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The development of the Shanghai cooperation organization and the decline of the hegemony of the West
Material posted: Publication date: 16-09-2014

"Shanghai cooperation organization", which the leaders of Moscow and Beijing once could only dream of, now consists of 11 permanent members and observers. She has reached a level of development that already poses a threat to Western hegemony and even rejected the request of the United States to allow them to attend the SCO summits as an observer.

The two-day meeting of the leaders of this organization strengthened due to the occurrence in many Eastern countries, was opened on 11 September in the capital of Tajikistan Dushanbe. It was attended by Hassan Rouhani, President of Islamic Republic of Iran, which in the very near future from an observer country of the SCO will become its permanent member.

Rouhani took the opportunity on the eve of participation in the summit of the Organization travelled to Kazakhstan and Tajikistan. The objective of the visits was the strengthening of relations with the two powerful States of Central Asia and presentation of "Great Iran" at the SCO summit.

The idea of creating this organization originated with Moscow and Beijing when the United States, acting as sole global superpower, its policy announced the creation of a new global system. It was not long after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia lost the cold war and lost its superpower status, has only just started to gain momentum again. Together with China, which needed a kindred spirit in its economic confrontation with the West and Japan, it concluded agreements on the establishment of the Shanghai organization.

Russia, which has always been the core of the Commonwealth of Independent States, is particularly sensitive to the issue of integration and cooperation of these countries with the West and especially the United States, so she chose to unite these States under a new regional contract.

Some of the Central Asian countries relatively recently obtained their independence, have recently had the republics of the Soviet Union. They're still close to Russia and therefore supported the idea of creating such Union. Thus there were preconditions for the signing of the agreement, which then formed the basis of the entire organization.

In April 1996, five countries, Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, the Chinese signed the Shanghai agreement on enhancing military cooperation in their border regions. It was concluded as a development of the earlier Russian-Chinese agreement on reduction of armed forces and military equipment in the border areas of the two countries and growth in the level of trust between them.

In 2001, acceded to the agreement of Uzbekistan. To denote the output of the partnership between members to a new level, the Association of signatories of the agreement called the "Shanghai cooperation organization". In 2004, Mongolia, and the year after Iran, India and Pakistan, and in 2012 Afghanistan joined the organization as observers.

Thus, the SCO members in 2005 he attended as observers three major Asian powers in the face of Iran, India and Pakistan. At the same time their desire to become a member of the Organization said, and the United States, however, the participants rejected the possibility of cooperation with Washington.


The Shanghai cooperation organization, which, according to some experts, was formed as a result of rivalry of great powers for the purpose of multilateral cooperation in security, economy and culture, in the beginning was conceived as a means of demilitarization of the border between Russia and China and the establishment of the security zone.

Four of the five original members of the Organization, i.e. Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, had only minor border disputes. Concluding bilateral and multilateral agreements in this field, they have managed to resolve almost all their problems. The only difficult moment for these States was long the border with China, however, membership in the SCO has created for them a guarantee of adequate action by the stronger neighbor.

Participation in the Organization and facilitated the task of China for the control of its own long border, the length of which is seven thousand kilometers. Because of this he was able to switch to the solution of other important issues, such as, for example, regulation of the booming national economy.

Another goal of the Organization was cooperation in the sphere of safety and to eliminate threats from extremists and terrorists in Central Asia. All six main members of the SCO in one form or another confront the threat of extremism and its possible consequences in the form of separatism and terrorism. This problem became especially actual after the events of 11 September and intensifying in Central Asia, members of al-Qaida and the Taliban, becoming one of the most important topics of discussion member States of the SCO on several summits of the Organization.

Another important task of the Shanghai organization — creation of conditions for the development of economic partnerships in the region. In the framework of bilateral and multilateral cooperation its members increase their trade and mutual investment, while developing production and economic partnership.

Features of the SCO and its significance

According to many analysts, the current century is the century of Asia and many political processes of global significance occur in this part of the world. The role of Asia in the future of the world is growing every day, so the organization consisting mainly from Asian countries, can confidently declare itself as a new regional player in international politics.

