Samarkand Summit will once again witness how barren the Western worldview is: Global Times editorial
Published: Sep 15, 2022 12:52 AM
Shanghai Cooperation Organization Photo: VCG

Shanghai Cooperation Organization Photo: VCG

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit will be held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, from Thursday to Friday. The summit has received particular attention from the international community. Fifteen heads of state, including Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will attend the summit. This is the first face-to-face discussion between leaders of the SCO member states since the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The meeting will include Iran as the ninth member of the SCO and issue the Samarkand Declaration to expound the SCO's position on a series of international issues.

As the world's largest and most populous regional organization, the SCO has a prominent feature: openness and inclusiveness. The second round of SCO expansion is one of the core agendas of the Samarkand Summit. As the current members, observers and dialogue partners of the SCO are all non-Western countries, some of which are being sanctioned by the US and the West, such as Russia, Iran and Belarus, the SCO has attracted some suspicions from American and Western public opinion. They describe the SCO's exploration of new multilateral cooperation mechanisms as wanting to "compete" with the West or "against the West."

The SCO summit, held in the context of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, was even described by some Western media as creating an "anti-Western front." If there is a Chinese proverb to comment on this, it is "ask not the sparrow how the eagle soars." They can only understand and speculate about the SCO's concepts with their own narrow cognition. The minds of American and Western elites are full of domineering and paranoid confrontational thinking. The target they wanted to suppress had better "socially die" in the global village and not have its own circle of friends. However, the controlling power of the US and the West cannot match their ambitions, and things that do not meet their wishes are constantly emerging, just like the SCO. In a certain sense, this is the inevitability of social evolution or the progress of the times.

The core concept of the SCO is the "Shanghai Spirit." It proposes a set of new concepts, new models, and new norms on how countries after the Cold War should live on an equal footing, how to conduct multilateral cooperation mechanisms, and how to develop the global order. In the 21 years since its establishment, the SCO, which has been "bad-mouthed" by the US and the West, has not broken up, but instead has shown vigorous vitality and attractiveness. Ten countries, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, all hope to join the SCO. Differences in the political system, history, and culture of the SCO member states, and even territorial disputes and ideological differences have not become obstacles to the development of the SCO. It explored a path beyond the Cold War mentality in a world with increasing diversity and differences. 

The SCO eyes for cooperation, and at the same time, it aims to express its voice and attitude to the world, representing one-quarter of the Earth's land area, nearly one-quarter of the global GDP, and one-third of the total population. For a long time, these countries have been overshadowed by the West. But it needs to be emphasized that the SCO does not target third parties, including the West. It is the inherent gene of the SCO. It will never become an organization against the West or any party at any time, just like the seeds of a big tree will never grow into thatch. Some people in the US and the West have always wanted to label the SCO as "Eastern NATO." Their narrow vision and barren imagination starkly contrast the SCO's breadth and richness.

If the West really has a sense of crisis, what it really needs to do is not to vilify the SCO, or even sow discord and dampen the enthusiasm of countries that want to participate in the organization. Instead, it should seriously reflect on what has gone wrong in its way of viewing the world. Washington often beats with a stick and offers a carrot, roping in other countries in all sorts of ways to form cliques. But many countries in the world are moving more and more away from it, while the SCO insists on the sovereign equality of states and non-exclusive multilateralism, and its circle of friends is getting bigger and bigger. The reason for this is that the SCO's "three no's principles" - no alliance, no confrontation, and no targeting any third party - have won the hearts of many countries. The more the US and the West engage in coercive diplomacy to force others to "take sides," the stronger the global community's demand for genuine multilateralism will be.

It is no coincidence that the SCO has evolved from a cooperative mechanism dedicated to combating the "three forces" to a vehicle today with four wheels of "politics, security, economy, and humanities." From the fight against terrorism, proposed by the SCO long before September 11 attacks, to the Global Development Initiative and Global Security Initiative being promoted right now, the vision, foresight, and correctness of the SCO have been repeatedly tested in the past and will be confirmed in the future. The SCO provides the world a huge room for imagination, and the Samarkand Summit will become a new milestone.