Shanghai Cooperation Organization: Members, Summits

This Asian NATO Has 4 Nuclear Members

shanghai cooperation organization
Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Uzbek President Islam Karimov pose for a photo during the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit on July 10 2015 in Ufa, Russia. Photo by Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is a central Asian military alliance that combats terrorism and drug trafficking while supporting free trade agreements. Its members share intelligence and combine military operations to counter both terrorism and cyber-terrorism. It is China's version of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization


The SCO's members are China, Russia, and the countries along their borders.

These are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The members' population is 1.5 billion, or 25% of the world's total. They control 11% of the world’s proven oil reserves.

In June 2016, India and Pakistan were accepted as members. Now the group represents nearly half of the world's population. It also now have four members (Russia, China, India, and Pakistan) who have nuclear weapons.

For that reason, most nearby countries also participate. They can be either observers, dialogue partners, or guest attendance. Observers are in the process of becoming full members. They include Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia. The six Dialogue Partners share goals but don't want to become members . They are  Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Turkey. The Guest Attendees participate in the summits. Their members include ASEAN, CIS, and Turkmenistan.


2015: The SCO accepted India's and Pakistan's membership applications.

Members signed the Border Cooperation Agreement to curb drug trafficking on the Afghan borders. (Source: "Outcome of SCO Summit," Pakistan Observer, June 22, 2015.)

2010: Iran is China’s third-largest supplier of oil. Iran talked to Pakistan about building a gas pipeline through Pakistan to India. Members signed trade agreements worth as much as $2 billion.

They established the Entrepreneurs Committee to promote economic cooperation of enterprises. They made a formal statement that the United Nations, being the most authoritative international organization, is entrusted with primary responsibility in international affairs and law.

2008: The SCO announced it would participate in normalizing the conflict in Afghanistan. 

2006: The SCO announced it would fight the international drug trade. That's because it provides financial support for terrorism.

2003: Members signed the Program of Multilateral Trade and Economic Cooperation. It promotes trade agreements,eventually created an SCO free trade zone. (Source: "What Is the SCO?" SCO-Russia.)

How the SCO Affects You and the U.S. Economy

The smaller SCO countries have huge untapped reserves of oil, coal and natural gas. They are the bridge between Europe and Asia, two of the world’s largest markets. They are landlocked and in mountainous infertile terrain, making exporting and even development arduous. In addition, they are sparsely populated and low-income. That makes the development of a domestic market difficult. These countries are former members of the Soviet Union. They are only now building market-based economies.

China and Russia want to make sure these countries steer clear of increased drug trade, corrupt governments, and terrorism. China is particularly concerned, since they border its westernmost and least developed regions, Mongolia and Xinjiang Uygur.

As an alliance, these neighboring countries are forming a powerful bloc based on a mutual advantage in trade and security. Reading between the lines, they are fairly unified against the U.S. intervention in the Middle East. That's because it could pose a threat to the uninterrupted flow of oil to China. It is another way that China is building a stable economic base that will advance its continued growth.

Central Asian countries are rich in hydrocarbons. This makes them particularly attractive for energy-starved India and Pakistan.

Both New Delhi and Islamabad are pushing ahead with infrastructure projects aimed at deepening their connectivity to the region.

While India is developing the Chabahar port in Iran in the hope that it would grant it land access to Afghanistan and Eurasia bypassing Pakistan, Islamabad is resting its hopes on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) - a mammoth multibillion dollar Chinese plan to develop Pakistani infrastructure and broaden economic links. (Source: "India, Pakistan and the SCO Expansion," Deustch Welle, June 22, 2016.)




China iniati 2001political, economic, and military organisation which was founded in 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders of China,KazakhstanKyrgyzstanRussiaTajikistan, and Uzbekistan. These countries, except for Uzbekistan had been members of the Shanghai Five, founded in 1996; after the inclusion of Uzbekistan in 2001, the members renamed the organisation. On July 10, 2015, the SCO decided to admit India and Pakistan as full members. Initially, the goals of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation were in the area of mutual inter-regional activities on countering terrorist acts, separatism and extremism in Central Asia. In June 2002, The Charter of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation was signed at the organisation's Summit in St. Petersburg, which went into effect on 19 September 2003. This is a core charter document stating the organisation's goals and principles, its structure and major activities.