Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday said that members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) should deepen mutual trust and resolve disputes and differences through dialogue and consultations, while firmly dealing with terrorist, separatist and extremist forces.
Addressing the Council of Heads of State of the SCO grouping via video link, President Xi said that history has proven and will continue to prove that good-neighbourliness will prevail over a beggar-thy-neighbour approach, mutually beneficial cooperation will replace zero-sum game, and multilateralism will win over unilateralism.
"We need to deepen solidarity and mutual trust, and resolve disputes and differences through dialogue and consultation," to cement the political foundation for SCO's development, President Xi said in remarks in the backdrop of the over six-month-long military standoff between India and China in eastern Ladakh.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and leaders of the eight-member SCO grouping attended the virtual summit hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Security and stability are the number one precondition for a country's development, and thus concern the core interests of all countries, President Xi said.
"We need to act on the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, address all forms of threats and challenges effectively, and foster a sound security environment in our region," the Chinese President was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua news agency which released the official transcript of Xi Jinping's address.
"We need to act on the vision of common, comprehensive and sustainable security, address all forms of threats and challenges effectively and foster a sound security atmosphere in our region," he said.
Countries of the SCO should "resolutely oppose external forces'' interfering in their internal affairs under any pretext," President Xi said.
SCO members should "firmly support countries concerned in law-based efforts to steadily advance major domestic political agenda. Firmly support countries in safeguarding political security and social stability and firmly oppose interference by external forces in the domestic affairs of SCO members under whatever pretext," he said.
In order to cement the political foundation for SCO development it is important that "we forestall terrorist, separatist and extremist attempts to exploit the pandemic for disruption, curb the proliferation of drugs, crack down on Internet-based propagation of extremist ideology, and deepen SCO members' law-enforcement cooperation," President Xi said.
"It is important that we support biosecurity, data security and outer space security and engage in active communication and dialogue in this field," he said.
"Each civilisation is distinct and none is superior to others. We need to promote mutual learning between our civilisations and enhance good-neighbourliness and friendship between our countries. This allows us to enhance public support for the SCO's long-term development," he said.
The SCO founding members are China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan were admitted into the grouping in 2017.
In his address, the Chinese president touched upon the situation in Afghanistan.
President Xi said the situation in Afghanistan involves security and stability of the wider region. "We need to make good use of the SCO Afghanistan contact group to help the country realise peace and reconstruction," he said.
Since its founding, the SCO travelled an extraordinary journey. It has become major constructive force in the Eurasian region and global affairs, he said.
He said China will host a China-SCO forum on the digital economy next year in China''s Chongqing city. The forum will provide a platform for innovation cooperation among parties, Xi said.
On changing the pattern of China's economy, he said China cannot develop without the rest of the world, nor can the world as a whole prosper without China.
China is speeding up efforts to foster a new development pattern with domestic circulation as the mainstay while allowing domestic and international circulations to reinforce each other, and is building an open economy of higher standards, he said.
He said SCO member states need to enhance connectivity and integrated industrial supply and value chains for unimpeded economic circulation in the region.
The virtual SCO summit was organised by Russia, which will also host a virtual summit of BRICS, (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) leaders on November 17.
India is also set to host the virtual meeting of the SCO Heads of the Government on November 30 in which Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is expected to take part.
On the fight against COVID-19, President Xi said SCO countries should set up a hotline among their centres for disease control, and China is ready to consider in a proactive approach to the needs of countries for COVID-19 vaccines.
It is necessary to strengthen joint forces among countries in prevention and controls, support each other's fight against the epidemic, and further promote exchanges and cooperation in such areas as epidemic surveillance, scientific research, disease prevention and treatment, President Xi said.