Xi, Putin pledge SCO will maintain path to build better world order
The Chinese and Russian leaders call for increased cohesion and cooperation among SCO members.
It is vital to safeguard the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) region from any attempts to create a new Cold War static by foreign powers, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday.
Xi also called on the members of the organization to boost cooperation rather than competition and build bilateral ties based on mutual interests and respect.
"We must remain vigilant against attempts from outside to foment a new cold war and provoke a bloc confrontation in our region," Xi said in his address to the New Delhi SCO summit via videoconference.
"Achieving long-term regional peace and stability is our common responsibility," state broadcaster CCTV quoted him as saying.
A meeting of the SCO's Council of Heads of State kicked off on Tuesday. The summit is chaired by India and is taking place via videoconference.
During the summit, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed on Tuesday Iran's accession to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and the signing by Belarus of a memorandum of intent to become a member of the SCO.
"I am pleased to say that Iran is joining the SCO family as a full member. I wish all the best to [Iranian] President [Ebrahim] Raisi and the people of Iran in this regard. I also welcome the signing of the memorandum of intent for Belarus to become a member of the SCO," Modi said in his address at the SCO summit in New Delhi.
The Chinese leader warned of foreign agendas making their way into the body's region, stressing the need to thwart any plans to destabilize it by inciting colored revolutions and strife.
He also encouraged SCO parties to increase their share of trades in national currencies within the organization, calling on them to resist hegemonic diktats and power politics.
China would "persist in the correct direction of economic globalization, oppose protectionism, unilateral sanctions and extension of national security concepts".
Xi also vowed that China will "promote political solutions to pressing international and regional issues, building a firm regional security barrier."
On his part, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that global security is deteriorating and emphasized the important role of the SCO to maintain global stability, reiterating the organization's commitment to establish a "just and multipolar world order."
In an address to the summit, Putin said the new world order would be "based on international law, on the universally recognized principles of mutually respectful cooperation of sovereign states with the central coordinating role of the United Nations."
Putin praised the SCO's joint declaration draft, considering that it "reflects consolidated approaches to international issues."
The Russian leader also announced Moscow's support for Belarus' accession to the organization.
“This is especially significant in the current conditions when geopolitical contradictions are becoming more acute. The degradation of the international security system continues,” Putin told the summit, adding that the SCO members will bolster security cooperation.
Putin told participants that currently, a hybrid war is being waged against Russia, adding that "illegitimate sanctions against Russia are being used on an unprecedented scale."
He stressed that an “anti-Russia” regime was being established in Ukraine near the country's border for a long time.
"Russia is confidently resisting and will continue to resist external pressure, sanctions and provocations," he assured.
Putin also thanked SCO members who announced support for the Russian government and the country's security and order, referring to the recent failed armed mutiny carried out by PMC Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin.
"I would like to thank my colleagues from the SCO countries who expressed support for the actions of the Russian leadership to protect the constitutional order and the life and security of citizens," Putin said
Commenting on trade relations between Russia and China, Putin confirmed that over "80% of commercial transactions between Russia and the People's Republic of China are already carried out in rubles and yuan."
Founded in 2001, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which has its headquarters in China, is a diplomatic organization with eight members, including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Russia, and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan were included as additional members in 2017.