When taking up the rotating chair of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in June last year, China promised "best efforts to fulfill the task, working with other parties to give the people a greater sense of gains and ushering in a brighter future to the organization."
A year has passed and China will host the 18th SCO summit in Qingdao on June 9 and 10.
Building upon successes over the past year, the Qingdao summit, to be chaired by Chinese President Xi Jinping, is set to be a fruitful one and a milestone in the development of the SCO.
Leaders will issue the Qingdao Declaration and carry forward the Shanghai Spirit. Over 10 agreements in diverse fields of security, economic cooperation, and people-to-people exchanges are expected to be signed.
China, as a founding member, has shared its vision and wisdom with other members. President Xi participated in the last five SCO summits in Bishkek, Dushanbe, Ufa, Tashkent and Astana, and has lent consistent and strong support to the development of the SCO.
During the presidency, China has strengthened mutual trust, expanded cooperation, and elevated the organization.
A total of 160 activities in political, financial, trade, security, environmental, agricultural and other fields have been carried out since last June. Among them, forums for women, political parties, cultural and art organizations and hospital cooperation were held for the first time.
With these actions, China shows the world that it regards boosting the development of the SCO as one of its diplomatic priorities.
China sees the SCO as a platform to build a new type of international relations, one that features mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation. It is in sharp contrast to the Cold War mentality of confrontation and dominance.
The Shanghai Spirit of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for diverse civilizations, and pursuit of common development, is the bedrock for a thriving SCO.
China advocates a community of shared future for humanity. It proposes the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution, and shared benefits. These diplomatic visions have well served the development of the SCO.
In 2001, trade volume between China and other SCO members was merely 12.1 billion U.S. dollars. From 2013 to 2017, China imported a staggering total of 340 billion dollars worth of products from other member states. Direct investment by Chinese companies in these countries totalled 15 billion dollars.
Since its founding 17 years ago, the agendas of the SCO have expanded to encompass security, economic cooperation, people-to-people exchanges and other areas. The membership expansion last year adding India and Pakistan shows the SCO's growing strategic value and appeal.
In order to enhance cohesion and mutual trust between old and new members, China has sought consensus, facilitated dialogues and promoted the sound and steady development of the SCO, which accounts for nearly half of the world's population and over 20 percent of global GDP.
China will dazzle as a proud host of the diplomatic event, and work with other members to make the Qingdao summit a milestone in the development of the SCO and launch this new type of regional organization into a new era.