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International Symposium on "20 Years of SCO: Marching Towards a Community of Shared Future" Was Sucessfully Held

On May 13, an International Symposium with the theme of "20 Years of SCO: Marching Towards a Community of Shared Future for a Green, Healthy and Common Development" was held at Renmin University of China. This academic event is the first International Conference on the 20th anniversary of SCO in China and it is part of the series activities of the 15th meeting of conference of the parties to the Convention on biological diversity (COP15) to be held in Kunming, China this year. It is of great significance as State Councilor and Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of China Wang Yi was holding the second "China + Central Asian" Foreign Ministers' Meeting to discuss the establishment of a China-Central Asia community with a shared future in the next 30 years.

This international symposium was hosted by the National Academy of Development and Strategy (NADS), RUC and the Russian, Eastern European & Central Asian Studies, CASS, and co-organized by the National Academy of Belt and Road Green Development (NABRGD), CICEC and the Institute of Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia Studies of SIS, RUC, with simultaneous interpretation in Chinese, English and Russian provided.

More than 60 government and academic representatives from more than 40 institutions in China and abroad and diplomatic envoys in China attended the symposium, including Chairwoman of the University Council Dr. Jin Nuo, Director of Institute of Russian, Eastern European, Central Asian Studies of CASS, and Executive Director of Chinese Research Center of SCO Mr. Sun Zhuangzhi, Counselor of Department of European-Central Asian Affairs at Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China Zhang Hongjian, Vice President of RUC Prof. Du Peng, SCO Deputy Secretary-General Sherali Saidamir JononFormer Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Mr. Djoomart Otorbaev, First Secretary of Russian Embassy in China Elena Rumyantseva, and professor Farangis Karaeva, Director of the Laboratory of Ecology and Sustainable Development of the Institute of Water Problems, Water Energy and Ecology of the National Academy of Sciences, Tajikistan.

Dr. Jin Nuo said in her welcome speech that, the situation of the world is undergoing unprecedented changes. Against the background of increasing instability and uncertainty, President Xi Jinping established an important diplomatic concept after thorough consideration of the era, that is to build a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation. 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of SCO and the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China. This international symposium was organized by NADS and the Institute of Russian, Eastern European & Central Asian Studies of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) to highlight the achievements the SCO has made and the various pressing issues it is facing. It is of great significance to seek plans for economic recovery of the SCO member states under the new circumstances, expand people-to-people and cultural exchanges among the member states, develop and optimize win-win cooperation in various fields including economy and culture, realize regional security environment and governance, and explore how to construct a multi-tiered community with a shared future for the SCO member states. She hoped that experts and scholars of the SCO member states will hold similar exchanges on a regular basis, work hard to come up with meaningful "SCO plans" for green economic recovery, closer cooperation on health and security, and expanding people-to-people exchanges among the SCO member states, and put into practice the vision of the "four communities proposed by President Xi Jinping, namely the health community, the security community, the development community, and the people-to-people community. This will lay a solid foundation for the sustainable development of SCO.

Sun Zhuangzhi said in the opening speech that, economic and cultural cooperation is the basis for the SCO member states to establish a community with a shared future. We can enhance the cooperation from various aspects at different levels to allow the masses to see the achievements, so as to enhance the friendship among the people of the SCO member states and eliminate the artificial barriers against the community with a shared future.

Sherali Saidamir Jonon said that RUC has established interscholastic partnerships with institutions in 60 countries and regions around the world, which plays an important role in the education sector and will provide valuable experience and guidance for the future development of SCO. He expressed his appreciation to NADS of RUC for its important role in the organization of this Symposium, and praised that, NADS, as a new-type think tank with Chinese characteristics, has the impetus and foundation for innovative thinking. It's an important force that will influence the future of mankind and enable China's modern public administration to rise to a new height.

Zhang Hongjian said that, in the past 20 years, the SCO member states, under the guidance of the Shanghai Spirit, have withstood the test of changing international situations and stepped into a new path of cooperative development by continuously deepening cooperation in political, security, economic and cultural fields. This symposium focuses on the development of the SCO and highlights the concept of green development, which is of great significance to deepening SCO cooperation in various fields and promoting the sustainable development of countries in the region.

Du Peng moderated the opening ceremony and thanked the representatives from the Institute of Russian, Eastern European & Central Asian Studies of CASS, China International Culture Exchange Center and other institutions at home and abroad for their support for this international symposium.

Zhou Li, former Vice Minister of the International Department of the Central Committee of CPC and member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, and Djoomart Otorbaev delivered keynote speeches at the symposium respectively.

