The first results of the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Qingdao

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The first results of the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Qingdao 16.07.2018 13:23


June 13, 2018 in the Institute of CIS countries held a seminar "The first results of the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Qingdao." Representatives of the Institute for Far Eastern Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Asian and African Countries of Lomonosov Moscow State University took part in this event, the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Moscow State Linguistic University. Maurice Teresa. The information reason for the seminar was the holding of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit on June 9-10, 2018 in Qingdao, China. The seminar was held as part of the second phase of the Second Sochi Forum of Eurasian Integration project "Prospects for the Development and Strengthening of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization", the financial support of which was provided by the Foundation for Presidential Grants.

The first speaker was the Deputy Director of the Institute of Far Eastern Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, S. Uyanaev on the theme "Chinese perspective on the development prospects of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization". In his speech, he gave a retrospective analysis of Russian-Chinese cooperation and forms of its interaction. The expert believes that the SCO platform is suitable for mutually beneficial cooperation and the search for consensus on various issues. He also believes that the SCO is now marginalizing economic relations. The main, according to the researcher, is the development of the Chinese initiative "One belt - one way".

S. Uyanaev considered the dynamics of development of China's bilateral relations with the countries of Central Asia, in particular, China-Tajikistan and China-Kazakhstan relations. The expert notes that the Declaration is more recommendatory and does not contain specific steps to implement it. Beijing does not currently consider it expedient to accept new full members as members of the SCO, as the process of adaptation in the Organization of India and Pakistan must pass.

The expert also expressed the thesis that the SCO should effectively fulfill its role in ensuring regional security, paying special attention to the military component. In particular, he believes that it is necessary to form in the future a system of Asian security with the connection of Japan, Australia and the United States to it. As an example, the researcher cited the ASEAN + 8 format, noting that in 2014, President Xi Jinping announced his own strategy of collective security. Consequently, the SCO is not a format for promoting multilateral economic cooperation. Beijing advocates only a bilateral format of relations between countries, and the SCO platform is necessary for him for more effective interaction with Russia.

Leading researcher of the Center for the Study of Strategic Problems of the Northeast Asia and the SCO Y. Morozov dwelt on the military-political potential of the SCO. The expert believes that it is necessary to create in the Organization an institution of military experts to analyze the challenges and threats facing the "SCO family". He also presented his vision for the anti-terrorist exercises "Peace Mission" and the strengthening of the Organization's peacekeeping potential. So, in his opinion, at present China occupies the fourth place in the world on involvement in the peacekeeping process.

Further, Deputy Director of the Institute of CIS countries V. Evseev spoke on the topic: "The first results of the SCO summit in Qingdao." In his opinion, this summit did not solve the main problems that hamper the development of the Organization. So, Russia within the SCO framework receives extremely limited support on the issue of its withdrawal from the relative political isolation of the West. And it is extremely difficult for it to implement any integration processes in the SCO space, since the PRC works exclusively on a bilateral basis within the framework of the One-Way-One-Way Initiative. The entry into the SCO of India as a full member has not yet changed the balance within the Organization, since China still largely controls it. The countries of Central Asia fear that after the expansion of the SCO, they will pay less attention. And trying to smooth out acute problems, Beijing actually helps to weaken the Organization.

On the topic "Relations between Pakistan and India within the SCO: the role of the Kashmir problem", the head of the Pakistan sector of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, S. Kamenev The expert began his speech with the fact that he considered the goals in the SCO of India and Pakistan. The expert noted that for both Delhi and Islamabad, the SCO is an international platform (platform) for voicing its problems and claims concerning the "three evils": terrorism, extremism and separatism. He went on to the problem of Kashmir and relations between the countries of this territorial conflict. In particular, S. Kamenev noted that the Kashmir problem is the main one for them and only with strong politicians on both sides can a consensus be reached by delimiting the control line and forming the state border between India and Pakistan.

The aggravation of relations between Delhi and Islamabad is inevitable even with the promotion of the Chinese initiative "One Belt - One Way", where Pakistan plays one of the leading roles in ensuring the PRC's exit to the Indian Ocean through the deep-water port of Gwadar. At the same time, the expert noted that the amount of China's investment in the economy of Pakistan is $62 billion and one third of them are in the China-Pakistan economic corridor. However, it is necessary to take into account the insufficient financial strength of Pakistan, which has $92 billion of public debt (Pakistan's GDP is $304 billion).

Assessing the military potential of India and Pakistan, the expert concluded that it is correlated as 5 to 1. Moreover, India regards China as its main rival in the region. So, Prime Minister of India N. Modi stated that he plans to spend up to $ 250 bln on purchasing modern weapons for 5-7 years. Concerning economic cooperation, S.N. Kamenev pointed out that the countries are building them on a bilateral basis. At present, the volume of trade turnover between Delhi and Beijing is 86 billion dollars. Taking into account the above, the expert notes the absence of economic cooperation within the SCO framework. In conclusion, the expert noted that at the political level, China will restrain India in the SCO.

