In September 2013, at the 13th Meeting of the Council of the Heads of State of the SCO Member States, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced that China will set up China National Institute for SCO International Exchange and Judicial Cooperation CNISCO (hereinafter, CNISCO) at Shanghai University of Political Science and Law (hereinafter, SHUPL). To commemorate the sixth anniversary of this announcement, the 14th International Conference on Central Asia & Shanghai Cooperation Organization was co-hosted by CNISCO, SCO Studies Center of Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, and SCO Research Institute of SHUPL. Over 100 experts of relevant fields from Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Germany, Turkey, Israel, China and other countries were invited.
The opening ceremony of the conference was hosted by Pan Guang, Director of the SCO Studies Center of Shanghai Academy of Social Science, Chief Expert of the CNISCO.
Hu Jiling, Vice President of SHUPL delivered a welcoming speech, in which she expressed warm welcome to the presence of all the guests and introduced the core functions of CNISCO and the process of its establishment and development. She expected more and more scholars to learn about CNISCO through this conference so that it can play a even greater role in the future to better serve national strategy and economic and social development of Shanghai, to better serve the SCO and to better promote the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative.
Zheng Wei, General Secretary of China’s SCO Committee on Good-Neighbourliness, Friendship and Cooperation pointed out in her keynote speech that: “For 18 years since the founding of the SCO, it has firmly practiced the Shanghai Spirit, resolutely abandoned the old concepts such as clash of civilizations, cold war mentality and zero-sum game, and made every effort to consolidate political mutual trust and good-neighborly friendship among member states, work together to build a regional security barrier and promote the further development of regional cooperation. It has played an irreplaceable and important role in maintaining regional security and stability and promoting the development and prosperity of all countries, and has become a model for building a new type of international relationship of mutual respect, fairness and justice and win-win cooperation. The exchanges and cooperation among the SCO member states will be further strengthened by holding this meeting.”
Jawed Ludin, Former Deputy Foreign Minister of Afghanistan said in his speech that the Afghan people welcomed neighboring countries, including China, and international organizations to join in the fight against extremism. Deng Hao, Secretary-General of the China Center for SCO Studies introduced the center in his speech and expressed his expectation to strengthen cooperation with different parties in relevant fields.
Gao Yusheng, Huang Jing, Xing Guangcheng, Sheng Shiliang, Xu Tao, Yuan Shengyu, Wang Wei, Raj Verma, Bolat Ussenov, Harald Haende and other experts at the meeting had a heated discussion centered on three items: Central Asia & SCO and BRI Construction, Central Asia & SCO Security and Counter-terrorism Cooperation, and Central Asia & SCO Economic and Cultural Cooperation.
The delegates held that the BRI is an important opportunity for the Central Asian countries and SCO-related countries to develop their economy and an important attempt to overcome the imbalance in the development of the world economy. The BRI is one of the great economic integration projects, which reflects China’s efforts and contributions in eliminating trade barriers and strengthening regional economic cooperation. The threat of current international terrorism takes on a new trend with new characteristics, which requires more efforts from the SCO to deal with. Amity between people holds the key to sound relations between states, and economic and cultural cooperation is the foundation and guarantee for the development of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Therefore, the future function of the SCO should be further reflected in economic and human cooperation.