SCO can now better promote regional unity

BEIJING, June 10 (APP): The Shanghai Cooperation Organization was
expanded for the first time at the two-day summit in Astana, Kazakhstan, with the inclusion of India and Pakistan.
The inclusion of the two major regional countries in the SCO
demonstrates the organization’s growing appeal.
After the expansion, the eight-member bloc will cover nearly half of the
world’s population and three-fifths of the Eurasian continent, which will greatly boost its role of promoting regional stability and prosperity, according to an article published in Daily China on Saturday.
Since its establishment in 2001, the SCO has faced numerous detractors
and critics, who have questioned its motives and principles.
Yet the organization’s steadfast commitment to peace and economic growth
in some of the world’s most volatile countries has remained unshaken.
The reason for that is the SCO member states’ shared need to maintain
peace and security in the region, as well as foster faster economic development. These common interests outweigh the differences in their political systems, cultures, social compositions and levels of development.
Moreover, the SCO could also serve as a platform to promote the two
countries’ common need for economic and trade development, especially under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative framework.
Since “comprehensive cooperation at all levels as part of the regional
integration process is unstoppable, India cannot keep itself from this general trend for too long, it will come and join (the Belt and Road Initiative) … sooner or later”, said Sun Zhuangzhi, secretary-general of the SCO Research Center affiliated to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
The impressive performance of the SCO over the past 16 years deserves
greater global confidence in its ability to dispel doubts and bridge differences.
Now that President Xi Jinping and the leaders of other SCO member states
have wrapped up the Astana meeting after expanding the bloc’s membership, the world can expect the organization to more comprehensively promote regional unity in the quest for a more secure and prosperous future.