- Zhao Long
- Associate Research Fellow
- Center for Russian & Central Asia Studies
- Institute for Global Governance Studies Assistant Director
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Over the past 12 years of development, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has made great achievements in deepening cooperation in various fields between member states, in updating the organizational structure and mechanism of cooperation, became an important force in maintaining regional security and development. SCO has increased its cohesive ability and international influence to create a model of region-oriented international organization, which based on common interests, mutual trust and co-development.
According to Chinese expert views, the security issues in Central Asia have always been formulated as cornerstone of SCO. Its predecessor, the Shanghai Five mechanism, was originated and grew from the endeavor by China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to strengthen confidence building and disarmament in the border regions. With the deepening coordination and increasing of internal demands, for the purpose of upgrading the level of cooperation to more effectively seize opportunities and deal with new challenges and threats, the agenda of this platform gradually extended from building up trust in the border regions to mutually beneficial cooperation in the political, security, diplomatic, economic, trade and other areas among the states.Today, some scholar claims that strengthening organizational construction and enhancing operational capabilities, pursue pragmatic cooperation is the ultimately goal of SCO. Overall, SCO has played an irreplaceable role and made tremendous efforts towards to positive measures and collective actions of Member States, in enhancing political mutual trust and to deal with the crisis, maintaining security and stability by following steps:
First of all, focused on institutionalized regional governance.Theoretical speaking, regional governance is evaluated by three criteria, namely objective commonality and deliberate construction of values, the actual interaction and potential platforms as well as external challenges and the maneuvers of related parties throughout their cooperation.As a starting point, professor Joseph Nyeemphasizesimportance of seeking breakthroughs between political integration (transnational political structures), economic integration (transnational economy) and social integration (transnational community).Regional governance is based on institutions, its process of consultations within the institutional framework, which has significant regional features.
In practice, the effect of this governance model is based on the degree of common standards of interaction and behavior within certainframework.Over the past 10 years since establishment of SCO in 2001, variety of mechanisms has been build-up and continuing to develop further, became several effective and important platforms to promote exchanges and cooperation. Among them, the mechanism of regular meetings has been established between the heads of member states, became a platform of discussion and decision-making on all major issues and Supreme decision-making body of the SCO. In addition, multi-sectorial, multi-level regular and non-regular meeting mechanisms of head of governments, Presidents of the Supreme Court, Attorney-Generals, Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defence, Economy, Trade, Transportation and Culture, Leaders of emergency department and law enforcement have also been successful established. Above all, experts exchanges of culture, education, agriculture, health and other sectors, regular consultation mechanisms such as Business Council and Interbank Consortium of SCO are effective promotes the exchanges and cooperation between Member States, coordinate their positions and taking collective action. The secretariat and regional anti-terrorism agency as permanent bodies of the SCO are also guarantees stable and orderly development.
Secondly, focused on concept-based operational capacity.Identity and concept are key factors of regional governance structure building. Creating the collective identity among member states seems played core role in stimulating the operational capacity of regional mechanism. The objectivity of this identification includes not only the physical level, but also non-material aspect, including shared values, shared concepts and elements of consensus building, which can be accessed via common political, economic and cultural objectives. SCO aimed to strengthen political consultation and formulating the conceptual consensus on major international and regional uncertainties including Russia-Georgia conflict, color revolution in Kyrgyzstan, antiterrorism in Afghanistan, Iran nuclear issue and etc. As the main founding member of SCO, China has been pursuing a non-aligned foreign policy and peaceful development strategy, advocates mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation as the core of new security concept. Compare with traditional western model of security partnership, the cooperation of SCO members in military field does not formulating military group, it pursues non-aligned relation and not contra pose any third party, joint military exercises also only for anti-terrorist purpose.In 2001, Member States signed the Shanghai Convention on combating terrorism, separatism and extremism for jointly combating the three evil forcesas alegal foundation.In June 2004, the SCO regional anti-terrorism agency in Uzbekistan's capital Tashkent was officially launched, and cooperation against terrorism institution building was completed. From the initial border talks to set up a mechanism for security cooperation, the new security concept has been throughout, becoming the fundamental guarantee for the stable development of the SCO. The regular Mission of peace joint anti-terror military exercise reflects not only the Member States in response to the three evil forces on common position, also indicating that SCO has the determination to combat it and safeguarding regional stability, to contribute to the national army and law enforcement and security services to obtain the relevant experience and skills to effectively coordinate their actions. After the unprecedented world financial crisis in 2008, the operational capacity of member states have been demonstrated by active measures for tacklingnegative results of crisis. In particular, to overcome the negative impact of the crisis, Chinese government provided 10 billion USD in concessional loans to member countries for economic recovery, and has also made positive progress for improvement of the investment environment of member states. At 7thprime ministers’ meeting of the SCO in Astana, member countries agreed for deepen cooperation in all fields in line with an amended guideline concerning the implementation of the multilateral economic and trade cooperation.The heads analyzed financial and economic situation and decreasing rate of economic growth, called for continuing effort to promote trade and investment facilitation and regional economic integration, by policy coordination and consultations on the use of existing mechanisms, in particular mechanisms for cooperation between central banks and financial authorities to explore bilateral and multilateral measures to response the financial crisis, build market confidence and stabilize the financial sector to express the institutional confidence of to the outside world.
