Belt and Road being promoted at SCO summit
Discussions taking place ahead of the SCO summit in Qingdao this week have been revolving around the so-called 'Shanghai Spirit,' or the core value of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
SCO member countries say the 'Shanghai Spirit" has been fundamental in safeguarding regional security and promoting regional development.
As such, discussions are underway as to how the Belt and Road Initative can capitalize on the mutual trust, equality and cultural diversity created through the SCO.
Liu Ying is a professor focused on the Belt and Road Initiative with the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University.
"Both SCO and the Belt and Road were initiated by China. China participated in both to join the regional and global economic development. They also coincide with each other in terms of principles. The Belt and Road Initiative is a systematic project, which is jointly built through consultation to meet the interests of all, and efforts should be made to integrate the development strategies of the countries along the Belt and Road. They also shares similar spirit. The silk road spirit is peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit, echoing the Shanghai Spirit."
During the course of its development, the SCO has expanded its mandate from a security grouping to one which now covers areas including economics and cultural ties among the member-states.
As such, Liu Ying says the SCO meshes well with the Belt and Road Initiative.
"Eight SCO member countries together with the Observer and the Dialogue states are all in the core region of the European and Asian continent. The region is also a major part of the Belt and Road construction system. Belt and Road is also built up based on the structure of the 'six economic corridors' and 'six roads' with multiple countries and harbors involved."
One of the major benefactors of the Belt and Road Initative is Pakistan, which also became a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization this past year.
Khalid Taimur Akram is the executive director of the Islamabad-based Center for Global and Strategic Studies.
"Pakistan can explore the opportunity of the Belt and Road Initiative through CPEC program. The governments of China and Pakistan attach great importance to it and have actively started the preparation of long term plans. Up till now, 51 cooperation agreements and MOUs have been signed, out of which 40 of the MOUs involved the corridor constructions already been completed on the Karakoram Highway, which is also known as the friendship highway..."
All SCO member states have crafted their own development programs and strategies, all of which are said to be in-line with the 'Shanghai Spirit' and the Belt and Road Initiative.
These programs include Kazakhstan's 'Bright Road' Initiative and Uzbekistan's 'Localization Programme'
Many of the SCO member-states are also involved in the Russian-initiated Eurasian Economic Union.
For CRI, I'm Liu Min.