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Beijing Review Exclusive
Special> Shanghai Cooperation Organization 12th Summit> Beijing Review Exclusive
UPDATED: June 27, 2011 NO. 26 JUNE 30, 2011
Vitality and Vigor
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization has boosted its profile over the past decade

SHARED TASTING: A wine producer from China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region introduces wine to Kazakh businesspeople on May 18 at a trade fair in Almaty (ZHAO YU)

During the past 10 years, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has made tremendous achievements while maintaining active development. The six SCO members, China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, support each other on issues concerning their core interests, such as national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

When the global financial crisis broke out in 2008, the SCO made the most of its advantages as a regional organization. It helped member countries to successfully endure the crisis together, showing outstanding vigor.


The SCO was established in 2001 as an inter-governmental organization focusing on regional security cooperation. The organization later accepted Mongolia, India, Pakistan and Iran as observer states, and Sri Lanka and Belarus as dialogue partners, broadening international cooperation as an open, cooperative and transparent organization.

The SCO has established partnerships with regional and international organizations such as the UN, the EU, the World Customs Organization, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the Eurasian Economic Community. It has also gained observer status in the UN General Assembly.

Strategic mutual trust and political cooperation among SCO members are becoming stronger. In accordance with SCO principles, China has solved border issues with Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. SCO members have coordinated and cooperated on UN reform and other major international and regional issues. The SCO firmly supports its member states when they are in trouble, protecting their key interests.

Moreover, as their security cooperation deepens, SCO members have achieved much in defense and law enforcement cooperation through agreements such as the 2001 Shanghai Convention on Combating Terrorism, Separatism and Extremism. The SCO has successfully conducted seven large-scale bilateral and multilateral anti-terror military drills, which helped safeguard member states' security and social stability.

Trade among SCO member states has made headway during the past decade. Trade between Uzbekistan and other SCO members reached 42.1 percent of the country's total foreign trade in 2006. In Tajikistan, the ratio was 36.6 percent that year. China's trade volume with other SCO members in 2010 was eight times higher than in 2000, reaching $83.97 billion.

Sino-Russian trade hit $55.45 billion in 2010, five times higher than in 2000. China now is Russia's top trade partner. China's trade with SCO members in Central Asia has kept an average annual growth rate of about 40 percent. In 2010, the trade volume was $28.52 billion, 14.81 times higher than it was in 2000.

Moreover, a huge energy cooperation network now stretches from the west to the east of the SCO region.

Financial cooperation in the organization has also deepened. The SCO has established an inter-bank union to serve as a financing platform for multilateral cooperation among member states. It has also launched an initiative against money laundering and terrorist financing.

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