Thirdly, focused multilateral interactionon reciprocity.The theoretical basis of multilateral interaction was founded by multilateralism, and has different connotations. In fact, the definition of multilateral was first recorded as a term in international relations in 1858, and concept of multilateralism appeared after the World War 1. Some scholar emphasizes that, since then multilateral truly become multilateralism, as an ideology rather than the simple definition. In 1990, Robert Keohane defined multilateralism as practice of groups of three or more states to coordinate in policies, which means that multilateralism is the process of policy interaction and coordination. But, this does not mean that all coordination can be described as multilateralism.John Ruggie proposed that the key is to establish the basic principles of interaction between states, rather than level of interaction and the number of involved states, has indivisibility,generalized principles of conduct and the diffuse of reciprocity as main characteristics. Indivisibility is regarded as the geographical and functional aspects of benefit range, which is non-exclusive for all actors of multilateral cooperation. General standards of conduct emphasized using a generally accepted among states patterns instead of depending on individual preferences, the scenario of variances or special cause interaction between States in the form of case distinction. Diffuse of reciprocity emphasize the participants expected return of reciprocity established on the medium and long term, rather than for a specific transaction. In practice, after years of joint efforts, the legal basis for economic cooperation of the SCO has been perfectedas generalized principles of conduct, has identified energy, transport, telecommunications, agriculture and other four key areas of multilateral cooperation.
Formation of the Business Council and the Bank Consortium provides the possibility for business circle for actively participate in the implementation of large-scale joint investment projects in Central Asia, including oil pipelines between China, Russia and Kazakhstan, China-Kazakhstan second railway, Road between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan and other bilateral and multilateral cooperation within the SCO framework project has advanced steadily, many projects have been basically completed. The reciprocity can also be evaluated by statistics. Economy of SCO member states has maintained rapid growth, becoming one of the highlights in the development of the world economy. According to International Monetary Fund statistics, in 2012, total GDP of member states reached more than 10 trillion USD,the growth rateis 497% compare with level of 2003, far exceeding average level of global GDP growth rate. Meanwhile, total GDP of SCO members in the share of global GDP increased from 5.64% in 2003 to 14.66% in 2012 significantly increased its global economic influence. Under the SCO framework, interactions between customs, quality inspection, e-commerce, investment, transport and communications organizations are actively researching and developing concrete implementation measures in the relevant areas.
Besides, cooperation in culture, education, health, sports and other fields gradually expanded and achieved initial success, has become an important task of the SCO's multilateral cooperation. Since establishment of regular meeting mechanism between ministers of culture in 2002, also meeting mechanism between ministers of education in 2006, bilateral and multilateral culture exchange increased frequently, especially organizing National Year and year of Chinese; Russian languages; National days and mutual exchanges of culture groups between China and Central Asian have been put on new stage of interaction. . Based on multilateral interactions, the organizational cohesion and international influence have grown steadily. SCO advocated and practicedthe new concept of security, new type of international relationship and new paradigm of regional governance based on Shanghai Spirit. The interactions focused on acceptance by international community, committed to maintain peaceful and stable development within the region, pursues open, transparent, and not towards to third party principles, established pragmatic cooperation widely with related international organizations, has set positive international image of peace, cooperation, openness and progress. In 2002, on the Foreign Minister’s meeting of SCO adopted the provisional programme of foreign policies, officially launched the foreign exchange activities of the organization. In recent years, with the rapid increasing of international influence of SCO, Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan achieved observer status of SCO, Belarus, Turkey and Sri Lanka became dialogue partners. At present, including observer countries and dialogue partners, SCO has covered vast region from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific Ocean, became Eurasia's most attractive and largest regional international organizations.
