The 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit will be held in the port city of Qingdao in eastern China on June 9 to 10. Kazakhstan was one of the founders of the organization, which was established in 2001. According to international experts, it is one of the brightest initiatives of Kazakh President, Nursultan Nazarbayev. Today, the intergovernmental organization is presented as the key instrument of regional cooperation in political, military, educational and cultural fields.

SHAKHRAT NURYSHEV, KAZAKH AMBASSADOR TO CHINA:

- The main outcome of the SCO over the past 17 years is the maintenance of peace and security in the Central Asian region. We can say that the SCO is a very good example of cooperation that provided favorable conditions for prosperity and development of the SCO member countries.

SUN ZHUANGZHI, SENIOR STAFF, CHINESE ACADEMY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES:

- At the early stage of its development, the SCO’s priority was cooperation in the field of security. We are continuing the fight against extremism, terrorism and separatism that still pose a threat to Central Asia. We can say that the SCO is one of the first international organizations that called terrorism a common threat for all countries.

The initial members of the SCO are Kazakhstan, China, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. At the summit held last year in Astana, the Shanghai Six turned into the Shanghai Eight, as India and Pakistan became full members of the organization. Today, the SCO is a comprehensive regional organization which covers over 60 per cent of Eurasia’s landmass and almost half of the planet’s population. The SCO member countries account for over 20 per cent of the global GDP. At the upcoming summit in Qingdao, there will be discussions on the new ways of interaction between the SCO member states, the four observer countries with the United Nations (UN) representatives and other international organizations. Chinese president Xi Jinping will preside over the summit.

ZHANG JIANGTING, SECRETARY, COMMUNIST PARTY OF CHINA, QINGDAO MUNICIPAL COMMITTEE:

- We are preparing for a series of events designed to expand contacts in trade and business, including the export fair of goods from the SCO member countries. We are also planning to open a new think-tank in Qingdao, which will work on the development of trade and economic cooperation. In addition, we are also working on the developing a comprehensive plan for the implementation of the ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative. This plan will focus on the development of trade and investment cooperation with countries of Central and South Asia which are the countries with rapidly growing markets. 

The “Qingdao Declaration” is expected to be signed at the summit. The declaration is a five-year program to develop good-neighborly relations, friendship and cooperation as well as a program to jointly combat ‘three evil forces’ of terrorism, separatism and extremism for the next three years.

WANG YI, CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTER:

 - The fight against three evil forces, including drug trafficking and cybercrime, has become a priority of our cooperation and will be on the focus at the summit in Qingdao. The leaders of the SCO member countries will have an in-depth discussion on the international and regional security, the identification of areas to overcome risks and challenges, the development of concrete steps to increase the level and scope of cooperation with aims to enrich the practice of interaction.

China has become the first country to host the SCO summit after the expansion of the organization and the accession of India and Pakistan. According to Chinese diplomats, the Qingdao summit will be another step towards consolidation and prosperity. 

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