Pakistan's Premier Multilingual News Agency

Putin and Xi hailed SCO as a pillar of global stability

Astana, 3 July 2024, (GNP): Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping praised the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) as a pivotal force for global stability during the 24th Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO in Astana.

The summit, which will conclude on Thursday, underscores the SCO’s role as a counterweight to Western influence, highlighting the deepening collaboration between Moscow and Beijing.

Founded in 2001 by Russia, China, and Central Asian nations, the SCO has expanded to include India, Iran, and Pakistan. This expansion reflects the organization’s growing significance in promoting a multipolar world order.

President Putin emphasized, “The organisation has firmly established itself as one of the key pillars of a fair, multipolar world order,” noting that bilateral ties between Russia and China are at their historical best.

Also ReadChinese President Xi Jinping arrives in Kazakhstan for SCO summit and state visit

President Xi, addressing Putin as an “old friend,” reiterated the importance of the enduring Sino-Russian friendship amidst a rapidly evolving international landscape.

“Our cooperation is not aimed against anyone, we are not creating any blocs or alliances, we are just acting in the interests of our peoples,” Putin stated, underscoring the non-confrontational nature of the SCO’s mission.

Xi Jinping called for upholding the “original aspiration of friendship for generations” between China and Russia, signaling continued collaboration and strategic planning for future bilateral relations.

On the summit’s sidelines, President Putin held bilateral meetings with several key leaders, including Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, and Mongolian President Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh. These discussions focused on strengthening regional cooperation and addressing mutual security threats such as drug trafficking and domestic instability.

India, represented by Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, opted for ministerial-level participation, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi scheduled to visit Moscow later this month.

The summit also highlighted the robust economic dimensions of the SCO. President Xi presided over a ceremony with Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to inaugurate the departure of cargo along the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, emphasizing China’s pragmatic approach to economic cooperation. This route, also known as the Middle Corridor, connects Southeast Asia and China with Europe, offering an alternative to transit through Russia.

Belarus is attending the Astana summit as a full member of the SCO for the first time, further expanding the organization’s reach. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is also participating, reflecting the global significance of the summit.

The SCO’s commitment to a “no limits” partnership, declared by China and Russia in February 2022, continues to shape global geopolitical dynamics. This partnership, reaffirmed by Xi and Putin, challenges the U.S.-dominated post-Cold War era, advocating for a new era defined by balanced international cooperation.