President's speech seen as offering a global solution
President Xi Jinping's recent call for the world to shun a Cold War mentality and zero-sum game, and uphold the Shanghai Spirit to ensure common and comprehensive security, answers the needs of our times, according to analysts.
At the 22nd meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, on Friday, Xi emphasized upholding true multilateralism and shunning the politics of a Cold War mentality, unilateralism, protectionism and zero-sum game, said Dennis Munene, executive director of the China-Africa Center at the Kenya-based Africa Policy Institute.
Munene said that the global community needs to acknowledge China's unwavering support in terms of offering public goods such as the Global Security Initiative and the Global Development Initiative, which featured extensively in President Xi's remarks at the summit, and will deepen cooperation and enhance people-to-people and cultural exchanges.
Colin Mackerras, professor emeritus at Griffith University in Australia, said that what struck him about Xi's speech was its positive tone, as well as the focus on equality, common values, exchanges and multicultural appreciation for many civilizations.
"We're getting an emphasis on unity from President Xi Jinping, as opposed to the divisiveness that seems so prevalent with much of the rest of the world today, and especially the United States. I regard this emphasis on unity and equality as an extremely good thing," he said.
Mackerras said Xi called for stability, cultural exchange, equality among nations and the practice of the common values of humanity. "He was very clear in his desire to safeguard 'the United Nations-centered international system and the international order based on international law'," the professor said, adding that Xi "maintained the long-held international desire to oppose terrorism, separatism and extremism".
Xi's speech gives the right direction for SCO member states as well as others, said Gerald Mbanda, a researcher and publisher in Rwanda, stressing the values embodied in the Shanghai Sprit: mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for diversity of civilizations and pursuit of common development.
"President Xi's call for security cooperation among member countries is indeed necessary given the current atmosphere of a Cold War mentality promoted by the US and its allies. China's call for a Global Security Initiative is intended to address the peace deficit and global security challenges that prevail," he said.
Mbanda added that Xi's call for multilateralism as opposed to unilateralism is a clear testimony of advocating a global order based on consultation and consensus through which global challenges and ideological differences can be addressed, rather than by the use of force and bullying by strong nations.
Kaori Singh, emeritus fellow and former director of the South Asia Studies Center at India's University of Rajasthan, said that Xi's speech dispelled the apprehensions spread through Western media disinformation campaigns, by underlining the role and significance of the Belt and Road Initiative.
Salman Bashir, a former Pakistani ambassador to China, said Xi's SCO speech was essentially about maintaining a rational view on development and security issues. "His focus on forging political trust, openness and equality, and deepening cooperation and respecting each other's core interests was of special value in a fraught situation," he said.
Furkan Halit Yolcu, a research assistant at the Sakarya University Middle East Institute in Turkiye, said that, at the beginning of his speech, Xi "was mainly focusing on the challenging conditions that international relations are currently going through".
Yolcu said that Xi also emphasized that the SCO was designed to be a constructive force, and highlighted the SCO as a platform for discussion and solutions.
Nasser Bouchiba, president of the Africa-China Cooperation Association for Development in Morocco, said, "President Xi's speech invited the participating countries to defend world peace through mutual trust and respect, consultation and solidarity."
He also said that Xi proposed specific measures aimed at protecting regional peace and promoting mutual cooperation in trade and investment, infrastructure construction, supply chains and technological innovation to "deal with the global epidemic and trends that threaten world peace, including unilateralism and protectionism, and declining economic globalization, among other problems".
Imtiaz Gul, executive director of the Center for Research and Security Studies in Pakistan, said that Xi's emphasis on "win-win cooperation based on a consultative and cooperative approach", once again underlined China's policy of peaceful coexistence and joint pursuit of common development.