The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was founded in 2001 in Shanghai by China, Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan. Russia. Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Except for Uzbekistan, the other countries had been members of the Shanghai Five, founded in 1996; after the inclusion of Uzbekistan in 2001
The members renamed the organization. In 2001, Russia and the PRC, the organization’s two leading nations, signed the Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation
- Strengthening mutual trust and good-neighborliness.
- Developing effective cooperation in political affairs, economy, trade, and other fields.
- Working together to maintain regional peace, security and stability.
- Creation of a new international political and economic order featuring democracy, justice and rationality.
The SCO represents the world's greatest potential. Its six full members account for 60% of the land mass of Eurasia and its population is a third of the world's. With observer states included, its affiliates account for half of the human race. By 2007 the SCO had initiated over twenty large-scale projects related to transportation, energy and telecommunications and held regular meetings of security, military, defense, foreign affairs, economic, cultural, banking and other officials from its member states. No multinational organization with such far-ranging and comprehensive mutual interests and activities has ever existed on this scale before.
The SCO has now established relations with the united nations, where it is an observer in General Assembly, the European Union, ASIAN (association of southeast Asian Nations,) the common wealth of independent states and the organization of Islamic conference, a number of Western, and especially, American scholars, view the SCO as a challenge to American interests. It has been seen as a Russian and Chinese led alliance created to counter U.S.
Cooperation On Security:
The SCO is primarily centered on its member nations, security-related concerns, often describing the main threats it comforts as being terrorism and extremism. In 2004 the regional Anti terrorism structure (RATS) was established in 2007, the SCO has also signed an agreement with the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). There have been a number of SCO joint military exercises. The exercises are transparent and open to media and the public. Russian officials began, speaking of India joining such exercises in the future and the SCO taking on a military role.
A Framework Agreement to enhance economic cooperation was signed by the SCO member states in 2003. At the same meeting China proposes a long-term objective to establish a free trade area in the SCO, while other more immediate measures would be taken to improve the flow of goods in the region. A follow up plan with 100 specific actions was signed one year later ie. 2004. SCO also decided to priorities joint energy projects including the oil and gas sector, the exploration of new hydrocarbon reserves, and joint use of water resources Russia is developing plans for an SCO "Energy Club”.
In 2009 at the Yekaterinburg summit, china announced plans to provide a US$ 10billion loan to SCO member states to shore up the struggling economies of its members amid the global financial crisis. At the 2007 SCO the address by Russia’s putin also included these comments: “ to solve the current problem Russia will not take part in changing the global financial structure so that it will be able to guarantee stability and prosperity in the world and ensure progress”. “the world is seeing the emergence of a qualitatively different Geo-political situation with the emergence of new centers of economic growth and political influence.
Geopolitical Aspects Of The SCO:
"According to [Zbigniew] Brzezinski's theory, control of the Eurasian landmass is the key to global domination and control of Central Asia is the key to control of die Eurasian landmass....Russia and China have been paying attention to Brzezinski’s theory, since they formed the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in 2001, ostensibly to curb extremism in the region and enhance border security, but most probably with the real objective of counter balancing the activities of the United States and NATO in Central Asia"
At a 2005 summit in Kazakhstan the SCI issued a Declaration to address their "concerns" and contained an elaboration of the organization's principles. It included: "The heads of the member states point out that, against the backdrop of a contradictory process of globalization, multilateral cooperation, which is based on the principles of equal right and mutual respect, non-intervention in internal affairs of sovereign states, non-confrontational way of dunking and consecutive movement towards democratization of international relations, contributes to overall peace and security, and call upon the international community, irrespective of its differences in ideology and social structure, to form a new concept of security based on mutual trust. Russian reiterated that the "Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is working to establish a rational and just world order" and that "The Shanghai Cooperation Organization provides us with a unique opportunity to take part in the process of forming a fundamentally new model of geopolitical integration."
