On 30 August 2017, the SCO Headquarters in Beijing hosted an open doors day and a meeting between the SCO Secretary-General and the students from boarding schools of the Republic of Tajikistan who are learning about China while traveling along the Silk Road.
During a lively and informal conversation, the young people shared their impressions of what they had seen in China. They were most impressed by the petrified trees in Urumqi, the ceramic warriors and horses at the mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang in Xi'an, the Great Wall of China, Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City in Beijing. "China is our great neighbour and we are happy that our dream to visit it has come true," said Madina Sultonova on behalf of the group. "What's most important is that we have made many new friends during the trip with whom we will keep in touch and exchange letters."
"Your visit to the SCO Headquarters shows your interest in your future, because you are representatives of the ‘SCO generation', who will carry the idea of the Shanghai Spirit and its values through your entire lives," Rashid Alimov said while greeting the students. "Time will come when you will finish your studies, get the profession of your dreams, work for the benefit of your country and contribute to the common cooperation cause as part of SCO member states. You will help bring cultures and civilisations closer together and forge ties between people who live in the SCO space," he said.
Mr Alimov answered the students' questions and wished them perseverance in achieving their goals.
Tolib Rakhimov, a nine-form student from the Republican Boarding School for Parentless Children in the Yavan Distinct in Tajikistan, said that for him, to see China and to visit the SCO Headquarters is a huge excitement and a memory that will remain forever in his heart. Rokhilai Nurmakhmadzoda, director of the Republican Boarding School for Parentless Children in Kulyab, assured Mr Alimov on behalf of the Tajik students that "the SCO generation will not let you down."
The students were invited to a tour around the buildings of the main SCO administrative body, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Charter Marble Hall, halls of the SCO capitals; the children were able to take a look at the symbols of the headquarters: the Shanghai Spirit sculpture, the SCO Stone, the SCO Tree, and also experienced walking along the SCO Lane and visited the Winter Garden.
Twenty young men and women represent upper-form students from boarding schools in the cities and regions of the Republic of Tajikistan. Most of them have only one parent; some are orphans.
The trip was organised with the support of the Tajik Presidential Executive Office, the Tajik Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Education and Science, and the Chinese and Tajik diplomatic missions.
The Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries was the host party.
The students' trip will conclude on 4 September 2017.