You must take into account the fact that growing globalization and the increase in the number of alliances and coalitions in different parts of the world States to increase their own capacity in international Affairs and effective implementation to achieve its objectives it is necessary to establish relations with those countries with whom they have common interests. Participation in regional organizations whose members are the two major powers such as Russia and China can improve international prestige of each of its members.

The significance of the SCO on regional and global levels becomes even more obvious if we pay attention to the trade of member countries and observers of this organization.

The demographic situation in the member countries of the SCO is that China is home to more than 1321 million people Russia 142 million, Uzbekistan is 27 million, Kyrgyzstan — 5 million, Kazakhstan — 15 million, and in Tajikistan — 7 million. The total population of these countries makes up 20% of all people on the planet. If you count the number of the population in the countries-observers, it turns out that in Pakistan 172 million, in India — 1252 million, Mongolia is 3 million, and in Iran — more than 76 million. Adding these numbers, we get that the total population of the countries included in the SCO as permanent members and observers, is about 45% of the total population.

Almost similar situation is observed from a geographical point of view. So, if you add up the area of all the countries in the SCO, it turns out that the Organization occupies nearly half of the Land area.

One of the features underlying this organization is that four of its members possess nuclear weapons. China, Russia, India and Pakistan equipped with this weapon and are either permanent members or observers. The possession of such facilities in the future will have an impact on the political situation not only in Asia but also worldwide.

It is also necessary to take into account the fact that China and Russia are permanent members of the UN Security Council. Therefore, this Organization may play a decisive role in forming policy at the international level.

The global influence of the SCO

Despite the fact that the members of the Shanghai cooperation organization on most of its summits are trying to primarily focus on the internal problems of these countries, the participation of such great powers as China and Russia, does not allow the SCO to deal exclusively with the regional policy. For that reason, are made at meetings of the SCO statements by the leaders of China and Russia on certain issues that go beyond the region and become the unofficial position of the Organization.

Military cooperation

Although in the beginning the Organization has stated it has no intention of becoming a military structure like NATO, it subsequently recognized that to counter the increasing threats of terrorism, separatism and extremism may be necessary to use the armed forces of member countries. In this regard member States, the SCO has already held several joint military exercises. They first held in 2003 and were held in two stages in Kazakhstan and China.

The last exercises of the plan were held this summer in Mongolia. They were attended by seven thousand troops from member countries of the Organization (except Uzbekistan).

Economic cooperation

The economic partnership agreement between SCO members has been agreed and signed at the Moscow summit in 2003. In the framework of this agreement were presented to projects that increase trade turnover and the implementation of an energy partnership between the two countries. These projects included exploration, extraction and use of oil and gas, as well as joint exploitation of freshwater sources.

On the initiative of Russia in this organization also deals with the idea of creating an international centre for optimal use of energy entitled "Energy club".

Cultural cooperation

Cooperation in the field of culture is one of the activities of the Shanghai cooperation organization. For the first time, the Ministers of culture of member countries of the SCO signed the agreement on cultural cooperation April 12, 2002 at the summit in Beijing.

However, according to observers, the main result of the establishment of the Organization has become more balanced sharing of power in today's multipolar world, because the member countries and observers of the SCO, together, not only have the world's largest economic, military, nuclear and space capabilities, but also are the largest producers and consumers of energy resources.

Future perspective

Integration of the Eurasian continent against the Western bloc and the opposition to American voluntarism will lead to the collapse of Western hegemony and the creation of new opportunities for the activity of this organization in the international arena.

Apparently, the current policy of the SCO to a greater extent implemented in the field of politics and security and aims to strengthen positions of its members on a global level, which ultimately might be the key to increase their participation in solving various international issues outside of the plan.

Given the introduction of Western sanctions against Russia as a result of the events of recent months in Ukraine, the current SCO summit in Dushanbe and the decisions taken there will have a special significance and strengthen the position of the organization as an important international player.

Tags: China , SCO

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