role in the struggle against the “three evil forces”-national separatism, international terrorism and religious extremism.
  Documents signed during the summit include a declaration on the fifth anniversary of the SCO’s founding, a statement on international information security, a resolution on SCO secretary general and another on the secretariat, a resolution on fighting terrorism, separatism and extremism from 2007 to 2009, an agreement on joint antiterrorism actions among member countries and an agreement on cutting off the infiltration channels of terrorists, separatists and extremists.
  In addition, an agreement on inter-governmental education cooperation, a resolution on the SCO Business Council, and an action guideline for the SCO Inter-Bank Association were also signed.
  Economic focus
  Apart from discussions on cooperation in clamping down on terrorism, extremism, separatism and drug trafficking, economic cooperation topped the agenda of this summit.
  Just one day before the summit, the SCO Business Council was launched at the start of a two-day industry and business forum, which drew more than 500 business people from across the region.
  Addressing the forum, President Hu described the council’s establishment as “a major event” for the SCO. “I believe the active participation of entrepreneurs will bring more substantial achievements for the SCO, as well as immediate benefits for people in the region,” he said.
  In another development, members of the SCO Inter-Bank Association, a multilateral financial cooperative established last October, concluded six deals with a total value of $741.5 million. The deals include a $200 million hydropower plant in Kazakhstan and a $500 million financing agreement between China and Russia.
  The contracts and loan agreements on large and medium-sized projects signed during the summit totaled $2 billion.
  Sun from the CASS identified the establishment of the Business Council as one of the “dazzling achievements” of the SCO summit. It is his belief that economic and trade cooperation has a crucial bearing on the solidarity of the SCO. He thinks that governments’ efforts are far from enough to promote cooperation in this regard. The participation of business people is therefore indispensable. Economic cooperation presents opportunities for the corporate world while delivering tangible benefits to people in the six member countries. “The importance of the Business Council lies in the fact that it provides a good platform for companies in the six countries to strengthen direct exchanges and directly negotiate agreements with each other,” he noted.
  The idea is echoed by Grigory Logvinov, Russian Ambassador to the SCO Secretariat. The ambassador wrote in an article published by Interfax China that large-scale economic interaction in the framework of SCO is impossible without the involvement of the non-state sector in the member countries, though it should be kept in mind that the degree of economic denationalization greatly varies from country to country.
  The Business Council will be the cornerstone of the flexible system for the non-state sector, he wrote, adding that it should become a locomotive of business partnerships and economic interaction within the framework of the organization.
  He said the Business Council unites representatives of major business entities of the member nations who have direct access to the real sectors of the economy. The pattern is successfully functioning in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, he noted.
  He pointed out that the idea underlying the Business Council is that government institutions and business entities should complement each other and closely interact, instead of government institutions dealing with only one sphere and the Business Council with another.
  Meanwhile, he said the funding of joint projects is another crucial aspect of the economic component. The Inter-Bank Association mechanism has been set up to tackle these complex issues, uniting leading banks of the SCO member states. According to him, consortiums may be set up within the framework of the association to finance specific projects.
  Xu Tao, Deputy Director of the Institute of Russian Studies of the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said the SCO had been making preparations for further economic cooperation over the past five years and came up with a long-term vision of regional economic integration. With the economic restructuring underway in SCO member countries, governments are withdrawing from domestic and international economic activities. As a result, entrepreneurs and bankers are predicted to provide a fresh, powerful and long-lasting boost to the economic cooperation in the SCO, according to the expert.
  Catching the world’s eye
  Given the current Iranian nuclear impasse, the summit attracted additional attention from the international community because of the presence of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
  Presidents Hu and Putin both avoided direct mention of Iran in their opening comments to the summit. However, in a meeting with Ahmadinejad on the sidelines of the summit, Hu urged Tehran to “respond positively” to an international incentive offer aimed at resolving Iran’s nuclear standoff, saying the offer has provided a new opportunity for a solution to the Iranian nuclear issue.
  In response, Ahmadinejad said Iran is looking at the offer. He later told a press conference that the offer from the permanent members of the UN Security Council, along with Germany, was a “positive step.”
  The SCO is expected to play a greater role in the international community, with enhanced influence and prestige. Sun from the CASS said that as cooperation deepens, the six countries would make greater progress in safeguarding regional stability and stepping up economic and trade cooperation. He predicted that the SCO would have bright prospects, as there is still the potential for cooperation to be tapped.
  “The SCO will be an economic powerhouse and a major global force throughout this century,” noted Michael Berk from the Canadian Institute of International Affairs in an article posted on the website of leading Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail.
  Any entity whose purpose, like the SCO, is to promote stability, cooperation and economic development in a region consisting of such pivotal countries as India and China, as well as such resource-rich states as Russia and Kazakhstan, will be a powerhouse of economic activity and a major global force throughout this century, Berk commented.
  “Central Asia will be a powerhouse in the coming decades and our future, as a trading nation, will be closely aligned with this less-known region,” he wrote. “The time to act, the time to acquaint ourselves with the new global realities is now.”
  However, Sun said he believes the SCO has a long way to go. “Pressing tasks include how to materialize suggestions put forward by the heads of state at the summit, how to implement the agreements signed, how to enhance the efficiency of the SCO and how to promote various forms of human and cultural exchanges,” he said.
  Logvinov also singled out several important aspects of economic cooperation in the framework of the SCO. He pointed out that the SCO mechanism does not imply the mandatory involvement of all six member states in all projects. Projects may have the SCO format even if they do not involve all sides.
  “The practice already exists,” he noted in his article. “Many SCO countries on a bilateral or trilateral basis have found mutually acceptable solutions to economic problems thanks to SCO membership.”
  He also stressed that the SCO is an open organization and therefore economic partnership implies the involvement of other countries and organizations, but not necessarily observer nations.
  Joint Communique of the 2006 SCO Summit (Excerpts)
  l It remains the top priority of the SCO to combat the threats posed by terrorism, separatism and extremism as well as illegal drug trafficking, which have not diminished but are aggravated in scale and degree. Various forms of joint antiterrorism military exercises within the territories of the SCO member states involving, among others, their defense authorities, will help enhance the efficiency of member states’ joint antiterrorism operations.
  l All member states agreed to give priority to cooperation in the fields of energy, information technology and
  transportation, which have entered the phase of carrying out pilot projects and are of special significance to
  deepening economic cooperation within the SCO framework.
  l The heads of state also entrusted the Council of National Coordinators to make recommendations on the procedure of SCO membership enlargement. This procedure should fully conform to the purposes and goals set forth in the Charter of the SCO, ensure the effectiveness of all treaties that form the legal basis of the SCO, help strengthen its unity and guarantee the applicability of the principle of consensus to consultations on all matters and at all levels of the SCO.
  Source: www.省略
  l Diversity of civilization and models of development must be respected and upheld. Differences in cultural
  traditions, political and social systems, values and models of development formed in the course of history should not be taken as pretexts to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs. Models of social development should not be “exported.”
  l The SCO has the potential to play an independent role in safeguarding stability and security in this region. In case of emergencies that threaten regional peace, stability and security, SCO member states will have immediate
  consultation on an effective response to the emergency to fully protect the interests of both the SCO and its member states. The possibility of establishing a regional conflict prevention mechanism within the SCO framework will be studied.
  l The SCO welcomes participation by relevant partners in specific projects in priority areas such as energy,
  transportation, information and communications, and agriculture.
  Source: www.省略

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