Qingdao, 16 June 2023 (TDI): While celebrating the 10th anniversary of BRI and the 22nd anniversary of SCO, the Chinese city of Qingdao organized the SCO People’s Diplomacy Forum and the Sister Cities Forum from June 15 – 16, 2023.

The event centered on the theme of ‘Expanding Cooperation’ came around the celebrations of the anniversary of the establishment of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

This multilateral event became a platform for strengthening collaboration between Qingdao and other cities in the SCO member states.

In addition to the publication of several MOCs (Memorandums of Cooperation) agreed upon, the forum also facilitated the signing of several new MOCs.

The event was graced with the presence of 400 people from 16 countries, including politicians, ambassadors to China and representatives of the SCO Secretariat who conducted discussions in various fields, including science, innovation, technology, and culture, among others.

The Forums Facilitate Cooperation Among Members

Chairman of the Chinese People’s Society for Friendship with Abroad highlighted the importance of the event in promoting cooperation among the SCO member states, different regions and especially between friendly cities.

He stressed that this interaction encourages the formation of a more integrated community, a stepping stone towards a more peaceful world.

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On the other hand, the Director of the SCO Friendship and Cooperation Center in Tajikistan acknowledged the role of the forum in promoting public diplomacy for enhancing multi-faceted cooperation in addition to solidifying the “Shanghai Spirit.”

Uzbekistan’s Chairman of the Committee on Interethnic Relations appreciated the organization of such a prestigious event.

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He also expressed Samarkand’s readiness to conclude a MOC with Qingdao to further enrich their relations.

SCO Empowers “Shanghai Spirit”

Established on the idea of “Shanghai Spirit,” the SCO has been displaying itself as an innovative platform for fostering regional ties, with a current membership of eight countries.

SCO is a multilateral forum addressing regional security challenges.
SCO is a multilateral forum addressing regional security challenges.

It contains four observers, including Iran and Belarus, endeavouring to become its members as well as the 14 dialogue partners.

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Moreover, from enacting frameworks for resolving border conflicts to discussing rising regional threats to taking collective measures for combating terrorism across the region, SCO has expanded its mandate to diverse sectors.

Qingdai’s SCO People’s Diplomacy and the Sister Cities Forums are significant initiatives for advancing public diplomacy, a vital tool, for deepening cross-border ties through increased understanding among the states of the region.