China Expressed The Matter In These Terms:
"The Declaration points out that the SCO member countries have the ability and responsibility to safeguard the security of the Central Asian region, and called on Western countries to leave Central Asia. That is the most noticeable signal given by the Summit to the world "The above mentioned declaration] also recognized that no single, standardized model of political, economic, social, cultural and ethical development and practices could be forced on the 88% of humanity that lives outside the Euro-Atlantic world, not a parliamentary system devised on the British or American kind would be imposed in the region. Validating the same school of thought, a study published by china’s academy of military science criticizes Washington's “overbearing strategy of encirclement and suffocation.”
That may not be Washington’s intent, but from Beijing's vantage point, the united states is arrayed along china’s periphery, with a long term presence in japan and south Korea, strong ties with Thailand and the Philippines a blossoming partnership with India and a growing role in central Asia. Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao has concluded that the United States is maneuvering “to preserve its status as the world’s sole superpower and will not allow any country the chance to pose a challenge to it.
Russia is not a fan or supporter of NATO or of any of its former Soviet states joining it. In 2008 the president Vladmir Putin stated that Russia could aim nuclear missiles at Ukraine if Russia's neighbor and former fraternal republic in the Soviet Union joins the NATO alliance and hosts elements of a U.S missile defense system. "It is horrible to say and even horrible to think that in response to the development of such facilities in Ukrainian territory, which cannot theoretically be ruled out, Russia could target its missile systems at Ukraine.
SCO and U.S. Interests:
U.S. interests in Central Asia include energy and "the effort to support liberalizing and democratizing reforms." The increased prominence of the SCO has led policymakers to question if the organization might complicate the United States' ability to secure those interests. Some experts believe that Russia and China want to use the SCO to Curb U.S access to the region’s vast energy supplies. Similarly, is 2005, the SCO's call for the United States to withdraw military forces from the region was seen as an explicit challenge The U.S military presence in Central Asia. Lastly, SCO members are uneasy about certain U.S. policies, particularly its support for democratic reforms the "color revolutions in Ukraine, Georgia, and Kyrgyztan, which unseated leaders loyal to Kremlin, have also d Russia to view the U.S presence in post-Soviet states with suspicion, while Beijing sees U.S forces along its western border as part of Washington’s strategy to contain China.
According to some experts, however, previous SCO opposition is not evidence of general anti-American sentiment in the organization and the potential still exists for constructive relations with individual member states. While U.S bases in the region, established during the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan have been a major flashpoint some central Asian nations welcome a U.S presence star says” all the governments of former Soviet central Asia seek to have balance among all the great powers. They do not want to be…. Controlled by any .. of them.”
Russia has declared the post-Soviet space an area of privileged interest" and seeks complete dominance there. On the other side, Central Asian nations would prefer to avoid such Russian dominance. For the United States to build stronger partnerships in Central Asia, it needs to adopt a more engaging and active diplomatic strategy. As a Russian daily said , "The SCO is a momentous organization which occupies territory from the Arctic to the Indian Ocean and from Kaliningrad to Shanghai." It may become the second political pole of the world."
SCO & Pak:
The 9/11 event has made SCO countries realized Pakistan's potential role in the emerging Geo-political and Geo-economical landscape particularly in this region. Pakistan, which currently is an observer, cannot remain distant from such an important organization. A number of Geo-political and Geo-economical realities necessitate that Islamabad should make every effort to join this group Under the shadow of the successful Afghan resistance, Pakistan's desire to have good relations with the newly independent CARs was seen as an attempt to build an Islamic block. This did not find many supporters in the region.
As such, Islamabad's ambitions to form an Islamic bloc or, "a Muslim security belt stretching from Turkey to Pakistan with Central Asia as the 'buckle,' to provide both 'strategic depth' and needed allies in her policy struggles over Afghanistan and Kashmir. Also 'Islamabad's support to the Taliban, which the CARs opposed and perceived as a threat to their own security, created further problems, which became the primary reason why Pakistan's bid for observer status in the SCO was rejected. The War Against Terror, Pakistan and the SCO After September 11, Islamabad reassessed its policy and decided to terminate its support for the Taliban and instead become a front line state in the "war against terrorism in addition, after PAKISTAN”S membership in the ASIAN Regional forum (ARF), the SCO became the second security forum which included both Pakistan and India.
