Adil Kaukenov, Senior Analyst, Agency for the Study of Investment Profitability (Astana, the Republic of Kazakhstan)


In recent years, China has perceptibly strengthened its position in Central Asia largely due to the multisided cooperation format embodied by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). From Beijings perspective, it is not only a key organization, but essentially a regional integration project. Moreover, Central Asias development is closely tied to the development of Xinjiang, in which the Chinese leadership is making large investments in order to eliminate the separatist moods in this unsettled region. Nevertheless, the SCO has substantial systemic contradictions that the new CPR leadership headed by Xi Jinping is trying to overcome.

The West initially had a passive attitude toward the SCO. At that time, the North Atlantic Alliance regarded the Shanghai Five as a structure that did not pose a threat to the Wests interests; on the contrary, it showed a decrease in Moscows previously dominating role in Central Asia due to the appearance of a new playerChina. Later, however, as Chinas cooperation with the regions countries, primarily with Kazakhstan in the oil sector, started to mount, Washington began having a different opinion.

The SCOs prospects for the Central Asian countries are determined by this organizations capability to maintain the balance of power in the region. Moreover, the regions countries are interested in acquiring additional investments and capital (Chinese) through the organizations channels. An analysis of the main areas of development of this structure based on the interests of the Central Asian countries is required for a more precise definition of the SCOs prospects for the regions countries.

Keywords: the SCO, China, Russia, Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, the U.S., NATO, geopolitics, Peace Mission, free trade area.


During the twelve years of its existence, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has occupied a strong position in the political life of the Central Asian countries. But disputes over what this organization isa political discussion club or a future integration unionare still going on today.

These dualistic assessments about the present and the future of the SCO are based on

Please fill subscription form to obtain full text of this jounal

SCImago Journal & Country Rank
 - Advertorial UP - E-MAIL