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Russian-Chinese Political Economic Interests in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

$ 64.5

Published: 2024-07-08
Category: New Release
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The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), primitively conceived as a security-oriented intergovernmental organization, encompasses a resurgent Russia, an ascendant China, the four resource-rich Central Asia Republics (CARs), the two mainstream South Asian states, Pakistan and India and the recent inclusion of Iran in 2023. Since its inception, the SCO has evolved into a multifaceted institution concerned with various issues on foreign policy coordination and economic development as a second pillar for cooperation. The study elaborates on how China and Russia’s commitment has given the organization its role and significance when looked through the theoretical framework of neo-functionalism. Nonetheless, the two regional powers have used the SCO to balance and coordinate their regional interests. As its primary initiator, China needs the SCO to improve regional stability and penetrate the area economically through a multilateral platform. For Russia, which has co-led the organization, the SCO is a well-established format to maintain its traditional sphere of influence and engage CARs to ensure a steady energy supply through its pipeline network. Consequently, CAR’s inclination for cooperation within the SCO is subject to securing infrastructural development, boosting respective international profiles, and balancing the Russian-Chinese influence in the region. Due to this imbalance, the SCO could either remain a relevant actor for cooperation in Eurasia or risk degenerating into a symbolic organization. Against this backdrop, the study examines the friction point in politico-economic interests between Russia and China under the SCO as one of the crucial aspects of their bilateral relations. The study suggests that intrinsic differences exist but do not ii prevent the leading states from being promising regional partners. Given the facts, the bigwigs of the SCO, China and Russia play a positive role in broadening the organization’s mandate, from ensuring security to coordinating and intensifying regional integration. In addition, such measures have led the SCO as a beacon for other regions of the world, for the prosperity and well-being of the people.

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