Ahead of the two-day Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit beginning tomorrow in China, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said he was excited to lead the Indian delegation for the grouping’s first-ever meeting with the country as a full member.
Modi will also hold a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping tomorrow on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Qingdao, where they will take stock of the implementation of decisions taken at the informal summit just over a month ago in Wuhan.
“I am excited to lead the Indian delegation for our first-ever meeting of the Council as a full member,” Modi said in a Facebook post.
“On 9th and 10th June, I will be in Qingdao, China to take part in the annual SCO Summit. This will be India’s first SCO Summit as a full member. Will be interacting with leaders of SCO nations and discussing a wide range of subjects with them,” the Prime Minister tweeted.
Founded in 2001, the SCO currently comprises eight member states, India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan were admitted to the SCO last year.
“India enjoys deep friendship and multi-dimensional ties with the member states of the SCO. On the sidelines of the SCO Summit, I will have the opportunity of meeting and sharing views with several other leaders, including the Heads of States of many SCO Member States,” Modi said.
Dealing with Terrorism and Radicalism
On the security front, the SCO remains committed to fighting the so-called “three evils” of terrorism, separatism, and religious extremism. Here too there is much room for cooperation, as India has been a victim of terrorist attacks for the last 30 years, during which it has lost several thousand innocent children, women, and men.
Larger Role in Central Asia
India’s relations with the countries in Central Asia have failed to realize the enormous potential. By becoming a full member, it will help India achieve the aim of regional integration and higher connectivity with the other member nations.
India is likely to get greater access to major oil and gas projects in Central Asia as most of the SCO countries have huge reserves of oil and natural gas. India has already prioritized the construction of International North-South transport corridor which would be a multi-mode network of the ship, rail and road route connecting India, Russia, Europe and Central Asia.
Fight Against Terrorism
India is expecting security-related cooperation with the SCO through its Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS), which deals with issues of security and defence.
The inclusion of India in the SCO is likely to open new trade opportunities along with cooperation in various other aspects like tourism, environmental protection, economy and research.
With the inclusion of India and Pakistan, the SCO will represent 40% of the world population and 20% of World’s GDP. This fact is evident that SCO members contribute massively to the world population and economy and would open a world of opportunities for India
CO membership has both merits and demerits for India. And these are following:-
- Being a member of Eurasian military organisation India will now be able to access to security-related concerns, intelligence sharing and counter-terrorism.
- India, one of the largest energy consuming countries in the world, is likely to get greater access to major gas and oil exploration projects in Central Asia once it becomes part of the SCO.
- According to experts, India’s inclusion may even bring down Beijing’s overarching influence over the SCO.
- India now has one more international platform to expose Pakistan for funding terrorism in South Asia.
- SCO being a military organisation is seen as an alliance against NATO which is not very favourable for India. We have to maintain our historical neutrality towards major powers of the world.
- China being the founding member and largest economy in the alliance will have greater say in the organisation(Headquarter is also in China) it will try to become the judge between the conflicts of India and Pakistan which is totally unacceptable for India. So we have to be careful about it.
- Membership of SCO is a double-edged sword our policymakers have to be cautious.