The Shanghai Cooperation Organization at Ten Years: What is the Future?

  • Wednesday, May 4, 2011
  • CSIS Russia & Eurasia Program presents:

    The Shanghai Cooperation Organization at Ten Years:  What is the Future?

    Featuring:
    Zhao Huasheng

    Visiting Fellow, Russia & Eurasia Program at CSIS
    Director, Center for Russia and Central Asia Studies and the Center for Shanghai Cooperation Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai

    and:

    Alexander Cooley
    Associate Professor of Political Science, Barnard College, and Adjunct Professor of International and Public Affairs at SIPA, Columbia University

    Moderated by:
    Andrew Kuchins
    Director and Senior Fellow, Russia & Eurasia Program at CSIS

    On Wednesday, May 4, the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies hosted an event entitled, “The Shanghai Cooperation Organization at Ten Years:  What is the Future?” The event featured two keynote speakers: Zhao Huasheng, a Visiting Fellow with the Russia and Eurasia Program at CSIS, and the Director of the Center for Russian and Central Asian Studies and the Center for Shanghai Cooperation Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai; and Alexander Cooley, Associate Professor of Political Science at Barnard College, and Adjunct Professor of International and Public Affairs at SIPA, Columbia University. 

    The event provided a thorough overview of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s (SCO) regional, security and economic role since its formation nearly ten years ago. Zhao pointed out that the SCO has been most successful in its management of security issues –especially in non-traditional areas, such as drug trafficking—and how it is now showing high ambitions in multilateral economic integration as well. Cooley raised the issue of the SCO as a regional public goods provider, despite the overall economic agenda being stalled by fear of China’s dominance and concerns of relative gains among the “weaker” member states. The discussion also addressed the possible enlargement of the organization, suggesting that the members must foremost deepen their vertical integration before embarking on a horizontal expansion. 

    Zhao and Cooley both cited the value of engaging with the SCO, especially in Afghanistan, and in achieving transparency in the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS). While challenges exist, the SCO has great potential to become an ally of the U.S., NATO and the E.U., despite certain views of the organization being an anti-Western bloc or an “Authoritarian Club.” Although the SCO is a relatively young organization, both Zhao and Cooley suggested that it could play an instrumental role in regional security and economic cooperation in the years to come.

     

       
     

     

     

Location

Center for Strategic and International Studies
B1B (Basement Conference Room)
1800 K Street, NW
Washington DC, 20006