These frame works can be used to discuss bilateral issues between the two rivals at multiple levels on the side lines of official meetings. Since the initial purpose of the shanghai 5 wars to resolve border issues between china and central Asian state, the organization has extensive experience in the resolution of boundary dispute. Under the SCO framework. Pakistan could potentially expand its defense and security relations with Russia. The SCO may also contribute significantly to the further development of Pakistan's anti-terrorism capabilities through the SCO Regional Anti-terrorism Structure (RATS).
Although Pakistan has signed bilateral anti-terrorism cooperation agreements with some SCO member states, RATS could help Pakistan to institutionalize anti-terrorism cooperation in a more comprehensive manner and on a wider scale "Pakistan provides the natural link between the SCO states to connect the Eurasian heartland with the Arabian Sea and South Asia. The TAP (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan) pipeline project has been revived. In addition, Pakistan's provision of deep sea port access (Gawadar) is also highly valuable for the CARs ability to ship their products to world markets. Pakistan provides the rail as well as road facilities with relatively short distances. Moreover, Pakistan, China, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan have agreed to initiate a bus service that would not only enhance trade but also be an important tool to promote people-to-people contacts between the four countries.
These positive developments together with the Gwadar project make Pakistan an indispensable link for SCO member states, and should be considered an ideal candidate for membership. Although the Gwadar port primarily is built for economic and trade purposes its Geo-strategic location cannot be overlooked, especially if seen through the prism of any future Geo-political competition in the Indian Ocean. Furthermore, Pakistan, Iran and the CAR’s are also members of the economic cooperation organization (ECO) with immense potential to contribute to the economic development of the region. Economic cooperation between the two can contribute positively to all member states, especially by linking the central Asian economic with iran and Pakistan.
This will not only boost central Asia’s economic development but also help resolve a number of challenges such as bringing their economies up to international (western) standards should they wish to join the WTO projects such as the electricity venture, the trans-afghan and port access through Gawadar and charcahar can virtual change the economic and strategic outlook of this region. If this greater economic and security block could interact with SAARC(South Asian Association for Economic Cooperation) a substantial contribution could any bid for SCO membership available choices in this regard is also important, for a number of reasons. If Pakistan becomes an enrgy corridor, it has to have good relation with Afghanistan and India. Bas relations not only impact them but also has a negative effect on the SCO’s potential to grow beyond the central Asian region.
SCO members and observers also take in a stretch of Eurasia from the South china sea to the Baltic sea and from the Persian gulf to the bay of Bengal. At the 2006 heads of states summit in shanghai the presidents of Afghanistan, Mr. Hamid Karzai, Iran, Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Pakistan, Mr. Pervez Musharraf-attended as observers. The Afghan and Pakistani presidents had been passing mutual accusations for years over the other’s nation being the base of destabilization of his own and there even had been lose of life in military exchanges between the two states armed forces. Iran was the intended victim of thinly veiled threats of US military strikes. In fact the granting of observer status to the nation in 2005 and Ahmadinejad's attendance at three successive summits played no small role in thwarting whatever plans the United States and Israel have made for attacking Iran.
AT 2009 summit, the three above-mentioned leaders in the founding city of the SCO under the auspices of a multinational security alliance headed by Russia and China, as all three of their nations were at war or could soon be, revealed the regional and global prospects for the SCO as a new model for conflict resolution and cooperation. SCO also discussed establishing a "unified energy market" energy dialogue integration of our national energy concepts, and the creation of an energy club will set out the priorities for further cooperation." SCO also reiterated that the existing system of pipelines on the SCO space connecting Russia, Central Asian states and China was a serious basis for the establishment of an SCO unified energy.” The projects on the establishment of a unified energy marked and the SCO common transport corridor could become bright examples of the global approach to defining the forms and mechanisms of cooperation."
The list of the members of the organization, which currently consists of five former Soviet republics and China, may expand in the nearest future. It has been reported recently that Pakistan (150millio-strong population) and India (billion-strong) are willing to join the SCO. It sounds intriguing because both Pakistan and India are nuclear states. More importantly, the relations between these two countries have been intense for years — they often stand on the brink of war with each other.