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QINGDAO - After months of preparation, Qingdao, a coastal city renowned for its scenery and beer, is ready to welcome guests from afar for the upcoming 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit. During this weekend, leaders of the eight SCO member states and four observer states as well as heads of international organizations will gather to exchange views on cooperation and the SCO"s development.
The summit, the first after India and Pakistan were accepted as full members in June 2017, will be chaired by Chinese President Xi Jinping. The member states" leaders will sign the Qingdao Declaration as well as a dozen agreements on security, economic cooperation, and people-to-people exchanges.
Security will be one of major topics at the summit, during which the leaders will analyze international and regional security situations and discuss concrete measures to enhance cooperation, Liao Jinrong, head of the international cooperation department with the Ministry of Public Security, said Friday at a press conference ahead of the summit.
Since its founding in Shanghai 17 years ago, the SCO has grown into a regional organization that now accounts for nearly half of the world"s population and over 20 percent of global GDP.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had said he expected the SCO to embark on a new journey in Qingdao.
With a focus on carrying on the Shanghai Spirit, the bedrock of the SCO, the Qingdao summit is expected to enhance member states" cooperation on security challenges, promote the alignment of development strategies, and strike a firm note for improving the global governance and safeguarding multi-lateral trade system.
The Shanghai Spirit features mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for diverse civilizations, and pursuit of common development.
During the summit, Qingdao"s coastline will be lit up. In addition to a firework display, a large-scale light show will take place, using skyscrapers as the backdrop.
The city has nearly 20,000 volunteers at service stations around the city"s streets, railway stations, and airport.
Existing infrastructure has been used for the summit. For example, the venue for the sailing events at the 2008 Beijing Olympics is used as the summit conference hall.
The media center is located at the Haier Global Innovation Model Research Center, which was designed by Robert Greenwood, a world-renowned designer from Norway.
More than 2,500 journalists from home and abroad will cover the summit.