China’s President Xi Jinping on Friday called for regional countries to reshape the international order at a summit in Uzbekistan touted as a challenge to Western global influence.

Leaders should “work together to promote the development of the international order in a more just and rational direction”, Xi said at a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation including the leaders of Russia, Iran and central Asian countries.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping gives a speech on July 1, 2021 as the Chinese Communist Party celebrates its centenary. Photo: RTHK screenshot.

The SCO — made up of China, India, Pakistan, Russia and the ex-Soviet Central Asian nations of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan — was set up in 2001 as a political, economic and security organisation to rival Western institutions.

Xi told the summit that members should “abandon zero-sum games and bloc politics,” as well as “uphold the international system with the United Nations at its core.”

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