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Entering the SCO: India and Its Membership


India’s entry in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) provides both India and China with an opportunity to enhance their cooperation in the Central Asian region.

India, under the Narendra Modi government, became a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in 2017. This was the SCO’s first expansion since its establishment in 2001. India’s membership was long due as it was an observer country in this regional organization since 2005. After the country became a full member, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj attended the 16th Meeting of Council of SCO Heads of Government in Russia’s Sochi city on November 30 and December 1, 2017. Among the highlights of her speech were improvements in connectivity and energy, as well as an emphasis on the fight against terrorism.


India has modest strategic influence in the geopolitics of Central Asia. Being an enormous geopolitical player in Asia, India’s entry to the SCO could go on to establish strategic equilibrium, which is tilted in favor of China. The SCO provides India with opportunities in the geoeconomic and the geostrategic spheres in the Central Asian region (CAR).



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