China is willing to actively consider the COVID-19 vaccine needs of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) countries, said Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday while addressing the 20th meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO via video link. Xi called on the countries to strengthen joint efforts in prevention and control of COVID-19, support each other, and deepen communication and cooperation in epidemic monitoring, scientific research as well as the prevention and treatment of the disease. He also proposed setting up hotlines among the centers for disease control and prevention of the SCO members. “Since its founding, the SCO has traveled an extraordinary journey. It has stood the test of time and become a major constructive force in the Eurasian region and global affairs. Committed to the Shanghai Spirit, SCO members have enhanced cooperation in the political, economic, security, people-to-people and cultural fields, setting an example for a new type of international relations that features mutual respect, equity, justice and win-win cooperation. In the face of Covid-19, we have backed each other up to tide over the difficulties together. Such solidarity has injected positive energy into both the SCO’s steady development and international cooperation against the coronavirus,” the Chinese president said. “The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated shifts in the international landscape. The world is entering a period of turbulence and transformation. The international community now faces a major test with choices to be made between multilateralism and unilateralism, openness and seclusion, cooperation and confrontation. “What is going on with the world?” “What shall we do about it?” – These are the questions awaiting answers from the people of our time,” he said. “Ancient Chinese teachings tell us that “men of insight see the trend, while men of wisdom ride it”. Humanity lives in a global village where the interests and destinies of all countries are intertwined. People across the world increasingly yearn for a better life. The trend toward peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit is unstoppable. History has proven and will continue to prove that good-neighborliness will prevail over a beggar-thy-neighbor approach, mutually beneficial cooperation will replace zero-sum game, and multilateralism will win over unilateralism,” he further said. “In the current circumstances, the SCO is required to carry forward the Shanghai Spirit and deepen solidarity and collaboration. Together, we will contribute more to the stability and development of countries in the region and take more steps toward building a community with a shared future for mankind,” he went on to say. “First, we need to step up anti-epidemic cooperation and build a community of health for us all. Right now, COVID-19 is still presenting an ongoing threat. To fight the virus that respects no borders, we must take up the most powerful weapon of solidarity and cooperation, and rise up to the most imperative task of saving people’s lives,” he added. “We need to strengthen our joint response to Covid-19, support each other’s containment efforts, and uphold regional and global public health security. We need to support the World Health Organization’s crucial leadership role, oppose attempts to politicize the pandemic or mislabel the coronavirus, and jointly resist any “political virus”,” he said. “We need to put the SCO’s health cooperation mechanisms into full use, and deepen exchanges and cooperation in epidemic monitoring, scientific research, and disease control and treatment. China proposes that hotline contacts be created between SCO members’ centers for disease control (CDCs) for timely updates on cross-border transmission of communicable diseases. The unique value and important role of traditional medicine has been highlighted in the battle against COVID-19, and we need to continue to hold the SCO Forum on Traditional Medicine to deepen exchanges and mutual learning in this field. Vaccines play a vital role in defeating the virus. China has joined the COVAX facility, and will actively consider SCO countries’ need for vaccines to help protect people’s safety and health in our countries,” he added. “Second, we need to safeguard security and stability and build a community of security for us all. Security and stability are the number one precondition for a country’s development, and thus concern the core interests of all countries. We need to act on the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, address all forms of threats and challenges effectively, and foster a sound security environment in our region,” he said. “We need to firmly support countries concerned in their law-based efforts to steadily advance major domestic political agenda, firmly support countries in safeguarding political security and social stability, and firmly oppose interference by external forces in the domestic affairs of SCO members under whatever pretexts,” he further said. “We need to deepen solidarity and mutual trust, and resolve disputes and differences through dialogue and consultation, in order to cement the political foundation for SCO development. It is important that we forestall terrorist, separatist and extremist attempts to exploit the pandemic for disruption, curb the proliferation of drugs, crack down on Internet-based propagation of extremist ideology, and deepen SCO members’ law-enforcement cooperation,” he further said. “It is important that we uphold bio-security, data security and outer-space security, and engage in active communication and dialogue in this field. China has launched the Global Initiative on Data Security, which aims to galvanize efforts to shape a peaceful, secure, open, cooperative and orderly cyberspace. We welcome the participation of all parties in this Initiative. The situation in Afghanistan involves the security and stability in the wider region,” he added. “We need to forge greater synergy of the Belt and Road Initiative with national development strategies as well as region-wide cooperation initiatives such as the Eurasian Economic Union. We need to enhance connectivity and further integrate our industrial, supply and value chains for unimpeded economic circulation in the region,” he said. “We need to facilitate reopening of economic activities through the “fast track” that steps up mobility of people and the “green lane” that quickens the flow of goods. We need to foster an open, fair and nondiscriminatory business environment for each other’s companies, and expand mutual investment among us,” he added.