Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation is a Eurasian political, economic, and military organization, aka “alliance of the East”. It was founded in 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders of Tajikistan, Russia, Uzbekistan, China, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan.

  • These countries, except for Uzbekistan, had been members of the Shanghai Five, founded in the 1990s; after the inclusion of Uzbekistan in 2001, the members renamed it SCO.
  • It is seen as a counterbalance to NATO.
  • India and Pakistan became full members of the Astana Summit 2017.
  • Its headquarters is located in Beijing, China.
  • The SCO has established relations with the UN, where it is an observer in the UNGA, EU, ASEAN, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and OIC.

Membership Criteria Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

  • The system of consensus work in SCO for deciding on the admission of new members.

Current Membership

  • China
  • India
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Pakistan
  • Russia
  • Tajikistan
  • Uzbekistan

Changes in Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

  • Iran and Belarus are set to be the two newest members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
  • Varanasi has been chosen as the SCO region’s first “Tourism and Cultural Capital,” and India will host the summit in 2023.

The theoretical framework for the regional organization

  • In the light of Spykman’s Rimland Theory– the coastal areas or littorals of Eurasia are vital in controlling the World and not the Heartland – the rimland nations like Pakistan and Iran, therefore, play a major role in restricting India’s growing hegemony in the region.
  • Mackinder’s Theory of Heartland stated that the nation in control of the Heartland had the potential to “command the world”, but at the same time, it also highlighted the great natural barriers which surround the Heartland. India faces a challenge in getting access to the Eurasian heartland because of prevailing geopolitical tensions in the concerned region.

Analysis of India’s Ambitions in SCO – Kabir Taneja

  • While counter-terrorism seems to be highly prioritized within the SCO’s agenda, it seems that it is ideologically and geo-politically too fractured to have any collective mechanisms on issues such as terrorism.
  • For example, Beijing for long opposed India’s attempts to put a ban on the Mumbai attacks mastermind Masood Azhar of the UN-designated terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed.
  • New Delhi hopes to use the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation as another multilateral platform to put pressure on Pakistan to stop supporting its asymmetric war but he believes that the platform would not be able to achieve any of that.

Analysis of SCO by Kabir Taneja

The SCO began in 2001 as a forum for addressing border disputes in Central Asia and has been expanding ever since to include more countries and cover other issues like trade.

  • Modi made it clear that New Delhi is supportive of connectivity projects, but only those that respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations.
  • In the spirit of Wuhan, the two sides reached a pact to share the hydrological data in 2018 with New Delhi agreeing the opening a Bank of China branch in Mumbai and China agreeing to provide market access to Indian pharmaceutical companies.

Its importance has increased at a time when the West remains divided and the US under Donald Trump is charting a unilateral course. He asserts that India should use this opportunity to assert it leadership by defending the ideal of rule-based international world order.

Thus, it appears that in Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, India would have to counter the double gang of China and Pakistan. Provided the clear creation of block arrangement in form of QUAD and Russia-China-Pakistan axis, the SCO is going to be further subdivided.

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Plutus IAS current affairs eng med 28 July 2022


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