India to Host Shangai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit

Andrew Korybko, Global Research, July 3, 2023 —

The SCO should accept the newfound impediments to its effectiveness stemming from rising Sino-Indo tensions and the group’s continued expansion to focus more on aligning everyone’s multipolar worldview than on pursuing other initiatives with less chance of success.

India will virtually host this year’s SCO leaders’ summit on 4 July. This is the right format for it to be held in considering rising Sino-Indo tensions as of late that would make an in-person meeting between their heads of state mutually undesirable at this time, which was explained in this analysis here. Accordingly, no breakthrough is expected since their unresolved border dispute greatly impedes the group’s ability to multilaterally cooperate on larger issues of shared interest, the same as it does for BRICS as well.

The likelihood that the divide between those two will remain in place for the foreseeable future means that it can no longer be ignored by observers from the Alt-Media Community (AMC) who’d hitherto been reluctant to discuss it out of fear that their words would weaken the SCO even more. This resulted in their followers getting unrealistically high hopes about the group’s potential after being kept in the dark about how serious these problems are, thus inevitably setting them up for deep disappointment.

Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar reminded everyone last week that relations with China will never return to normal so long as their border dispute remains unresolved, hence the reason to be pessimistic about the SCO accomplishing much from here on out. That’s not to imply that it has no purpose, but just to point out that the two most populous countries in the world don’t trust each other enough to unleash their group’s full potential due to this sensitive issue.

Instead of playing blame games like many in the AMC tend to do, especially when it comes to aggressively pushing their false claim that India is the US’ Trojan Horse inside multipolar organizations, everyone should simply incorporate this dynamic into their calculations about the SCO’s future. Iran’s formal membership and the recent granting of dialogue partner status to some Gulf Kingdoms proves that the group continues growing as a wider range of countries become interested in its activities.

That said, the previously described Sino-Indo tensions and the SCO’s gradual expansion combine to set a new tempo whereby it’ll naturally become more difficult to reach the consensus required to meaningfully cooperate on large issues of shared interests, not to mention executing these same plans. This isn’t a negative development, however, since nobody should have expected in the first place that extremely diverse countries will always agree on everything.

The SCO will still retain its founding purpose of jointly thwarting the three scourges of terrorism, separatism, and extremism, but economic and political cooperation will likely lag far behind whatever their most enthusiastic well-wishers envisage. At the same time, its members could cooperate more closely on educating their organization’s people about the global systemic transition to multipolarity, and especially the effect that it’ll have on their respective regions.

It’s here where the SCO can find its place in the emerging world order in light of the newfound impediments to its effectiveness. By working more closely together on these sorts of public service announcements, billions of people can become inoculated against those ideological viruses that aim to divide-and-rule them, including by worsening preexisting terrorist, separatist, and extremist challenges. In practice, this can be achieved at the organizational and regional levels.

Regarding the first one, the SCO can agree on those principles that are integral to their shared vision of the future, while the second can see neighboring countries fine-tune the way in which they’re articulated to their people considering regional socio-cultural and other similarities. For instance, Chinese and Indians could be reassured that the other doesn’t harbor hegemonic intentions, while still agreeing to disagree about what multipolarity will ultimately look like.

It would be comparatively more difficult for the US to divide-and-rule them through information warfare in that event, which could lead to less grassroots pressure for policymakers to take a harder stance against their neighbor, thus helping to stabilizing their rivalry more than if this hadn’t happened. Cynics might say such perceptions lack substance and therefore aren’t compelling, but the counterargument is that it’s still important for their governments to agree on a set of principles about the future world order.

President Xi and Prime Minister Modi are each deeply respected in their societies, with their words carrying immense weight when it comes to shaping their people’s perceptions, ergo the substantive importance of them coming together to support roughly similar visions of the future. As regards West Asia, it would go a long way towards strengthening the incipient Beijing-brokered Iranian-Saudi rapprochement for their leaders to agree to the same through the SCO.

What’s basically being proposed is for the SCO to accept the newfound impediments to its effectiveness stemming from rising Sino-Indo tensions and the group’s continued expansion to focus more on aligning everyone’s multipolar worldview than on pursuing other initiatives with less chance of success. China and India will likely remain at odds for the foreseeable future, just like the SCO will gradually grow to more regions, so it’s important to be conscious of these dynamics and formulate policy accordingly.

The AMC can play a significant role by correcting their audience’s perceptions about this group so that they’re no longer any under wishful thinking illusions about what it can achieve, thus facilitating the SCO’s efforts to find its place in the emerging world order. False expectations inevitably lead to deep disappointment, after which folks could become more susceptible to ideological viruses that aim to sow doubt about multipolarity, which is why their perceptions should be corrected as soon as possible.


This article was originally published on Andrew Korybko’s Newsletter.

Andrew Korybko is an American Moscow-based political analyst specializing in the relationship between the US strategy in Afro-Eurasia, China’s One Belt One Road global vision of New Silk Road connectivity, and Hybrid Warfare. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

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