Shanghai Cooperation Organization: Origins and Implications   [open pdf - 705KB]

"This thesis examines the origins and implications of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) established in 2001 by China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. It analyzes the organization from the Chinese, Russian, and Central Asian states' perspective. Chinese and Russian motives for creating the SCO appear to have been threefold. First, both sought an organization dedicated to providing security and stability to the Central Asian region. Second, both wished to foster stronger economic ties with the oil and natural gas-rich former Soviet republics. Finally, both favored stemming the influence of external powers, notably the United States. The Central Asian states' motives for joining the SCO emanate from security and economic needs. The increase in the U.S. military presence in the region since October 2001 has drawn no response from the SCO. Although some Russian politicians and military officers have criticized it, the governments of China and Russia seam to realize that the U.S. presence may help bring stability to the Central Asian region. Many uncertainties burden the SCO's future. It may constitute another failed attempt to establish a security alliance or turn into a significant voice in international politics, especially with the inclusion of additional members."

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