SCO and ASEAN Geopolitical Agendas Largely Coincide

 / Go to the mediabankSCO Summit / Go to the mediabankInternationalIndiaAfricaThe Shanghai Cooperation Organization is a political, economic, and security organization of eight states formed in 2001, including China and Russia. It aims to promote regional cooperation and address common security threats. Over the years, the SCO has expanded its membership to include observer states, dialogue partners, and guest attendees.The secretary-general of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Zhang Ming, has in an interview with Sputnik spoken about the development of SCO member states’ course towards de-dollarization and the prospects for the introduction of a common currency to be used in mutual financial settlements. He noted that active work is underway to increase the share of settlements in national currencies, but the question of adopting a single SCO currency has not yet been discussed at the official level.

Zhang Ming believes that the geopolitical interests of the SCO and ASEAN are very close, as evidenced by the rapid adoption of a memorandum of understanding just a year after the establishment of the SCO.At present, in the context of global turbulence, the secretary-general regards stability and security in the region as the priority area for cooperation, and considers ASEAN to be an important player in this sphere. Emphasizing this, Zhang Ming also noted the potential for cooperation in many other areas, ranging from trade to counterterrorism.

"I see extensive prospects for cooperation with the ASEAN in the fields of trade, investment, transportation, food security, industry, high technologies, small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as in the areas of fighting terrorism, extremism, and separatism, drug trafficking, organized cross-border crime, and illegal migration," the secretary-general noted.

During the interview, questions were raised about the process of Iran’s accession to the SCO. The secretary-general said that everything is going according to schedule, and there are no legal obstacles to the final accession. However, the time it takes for a new member state to change its domestic legislation varies from country to country.Zhang Ming emphasized the leading role of SCO member states in the field of “preventing the use of information and communication technologies for illegal purposes.” Last year, a joint committee was established based on the SCO to address this issue.”It would hardly be an exaggeration to say that in the field of information security, the SCO is at the forefront, and sometimes leads international efforts to develop universal, legally binding norms of responsible behavior by states in the cyber domain,” Zhang said.Zhang was asked about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s initiative to create an association of various sports organizations based on the SCO, within which member states would hold sports competitions. The SCO secretary-general said that the proposal had already been seriously discussed at the level of the relevant ministries of the organization’s member states in New Delhi.

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