As the 2018 SCO summit wrapped up, CGTN interviewed Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. He shared his views on China’s role in the regional organization, and how it can help ease disputes.
“This is the first expansion of SCO membership, and Pakistan and India are the new members. This shows that the SCO is an attractive organization. Besides Pakistan and India, other countries are also trying to be members of the organization. We know there are existing and historical, unresolved conflicts between Pakistan and India. But I think after their joining the SCO, maybe we can provide a better platform and opportunities for the building of relations between them. When joining the SCO, a series of agreements had to be signed and pledges had to be made. The most important is they must keep good relations and they shouldn’t see each other as opponents, much less enemies. By signing these agreements, they demonstrated a responsibility for implementing them. I feel the SCO serves as a great vehicle for bettering the two nations’ relations. As a result, it will better safeguard the peace and stability of the region. Although their relations have seen their ups and downs, if we look at the bigger picture, they are progressing nevertheless,” Wang Yi said.
Since many of the SCO member states neighbor Afghanistan, so the country and its issues are considered a top priority by the SCO. The consultation mechanism of the SCO on the level of vice foreign ministers toward resolving Afghanistan’s issues has been rebooted, and certain related agreements have been signed today, Wang said. Recently, a vice foreign ministers’ conference was held in Beijing, and all parties reached a consensus. It is commonly agreed that only through joint efforts can we ensure the continued progress of peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan. Under the guidance of the SCO, President Ghani announced a ceasefire, and the Taliban compromised with a temporary ceasefire. This came after 17 years without such a compromise being made. We’re happy to see the coming agreement and positive outcomes from both sides… It shows the hopes and opportunities for all the parties, even though the conflicts and divisions cannot be solved all at once.
Also, the SCO is a new regional organization jointly established by China and Russia. We share agreements and consensus in the same general direction with common interests, and our collaborations function well. Through the SCO, the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Russia has obtained new meaning, which also allows China and Russia to work to maintain regional peace and stability. For example, the link between the Eurasian Economic Union and the Belt & Road Initiative, is achieved through the SCO, and effectively promotes the Belt & Road Initiative, Wang Yi told us.