Today, the 21st century has entered to its second decade, peripheral security environment is experiencing some changes.Externally speaking, after the global financial crisis in 2008, the world has witnessed substantial power shifts in the pattern of international relations. In the one hand, western countries led by United States urgently needs the support of China, Russia, India, and Brazil and other emerging economies. In terms of this characteristic, when the Obama administration took office, United States feels under pressure of a fast-rising China and Asia at all, worried about shrink balance of power between China and U.S. and been kicked out from Asia. According to statistics of IMF World Economic Outlook Database, total GDP of China in 2001 has reached to 1,3 trillion USD, and in 2009 increased to 4,9 trillion USD, the GDP gap between U.S. and China has reduced by 65% within 10 years.Thus, the Obama administration has conceived a Pivot to Asia strategy. Economically, actively promoting the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to counterbalance China's economic influence; in terms of security, the United States constantly stirring up conflicts with neighboring countries, trying to break up regional cooperation among Asian countries. In another hand, after Russian-Georgian conflict in 2008 and Ukraine crisis in 2014, the U.S.-Russian relation stepped into freezing point. Unsuccessful reset process in 2009 strengthened determination of the United State’s strategic deterrence surrounding Russia, starting from active east expansion of NATO, from Greater Central Asia Plan to New Silk Road Vision, from color revolutions to disordering Ukraine, United State’s deliberately creating regional factors of instability to maintain its dominate role. Internally, in addition to the power transition and conflicts of interest between states, some Central Asians are under the influence of political turmoil, social instability and shortage of economical dynamic over the past more than 10 years, trans-border issues like water resources disputes have also influenced level of interaction and interdependence among member states of SCO. The external pressure of power transition and lack of internal interdependence causes following uncertainties and challenges of the future development of SCO.
In security aspect, after withdraw of armed forces of United States from Afghanistan in 2014, the political and security situation in Central Asia will face more uncertainty, may cause of unbalanced transformation of existing security structure, set up a chain of reactions for external and internalpower pattern, game of big powers will become even more prominent. Meanwhile, the non-traditional security issues within the region will also be more visualized, terrorist activities and drug trafficking will likely become even more rampant, member states will be forced to strengthen prevention and control. The comparatively stable security situation in the region made by last 10 years is facing new challenges, which will also deepen its negative effects towards to regional economic cooperation.Besides, unstable situation in North Africa and Middle East will be spread to the stability and security situation in Central Asia. Under the background of political unrest continued to spread, previously appeared in some countries color revolutions becoming potential treats to governments and useful model for oppositions. Religious extremism has become more active, and will also be subject to a certain degree affected the security situation in Central Asia. Except outsider pressures, different interests and demands of member states sometimes views on some issues is not consistent.Broad distribution of SCO member states concentrates Traditional Oriental, Christianity and Islamic civilizations, the national differences in political systems, culture traditions and levels of development could not be avoided. Although the demands of closer interaction and interdependence are growing, have also made progress in the practical work, but for various reasons they have shown insufficiency on mutual trust between the member states, thereby affecting the depth of cooperation. The reasons of lack of political mutual trust are complex, some of them related with historical backgrounds, others due to the maintenance individual political, economic and security interests, some affected by the size and level of development of different states, which create the area of misunderstanding, causing the negative affect to the long-term multilateral cooperation. Meanwhile, different expectations of the SCO security cooperation, affecting coordination and deepen cooperation. Some expert emphasize that, as global big power, the expectation of Russia is to use security cooperation under SCO as a platform, to demonstrate its own irreplaceable role in maintaining regional peace and order, some Central Asian countries hope that the SCO will be a safeguard of regional and national security, but by the instruct of independent and balanced foreign policy, they do not want to involve in large-scale of military exercise to provoke western world. 
