Shanghai Cooperation Organization: Paper Tiger or Regional Powerhouse
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan formed the Shanghai Cooperation Organization SCO in 2001. The inclusion of India, Pakistan, and Iran in 2005 renewed speculation over a new Great Game in Central Asia. While this notion is superficially attractive, this thesis delves deeper into what is driving Russian and Chinese interests in Central Asia, and thus, the SCO. The results are contradictory. For Russia, participation in the SCO reflects an identity driven interest. Russia views its membership in the SCO as the means by which it may regain super power status. Chinas participation in the SCO is driven by its energy concerns as a means to achieve long-term economic security. Though the American presence in Central Asia after September 11, 2001 has complicated both Russias and Chinas pursuit of these interests, the SCO should not be viewed as a defensive alliance against the U.S. Instead, the SCO resembles a dysfunctional international regime created in order to avert the threat of revolutionary upheaval in the Central Asian on the one hand and to pursue common interest in. long-term economic growth through increased cooperation and collaboration.
- Government and Political Science