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Xi urges SCO to uphold solidarity
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Xi urges SCO to uphold solidarity

China has proposed scaling up local currency settlement among member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, expanding cooperation on sovereign digital currency, and promoting the establishment of a development bank within the organization.

President Xi Jinping made the proposals on July 5th when addressing the 23rd meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO via videoconference in Beijing. He also called on SCO member states to keep to the right direction of economic globalization, uphold solidarity and cooperation and enhance mutual trust.

India, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the regional organization, hosted the annual SCO Summit in a virtual format.

Iran was accepted as a full member of the SCO during the summit, becoming the ninth member in addition to China, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and India. Belarus signed a memorandum of obligations on joining the SCO.

While addressing the summit, Xi also called on the SCO countries to keep in mind the overall and long-term interests of the region, and make foreign policies independently.

"We must be highly vigilant against external attempts to foment a new Cold War or camp-based confrontation in our region. We must resolutely reject any interference in our internal affairs and the instigation of 'color revolutions' by any country under whatever pretext," he said.

While calling for joint efforts to uphold peace and safeguard common security, Xi underlined the need to advance pragmatic cooperation to expedite economic recovery.

China stands ready to work with all parties to implement the Global Security Initiative, promote the settlement of international disputes through dialogue and consultation, and encourage political settlement of international and regional hot spots, in order to forge a solid security shield in the region, he said.

Xi also underlined the need for SCO member states to oppose protectionism, unilateral sanctions and the overstretching of national security, and reject moves to set up barriers, decouple or disrupt supply chains.

He said that China is ready to work with all parties to implement the Global Development Initiative to make the "pie of win-win cooperation bigger and ensure that more development gains will be shared more fairly by people across the world".

The Chinese president called for enhancing the connection of high-quality Belt and Road cooperation with the development strategies of various countries as well as regional cooperation initiatives.

"We should further promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, speed up the development of port infrastructure and regional and international logistics corridors, and ensure stable and smooth functioning of regional industrial and supply chains," he said.

Xi also stressed the importance of strengthening people-to-people exchanges and mutual learning and the harmonious development of different civilizations, and he welcomed all countries to work together to implement the Global Civilization Initiative.

"We should practice multilateralism and improve global governance. ... We should make global governance more just and equitable, and advance modernization of the entire humanity through collective efforts to promote equal rights, equal opportunities and fair rules for all," he said.

"We should support more SCO engagements with observer states, dialogue partners and other regional and international organizations such as the UN, and jointly promote world peace, drive global development and safeguard the international order."

The leaders of the member states signed and issued the New Delhi Declaration of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO, and jointly released a statement on cooperation in countering extremism and a statement on cooperation in the field of digital transformation.

They also approved a series of resolutions, including the SCO economic development strategy through 2030.

It was decided at the meeting that Kazakhstan will next assume the rotating presidency of the SCO.

Leaders of the SCO member states spoke positively about the remarkable achievements made in the development of the regional organization. They also pledged to enhance cooperation in a wide range of fields, including strengthening the alignment of the Belt and Road Initiative with the Eurasian Economic Union. Yetao

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