Distinguished colleagues, dear guests, ladies and gentlemen, friends, good evening!
It is such a pleasure to have you with us here in Qingdao, Shandong Province, on the shore of the Yellow Sea. I wish to extend, on behalf of the Chinese government and people and in my own name, a very warm welcome to all of you, particularly the leaders and heads of international organizations who have come to attend the meeting of the Council of Heads of Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
Shandong is the home province of Confucius and birthplace of Confucianism. An integral part of Chinese civilization, Confucianism believes that “a just cause should be pursued for the common good” and champions harmony, unity and a shared community for all nations. Its emphasis on unity and harmony has much in common with the Shanghai Spirit, namely, mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for diversity of civilizations and pursuit of common development. The Shanghai Spirit’s focus on seeking common ground while setting aside differences and pursuing mutually beneficial cooperation has won widespread international endorsement and support.
Guided by the Shanghai Spirit, our organization has delivered fruitful outcomes in security, economic and cultural cooperation and made historic strides in institution-building. Today, with eight member states, four observer states and six dialogue partners, the SCO has become an important force for upholding regional security, promoting common development and improving global governance.
Qingdao is a famous international sailing capital. It is from here that many ships set sail in pursuit of dreams. Tomorrow, we will hold the first summit of the SCO after its expansion and draw up a blueprint for its future growth.
The Qingdao Summit is a new departure point for us. Together, let us hoist the sail of the Shanghai Spirit, break waves and embark on a new voyage for our organization.
Now please join me in a toast, to the success of the Qingdao Summit, to the prosperity of our countries and the happiness of our people, to a brighter future of the SCO, and to the health of all of you and your families. Cheers!