Then the assistant professor of the Institute of Asian and African Studies of the Moscow State University B. Volkhonsky on the topic "The role of India in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization". He analyzed the reaction of Indian media to the SCO summit in Qingdao and drew attention to several points. The first point is that in India, more attention was paid to the meeting of Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping, which took place before the summit of the Organization. The expert noted that India is ready for a dialogue with China and smoothing the contradictions between the countries.

The second point is that India is more focused on regional cooperation. An example of this is the multiple publications on the international conference on security in the Asia-Pacific region "Shangri-la Dialogue", which opened on June 1, 2018 in Singapore. As part of its implementation, the Indian side has uncovered some aspects of its foreign policy doctrine.

Thirdly, the expert emphasized the position of India in the SCO. In his opinion, it was at the initiative of the Indian side that the idea of adopting the UN Comprehensive Convention against International Terrorism was supported at the Qingdao summit.

In Delhi, like Islamabad, the SCO views the SCO as a platform for its own statements. At the same time, the expert also does not see any significant progress in the economic component of the SCO and believes that for economic development it is necessary to connect Iran to the SCO as a full member of the Organization.

Senior researcher of the Center for the Study of Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Urals A. Vorobiev spoke on the topic: "The positions of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in relation to the SCO: the current stage and the trend of change." He believes that Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are more likely states in the SCO, but they can block with the leaders, with Russia, with China, and thereby strengthen their influence, while simultaneously becoming the agents of the interests of Moscow and Beijing. And for Astana and Tashkent, the SCO is important as an international discussion platform where it is possible to discuss key issues and find some compromises.

The behavior of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in the SCO is very different. Thus, Kazakhstan is a more conformist country, which by virtue of external stimulation tends to fall under this or that influence, receiving corresponding preferences at times to the detriment of its own national interests. Uzbekistan, however, interacts within the framework of other organizations with the larger countries-leaders quite restrained, showing greater independence and activity in upholding national interests. This was manifested, for example, on the Chinese initiative to create a free trade area of the SCO (Astana, unlike Tashkent, supported this idea).

One of the reasons for this is that since its independence Kazakhstan has developed as a raw material state. Uzbekistan also developed as a more autarkic state, in which the authorities tried to preserve the Soviet manufacturing complex in engineering, in other sectors of the national economy. Therefore, there was a serious request for protectionism, and it still exists today.

As the expert noted, today Kazakhstan de facto shares the Chinese vision for the development of the SCO and allowed the Americans to their Caspian ports Aktau and Kuryk, which does not meet Russian national interests. In this regard, the greatest interest for Moscow is the cooperation with Tashkent, whose position even in relation to the SCO is fairly balanced. In addition, the economies of Russia and Uzbekistan complement each other.

Senior researcher of the Iran sector of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences E. Dunaeva spoke on the topic "Iran as a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization". In particular, she noted that 2016-2017. Iran was denied permanent membership in the SCO. Nevertheless, the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) Hasan Rouhani came to the summit in Qingdao. The expert notes that H. Rouhani pursued several goals. First, draw the attention of the Heads of State of a major international organization to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (CAP) and Iran. Secondly, the Iranian president used the international rostrum of the SCO to convey his position and ensure its support, showing that the IRI is an independent state and a reliable partner.

Then the scientist mentioned the attitude of Iran to the SCO. She noted that Iran views the SCO as a military alliance. In addition, at present Tehran is rethinking its economic interests towards the East, taking into account the restoration of unilateral financial and economic sanctions by the United States and the withdrawal of large European companies from the domestic market of Iran.

Iran views the "Politics of the view of the East" in a tactical and strategic dimension. In this regard, the expert notes three points of view those are present in the Iranian elite. The first point of view is that the West closer to Iran and the SCO will not have a significant economic effect. The second point of view proceeds from the fact that "The policy of looking at the East" can be constructed as a tactic without abandoning the West European vector of economic development. The third point of view is that it is necessary to abandon the West and make significant efforts to deepen economic ties with China, Russia, India and Pakistan.

In conclusion, the expert noted that Iran concluded with China at the last summit in Qingdao four memorandums of intent in the scientific and scientific and technical spheres. And she also stated that the volume of trade turnover between Iran and China is $37.5 billion (10% growth for the first half of 2018).

Senior Researcher of the Department of Eurasian Integration and Development of the SCO of the Institute of CIS Countries A. Kuznetsov made a report on the theme "Humanitarian aspects of the SCO activities". The researcher drew attention to the lack of "soft power" in the organization's organization (lack of own television channel, business newspaper). And also he told about the action since 2010 of the University of SCO and its information component.

At the suggestion of V. Evseev, Deputy Director of the Institute of CIS Countries, the seminar participants approved the composition of the Working Group "SCO Expert Site".

Thus, the SCO summit in Qingdao confirmed the difference in views on the development of the Organization on the part of Russia and China. Undoubtedly, this helps to weaken the SCO in some perspective.


V. Evseev, D. Kharitonova