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SCO: new replenishment

Is the consensus of the "Asian triangle" along the line "India-China" in conditions of SCO expansion?

Only a few hours left before the SCO summit and the BRICS summit in Ufa, from which many are waiting for the full-fledged appearance of the Moscow-Delhi-Beijing configuration within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. We are talking about the possible rapid change of India's observer status to the status of a full member of the organization.

SCO: new replenishment

Strengthening the architecture of the Eurasian region requires further reformatting of the SCO, including through the connection of new states to its activities. The status of an observer country with the opportunity to become a full member of the organization is a significant link in this process. Besides India, the SCO observer countries are Iran, Mongolia, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The latter, like India, filed a formal application for permanent membership in the 2014 year, after an additional regulatory body of the organization was formed, including the Procedure for joining the organization of new members.

At the same time, the admission of Pakistan to the permanent members of the SCO, with which relations with India are far from ideal, was lobbied to a greater degree by China. At the same time, military and technical cooperation between China and Pakistan is viewed by representatives of the Indian elite as a separate threat to national interests and a destabilizing factor in the political development of South Asia.

Perhaps, the line of relations "India-China" is one of the most ambiguous in the triangle RIC (Russia-India-China). The reason for this is not only close cooperation between the PRC and Pakistan. Unresolved territorial disputes, the Tibetan problem and the Dalai Lama's stay on the territory of India, the objective aggravation of competition for energy resources, investments and expansion of sales markets are the main factors that make India and China a geopolitical adversary. In this regard, there are fears that this rivalry will be transferred to the SCO, and the contradictions between India, Pakistan and China will deprive the organization of the necessary dynamism.

However, the chief researcher of the Philosophical Policy Issues Sector of the Institute of Philosophy Vladlen Burov I am confident that although it is now difficult to predict how Pakistan will join the SCO in its activities, it is not worthwhile to assess the bilateral relations of India and China exclusively in a negative light: "In my opinion, there has been an improvement in China's relations with India recently, that Was the result of joint efforts of the leaders of both countries. A big role here was played by the recent official visit to China of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (from 14 on 17 May 2015), during which a number of important agreements were signed. "

It should be noted that the parties are trying to resolve the border problem. In the disputed state of Arunachal Pradesh on the Line of actual control, which is a kind of unofficial border, attempts have been made since 2013 to establish military cooperation. Moreover, that with all political differences, the Indo-Chinese economic ties are only growing. So, China, along with the US and the EU, is one of the three key trading partners of India (trade turnover - about 70 billion dollars). In addition, the PRC is ready to invest in the Indian economy: during the visit of President Xi Jinping to New Delhi in 2014, the amount of possible investments of 20 billion for the next five years figured. With 2015, the five-year plan for the development of trade and economic ties between the two countries began to operate.

"In establishing relations between China and India," Vladlen Burov continues, "tripartite scientific conferences of scientists, held regularly for nearly a decade on the initiative of the Institute of Far Eastern Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Academician M.L. Titarenko alternately in Moscow, Beijing and Delhi. It is obvious that India's accession to the SCO will strengthen the position of this organization in the international arena, will contribute to the further improvement of relations between India and China, which is generally positive about the entry of its neighbor into it. "

Head of the Center for Indian Studies of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences Tatyana ShaumyanIn turn, he believes that China’s attitude to the question of India’s final entry into the SCO is determined by a combination of a number of bilateral and regional factors: the attitude to India as an important strategic partner in Asia, as the leading power of South Asia, can be considered a “factor” for. China attaches importance to the need to normalize relations with it, despite the persistence of unresolved a number of bilateral problems. ” At the same time, certain constraints of India’s and China’s cooperation in the SCO and Central Asia remain: “China initially perceived the prospect of India’s entry into the SCO with some prejudice, most likely related to the fear that these countries would perceive each other as rivals, with regard to the marketing of pharmaceutical products, information technology, consumer goods, etc. "

Tatiana Shaumyan also proposes to pay special attention to significant changes in the agenda of the upcoming summit, which sets new directions for SCO activities. In addition to expanding the organization’s borders, thanks to the possible accession of India and Pakistan, the focus of the Ufa summit is the official adoption of the SCO's long-term development strategy to 2025 and the “process of strategic“ drawing together ”of three Eurasian projects: the SCO, the Eurasian Economic Union and the Chinese project ways. "

In addition, “it must be remembered that the new agenda will most likely be carried out in conditions of open confrontation between Russia and Western countries, and the SCO’s expanded resources may provide an additional chance to resume dialogue with Western countries. India’s entry into the SCO will further strengthen Russian-Indian ties, which can act as a definite counterbalance to the Pakistan-China military-political union. As a member of the SCO, India can become a member of the regional antiterrorist structure of the SCO, based in Tashkent; more actively develop relations with the states of Central Asia. It is not by chance that the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi simultaneously with the participation in the summits of the SCO and BRICS in Ufa in the first half of July, 2015 visits all five states of Central Asia. ”

Over the years of its existence, the SCO has come a long way: from a regional organization created to fight the "three evil forces" in Central Asia - terrorism, extremism and separatism, to large institutional education, trying to solve topical issues of security, economic cooperation and scientific and technical exchange one of the most promising mega-regions with a population of about 3 billion.

Of course, an extension for an organization in the making, inevitably adds to it coordination problems. But the SCO has a number of important “trumps” in overcoming these challenges. On the one hand, this is the idea of ​​a polycentric world system, supervaluable for the SCO states and cementing their efforts. On the other hand, the desire to build a de-ideologized structure without preference for any political values. These “trumps”, together with sound pragmatism, aimed at strengthening and consolidating economic ties between the SCO member countries, form a serious basis for taking the cooperation of the Asian mega-region to a new level.

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