Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)

Importance of India’s Membership for SCO 

SCO will now represent over 40% of humanity and nearly 20% of the global GDP. Experts say India’s inclusion may even bring down Beijing’s overarching influence over the SCO. India, as the largest economy in southern Asia, has much more to offer for the economic development of Central Asian countries. India’s inclusion expands the influence of the organisation in international and regional affairs in various fields, especially in security, geopolitics and the economy.

 

Importance of SCO’s membership for India 

  • will strengthen India’s position in Central Asia
  • Greater access to major gas and oil exploration projects in Central Asia
  • Greater cooperation in dealing with terrorism as well as on issues relating to security and defence in the region.
  • A platform for India to engage Pakistan in a wider regional setting & help boost anti-terrorism cooperation 

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

Challenges 

  • Presence of both India and Pakistan can limit the effectiveness of SCO as has been the case with SAARC
  • On the issue of terrorism China and India have different attitude vis a vis Pakistan, hence SCO membership might not help India in addressing concern in this context.
  • India is the only country in SCO who has not joined OBOR. In all likelihood, China would use the SCO as a vehicle to promote its massive connectivity and infrastructure project, and put more diplomatic pressure on India.
  • The vision of SCO shared by Russia and China involves a ‘new order’, clearly aimed at the West. As a result, the SCO has been often called the “Anti-NATO”, meant to counterbalance U.S. and Europe power structures. It would seem incongruous to reconcile this with India’s close military ties with the U.S.
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