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Xuesong Fan1
  • 1 HSE University, 20 Myasnitskaya Ulitsa, Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation

Existing Mechanisms of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and Their Problems Dealing With Non-traditional Security Challenges

2021. Vol. 16. No. 1. P. 107–126 [issue contents]

Central Asia is extremely important for the security of Russia, China and the Eurasian region, both historically and at present. Unconventional security challenges, led by terrorism, extremism and separatism, which in the official Chinese rhetoric and official documents of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) are designated as the ‘three forces of evil,’ pose a serious challenge to the security of China, Russia, the countries of Central Asia and Eurasia in general.

Over the 20 years of the SCO’s history, proceeding from their ‘Shanghai spirit,’ the participating countries have created unique legislative and organizational mechanisms for a joint strike against the ‘three forces of evil,’ as well as mechanisms for bilateral and multilateral antiterrorist exercises. The most important of these is the Peace Mission joint exercise, which has been regularly held since 2005.

These mechanisms of cooperation within the SCO embody the spirit of solidarity, mutual trust and cooperation, reflect the ability of the members of the organization to jointly counter the ‘three forces of evil’ and respond to related problems, and also symbolize the SCO’s determination to protect stability in the region and peace in the world. The organization has made a significant contribution to ensuring security in the region. Nevertheless, in the face of existing problems and new challenges such as potential competition and disagreements within the organization, problems with new members after the expansion of the membership, and also the ineffective functioning of some of the SCO’s security instruments, all SCO members need to strengthen their cooperation and open new ways for organizing the SCO to fulfil well its unique role to ensure security in the territory of SCO states and in Eurasia as a whole. The new model of relations—‘Russian-Chinese relations of comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction entering a new era’—that underlies the SCO gives the organization greater stability. The SCO is a unique organization on the territory of Eurasia and has both implemented an important innovation in the theory and practice of international relations and opened a new model of regional cooperation. Therefore, it can be stated with a high degree of confidence that multilateral cooperation in the field of security will gradually deepen.


Citation: Fan X. (2021) Existing Mechanisms of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and Their Problems Dealing With Non-traditional Security Challenges. International Organisations Research Journal, vol. 16, no 1, pp. 107-126 (in English).
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