Zhou Li said that, the development and experience of SCO in the past 20 years can be summarized in one sentence, that is, SCO has become a model of a new-type international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation. He said that a community with a shared future for mankind is the only way forward for mankind. In the future, the international situation will become more complex, it is more necessary for the SCO member states, observer states and dialogue partners to strengthen mutual exchanges and cooperation. We should organize forces to respond positively to the voices that appear from time to time to undermine the development of SCO and disturb the social stability of all countries. We should firmly uphold the international system with the United Nations at its core and the international order based on international law, and make our voice to promote fairness and justice in more areas in the world. We should encourage think tanks and media to play the role of "engines" in international communication.

Djoomart Otorbaev said that SCO has its own unique development history. First, China and Central Asia have set a good example for cooperation, including cooperation in railway sector. Second, the long-term and mutually beneficial cooperation in the 21st century should take into account the regional characteristics of Central Asia. He thought that China has made extraordinary achievements in the field of artificial intelligence and suggested China develop vocational education and cooperation to spread such knowledge to Central Asian countries. He also pointed out that Chinese will play an increasingly important role in Central Asian countries in the future.

The part of keynote speeches was moderated by Yan Jinming, Executive Dean of NADS and Professor of School of Public Administration and Policy.

As the chief organizer of the Symposium, Xu Qinhua, Deputy Dean of NADS of RUC and Professor of International Political Economy and International Relation, said when introducing the background of this Symposium that, as a top think tank in China, the NADS always plays its role actively. It proposed to add biodiversity in the ecological environment protection index system in 2019 and organized a large symposium to discuss the technology and policy possibility of net zero emission with the power of all sectors of society in June 2020, which led to a better policy and good social response. This symposium will surely help the countries in SCO recover their green economy.

This international symposium has three topics. The first topic is "Achievements and Experience of 20 Years of SCO", moderated by Jin Zhe (Deputy Director of the Institute of Russian, Eastern European & Central Asian Studies, CASS) and addressed respectively by Deng Hao (Secretary-General of the Center of Shanghai Cooperation Organization Studies), Elena Rumyantseva, Li Ziguo (Director of the Department for European-Central Asian Studies, China Institute of International Studies), Farangis Karaeva, Fazal-ur Rehman (Director of Center for Chinese Studies of University of Dargodha), Ding Xiaoxing (Director of the Institute of Eurasian Studies of China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations), and Gulnar Shaimergenova (Director of the Kazakhstan Center for Chinese Studies).

The second topic was "Pool the Strength of SCO, Boost the Green Recovery", moderated by Zheng Yuntian (Director of the Institute of World Socialism, School of International Studies, RUC) and addressed respectively by Xu Tao (Distinguished researcher of Institute of Eurasian Studies under the Development Research Center of the State Council), Saule Erdenovna Koshanova (Director of the Confucius Institute in Kazakhstan, Head of the Kazakhstan-China Project of the Kazakhstan Committee on International Relations), Qiang Xiaoyun(Director of the Research Center for Russia and Central Asia, Shanghai Institute for International Studies, Shanghai Institutes for International Studies), Tong Wei(Researcher of the Research Center of Russia and Countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Central University of Finance and Economics), Han Lu (Deputy Director of the Department for European-Central Asian Studies, China Institute of International Studies), and Zhang Henglong (Deputy Director of the Public Diplomacy Institute of Shanghai Cooperation Organization).

The third topic was "Consolidate Safety and Health Cooperation, Expand People-to-People and Cultural Exchanges", moderated by Sun Li (Chairman of the Subcommittee on Cooperation of the Analytical Center of the Chinese Committee of the SCO on Good Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation) and addressed respectively by Wang Xianju (Deputy Director of the Center for Russian Studies, RUC and St. Petersburg State University), Wang Shida (Deputy Director of the Institute of South Asian Studies, China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations); Sabohat Hashimova (Associate Professor of Tashkent State University of Oriental Studies), Li Qi(Director of the Institute of Central Asia, Shaanxi Normal University), Sultan Ahmad Baheen (President of Afghanistan-China Friendship Association, and former ambassador of Afghanistan in China) and Sun Fang(Director of the Center for Kazakhstan Studies, Beijing Foreign Studies University).

After discussion, all the speakers agreed that this symposium provided a good communication on various issues and the Chinese and foreign guests proposed many valuable suggestions for the future development of the SCO.

The closing ceremony was moderated by Li Wei, Deputy Director of the Office of Research, Deputy Director of International Office, and Professor of the School of International Studies of RUC. Sun Zhuangzhi and Xu Qinhua each made a summary speech.