Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and Stratergic Intrest of China | Strange Military Stories

Why Did China Create SCO?

From 1996 to 2001, Shanghai Five was used as a tool to resolve issues and demilitarized border. 

The discussions in the group were fruitful enough leading to the group to announce, in 2000, to enhance the discussions beyond border issues to include issues related to separatism and extremism. 

This lead to a new dialogue on multiple security-centric issues under a new rubric called the Shanghai Cooperation Organization SCO (established on 15 June 2001). SCO works on the principle of credit attribution as a tool for self-promotion of the image of the organization. 




Beijing, China

Official language

Chinese and Russian


Deputy Secretaries-General

Vladimir Norov

Deputy Secretaries-General

  • Sabyr Imandosov

  • Wang Kaiwen

  • Aziz Nosirov

  • Vladimir Potapenko


The 9/11 was a game-changer for the SCO and China seeing the new norms established by the GWOT, China conflated the agenda of Uyghurs (in XAR) and ETIM with Al-Qaeda. This allowed China to cooperate with the US to make a sovereign issue of Uyghurs in Xinjiang a frontline in the US's GWOT. But, China also became fearful of rising the US's presence in Central Asia as it felt that the strong US in Central Asia could choke off energy supplies to Central Asia. 

Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)  and Stratergic Intrest of China | Strange Military Stories
SCO summit 2020

China began to believe that the US presence in Central Asia could be permanent and it could be used by the US as a springboard to destabilize XAR, China thought that the strong US presence in Central Asia is a tool of the US to keep a check on China (through XAR). China responded to the US game plan in June 2001 by institutionalizing the Shanghai Five to SCO. 

In June 2002 annual summit, China proposed the creation of Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS) and made it a provision in the charter of the SCO. To ensure that the US does not use unilateralism in Central Asia, China, through the Article-2 of the SCO charter, asserted that none of the member states of SCO will accept any unilateral interference in internal issues of Central Asia by any external power. 

In 2005, when Askar Akayev of Kyrgyzstan was ousted by the Tulip revolution, Russia and China perceived such a regime change a handiwork of the CIA of the US. China perceived that such external sponsored regime changes and attempts for democratization could act fuel troubles in areas in China witnessing political dissent (namely XAR). 

The Chinese government even despatched researchers to Kyrgyzstan to study the causes of the Tulip revolution The 2005 Astana summit of the SCO saw Uzbekistan evict the US from the K2 base (decision taken by Uzbeks on pressure from Russia and China). The US perceived the Uzbek decision as a handiwork of Russia and China to use non-military tools to undermine US policies.

Stratergic Intrest in Central Asia

  • USA's = the USA want to contain the hegemonic ambitions of Russia and China (Through NATO)
  • Russia's = Wants to reassert influence in post-soviet (CSTO)
  • INDIA's = Envisages stability, resources, and  national security of India (CCAP)
  • CHINA's = Want to curb extremism spillover, take central Asia resources, and use central Asia as the main market for its product.

Member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

The SCO currently comprises:

1. Eight Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

  • China, 
  • India, 
  • Kazakhstan, 
  • Kyrgyzstan, 
  • Russia, 
  • Pakistan, 
  • Tajikistan and
  • Uzbekistan. 

2. Observer States of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

 Interested in acceding to full membership 
  • Afghanistan, 
  • Belarus, 
  • Iran, and 
  • Mongolia.

3. Dialogue Partners  of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

  • Armenia, 
  • Azerbaijan, 
  • Cambodia, 
  • Nepal, 
  • Sri Lanka and
  • Turkey.

The Structure of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

The Structure of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

  • The Council of Heads of State is the top decision-making body in the SCO. This council meets at the SCO summits, which are held each year in one of the member states' capital cities.
  • The Council of Heads of Government is the second-highest council in the organization. This council also holds annual summits, at which time members discuss issues of multilateral cooperation.

  • The Council of Foreign Ministers also holds regular meetings, where they discuss the current international situation and the SCO's interaction with other international organizations.

  • The Council of National Coordinators coordinates the multilateral cooperation of member states within the framework of the SCO's charter.

The Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS)

The Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) is a permanent organ of the SCO which serves to promote cooperation of member states against terrorism, separatism, and extremismThe Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure's Headquater is in Tashkent.

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