Carrying Forward the Shanghai Spirit to Build a Community with a Shared Future
– Remarks at the 18th Meeting of the Council of Heads of Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization
H.E. Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China
Qingdao, June 10, 2018
In this lovely season of June, I am delighted to welcome all of you to the picturesque city of Qingdao for the 18th meeting of the Council of Heads of Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Over 2,500 years ago, Confucius, the great Chinese philosopher, had this to say: “What a joy to have friends coming from afar!” It is therefore of special significance that I host my distinguished guests in Shandong, the home province of Confucius, for a summit that will chart the future course for the SCO.
In five days, the SCO will celebrate its 17th birthday, an occasion for us to review our organization’s remarkable journey and important achievements.
Over the past 17 years, guided by the SCO Charter and the Treaty on Long-Term Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation Between the Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, we have forged a constructive partnership featuring non-alliance, non-confrontation and not targeting any third party. In doing so, we have achieved a major breakthrough in the theories and practices of international relations, created a new model for regional cooperation, and made new contribution to peace and development in our region.
Today, the SCO stands as a comprehensive regional cooperation organization that covers the largest area and population in the world. Its members account for about 20 percent of the global economy and 40 percent of its population. The SCO has four observer states and six dialogue partners as well as extensive cooperation linkages with the United Nations and other international and regional organizations. With its ever-rising international influence, the SCO has become an important force for promoting global peace and development and upholding international justice and fairness.
The SCO enjoys strong vitality and momentum of cooperation. This, in the final analysis, is attributed to the Shanghai Spirit, a creative vision initiated and followed through by the SCO that champions mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for diversity of civilizations and pursuit of common development. The Shanghai Spirit, transcending outdated concepts such as clash of civilizations, Cold War and zero-sum mentality, has opened a new page in the history of international relations and gained increasing endorsement of the international community.
Mencius, another ancient Chinese philosopher, aptly observed, “When Confucius looks down from the peak of the Dongshan Mountain, the local Kingdom of Lu comes into view; when he looks down from the peak of Mount Tai, the whole land comes into view.” At a time when the world is undergoing major developments, transformation and adjustment, we must aim high and look far, and keep pace with the underlying trend of both the world and our times to push for more progress of human civilization.
While hegemony and power politics still persist in this world, the growing call for a more just and equitable international order must be heeded. Democracy in international relations has become an unstoppable trend of the times.
While various traditional and non-traditional security threats keep emerging, the force for peace will prevail, for security and stability are what people long for.
While unilateralism, trade protectionism and backlash against globalization are taking new forms, in this global village of ours where countries’ interests and future are so interconnected, the pursuit of cooperation for mutual benefit represents a surging trend.
While we keep hearing such rhetoric as the clash of civilizations or the superiority of one civilization over another, it is the diversity of civilizations that sustains human progress. Indeed, mutual learning between different cultures is a shared aspiration of all peoples.
The world today faces both opportunities and challenges. The road ahead, bumpy as it may be, will lead to a promising future. We should stay committed to the Shanghai Spirit, surmount difficulties, defuse risks and meet challenges head on.
– We should uphold innovative, coordinated, green, open and inclusive development, achieve coordinated social and economic progress of various countries and resolve issues caused by unbalanced development. We should bridge the gap in development and promote shared prosperity.
– We should pursue common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. We should reject the Cold War mentality and confrontation between blocs and oppose the practices of seeking absolute security of oneself at the expense of others, so as to achieve security of all.
– We should promote open and inclusive cooperation for win-win outcomes. We should reject self-centered, short-sighted and closed-door policies. We should uphold WTO rules and support the multilateral trading system so as to build an open world economy.
– We should champion equality, mutual learning, dialogue and inclusiveness between civilizations. It is important that we overcome cultural misunderstanding, clash and supremacy through exchanges, mutual learning and coexistence.
– We should follow the principle of achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration in engaging in global governance. We should reform and improve the global governance system, and work with all other countries to build a community with shared future for humanity.