Leaders of 15 nations are attending this month’s SCO summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan — including from China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, its 8 member-states.
At this year’s summit, Iran signed a memorandum to become its 9th member before next year’s SCO gathering in India.
Observer nation Belarus also began the process for full membership.
Egypt, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are expected to be formally introduced as dialogue partners ahead of full membership at a later time.
And Turkey’s position as a dialogue partner may be elevated to observer status — while Armenia, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Cambodia, Nepal, Bahrain, Kuwait, the UAE, Myanmar, and the Maldives are expected to begin process for becoming SCO member-states.
The SCO is the world’s largest regional organization in terms of geographic and population size.
Its member-states comprise around 60% of Eurasia — with 40% of world population and over 30% of global GDP.
As new member states are added to the organization, so will its size in land mass, population, GDP and global prominence.
Established in 2001 as an intra-governmental forum to foster mutual trust and economic development, the SCO also focuses on security-related issues — notably because of hegemon USA-led NATO’s rage to dominate the world community of nations by brute force if lesser tactics fall short.
According to Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, this year’s summit is notable for launching “a new inclusive dialogue (at a time of) deep crisis of trust,” adding:
SCO member-states, its observers and dialogue partners should become “a pole of attraction without dividing lines, in the name of peace, cooperation and progress.”
Meeting face-to-face for the first time since February, Chinese President Xi Jinping told his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, that his nation “is willing to make efforts with Russia to assume the role of great powers, and play a guiding role to inject stability and positive energy into a world rocked by social turmoil.”
For his part, Putin praised deepening bilateral ties with China that include $140 billion in trade, what increased by 25% through June this year, adding:
He hopes total trade will reach around $200 billion by yearend, adding:
“We highly value the balanced approach of our Chinese friends when it comes to the Ukrainian crisis.”
On all things related to the SCO, it “includes countries with different cultural and civilizational traditions, foreign policy guidelines and models of national development.”
At the same time, “building work on principles of equality and mutual benefit, respect for each other’s sovereignty and refusal to interfere in internal affairs made it possible to turn this organization into an effective mechanism for multilateral cooperation.”
Separately, China’s official People’s Daily said the following about this year’s SCO:
Since founded in 2001, the economy and foreign trade volume of its member states grew by 12 percent on average annually.
“Last year, the combined economic size of SCO member states exceeded $20 trillion, taking a larger share of the global economy and contributing more to global growth.”
“A record 15,000 China-Europe freight train trips were made in 2021.”
“(T)he first China-Russia highway bridge opened to traffic, (and) the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway is well underway.”
Last year at the UN General Assembly’s 75th session, Res. 75/268 “recognized the SCO’s constructive role in ensuring peace and sustainable development, promoting regional cooperation and enhancing good-neighborly partnerships.”
For its part, China aims to reach $2.3 trillion in trade with SCO member-states within the next 5 years.
On Thursday, China’s Global Times (GT) stressed that the organization features “openness and inclusiveness.”
It’s member-states, observers and dialogue partners are all non-Western ones.
The “Shanghai Spirit” is worlds apart from how the US-dominated West operates — cooperatively in the spirit of multilateralism, not confrontationally with forever wars by hot and/or other means on invented enemies.
GT stressed the following:
“The SCO provides the world a huge room for imagination, and the Samarkand Summit will become a new milestone.”
Its member-states, observers and dialogue partners are in the vanguard of promoting peace and stability over perpetual wars by US-dominated Western regimes.