In economical aspect, the global economic downturn weakens the motive power of economic renaissance. Affected by the continuing effects of the global financial crisis, the world economic situation is still not optimistic and maintains large uncertainty. The lack of sustained economy decreases energy demands, as well as world bulk commodity and energy market. The low level of energy prices continuing to effect energy export-oriented countries, such as Russia and some Central Asian countries. From 2013, the rates of economic growth and foreign trade growth of SCO member states are slowed down, restricts closer economic ties among the member states and development of regional economic cooperation. In addition, a massive regional cooperation initiatives led by big powers causes new challenges to regional economic integration. In July 2011,during the second U.S.-India strategic dialogue hosted in India, Secretary of State of the United States Hillary Clinton declared New Silk Road plan. Subsequently, this plan has been put on major international agenda. By the long-term of view, implementation of this plan aims on the one hand weaken Russia’s influence in traditional areas, on the other hand, focused on building economic and energy corridor in the neighboring countries of China, for decreasing China’s geo-economic impact on the region. United States will deepening the cooperation with these countries in infrastructure, including roads, railways, power grids, oil and gas pipelines construction. No doubt that similar plans and projects will challenge the SCO regional economic cooperation. In the other hand, any regional trade arrangement has certain exclusive. We must admit that, the Custom Union of Russian, Belarus and Kazakhstanis a higher form of regional integration in terms of economical cooperation, which also has certain exclusiveness to other players in this region. China is the largest trade partner of Custom Union, the trade-diverting effects of the Custom Union was partially inhibited China's exports to other member states of SCO, common industrial policies also restricting China's expanding investments in other states.Establishment of the Custom Union is causing the complicity of economic and trade cooperation within the CIS framework, this conclusion also applies to the SCO. Customs Union within the SCO appeared unusually complex situation of functional overlapping, at some point, reduced space of deepening regional economic cooperation within the SCO. From the prospective of SCO its self, after more than 10 years of rapid development of regional economic cooperation, has now reached a relatively high level. Based on practical considerations, to expand the scale of trade under the condition of limited space in the existing structure seems mission impossible, there is an urgent need to find new growth points of regional economic cooperation. Meanwhile, the rapid development of national economy produces new requirements to regional cooperation, including reduce the proportion of natural resource cooperation and develop the non-resource sector and high-tech industrial cooperation etc. In such circumstances, regional economic cooperation is facing the demands of direction adjustment and task consideration for long-term growth.
Overall, although the SCO regional economic cooperation after 10 years of development achieved great results, but there are some problems in the development process, such as undefined ultimate goal of regional economic cooperation results of deinstitutionalized arrangement. The forms and agenda of cooperation have become ritualized, most of productions are based on bilateral agreements. If these issues are not properly addressed, they will directly affect the future of regional economic cooperation and development.
On December 5 of 2012, at 11th prime ministers meeting of the SCO in Bishkek, the Premier of state council of China Wen Jiabao proposed that the SCO should take actions to make the connectivity of regional infrastructure as its top priority, conducting scientific appraisal and planning, giving full play to the leading role of enterprises, and bringing in the forces of the market to ensure quality and efficiency. Broadly speaking, the SCO has stepped in new stage of interconnectivity to deepening interactions and design of mechanisms. In the near future, all SCO member should consider following measures as key points to upgrade the level of interconnectivity.
Upgrade interconnectivity between concepts on security issue. Eurasia today, though facing more risks and challenges, is still the potential dynamic region in the world, involves promising actors of global and regional level. Peace, development and win-win cooperation are the main trend in the bilateral relations between SCO member states, and countries in the region generally prefer policies that address differences and disputes through consultation and negotiation. SCO enjoys a rising status in the international strategic landscape and plays an increasingly important role in promoting a multi-polar world and democracy in international relations. Such a sound situation in the region has not come easily and ought to be doubly cherished. A security issue represents top priority of agenda setting within SCO framework, terrorism threat is the major security concern. As Chinese President XI said, it is necessary to advocate common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security in Asia. We need to innovate our security concept, establish new regional security cooperation architecture, and jointly build a road for security of Asia that is shared by and win-win to all. Today, security problem embraces both traditional and non-traditional connotations, that the actors include state and non-state actors, security cooperation should be achieved in a multitude of ways at bilateral, sub-regional, regional and global levels. In particular, the internal instability is the hotbed of terrorism in Central Asia, the source of most terrorists and terrorist organizations that operate in Central Asia is Afghanistan due to the former presence of the Taliban, and the Ferghana Valley due to the Tajik Civil War. Afghanistan’s stability remains a major concern for SCO. Among all countries bordering Afghanistan, only Turkmenistan is not an SCO member or observer state (and Afghanistan is an SCO observer itself). SCO members should take it as own responsibility to safeguard regional security and stability, enhance its ability to maintain stability, continue to boost cooperation on law enforcement and security, and improve the existing cooperation mechanisms.Relentless efforts should be made to add Asian dimension to conceptualization of security affairs. For instance, the SCO member states should work at win-win cooperation, open and inclusive regionalism and compatibility between the Western and Eastern security concepts. More importantly, should find the point of interconnectivity and establish the different and unique concepts of common security. Common security means respecting and ensuring the security of each and every country, with no exceptions. Except great diversity in size, wealth and strength of SCO member countries, exists vast of differences in historical and cultural traditions, social and political systems, and have different security interests and aspirations. However, all member states are facing the same challenges, with interrelated interests and closely intertwined security, increasingly becoming a community of common destiny.
The interconnected security concept should be universal and equal, pursuing the absolute security of individual state at the expense of the security of others would not been accepted. Every country has the equal right to participate in the security affairs of the region as well as the responsibility of upholding regional security. No country should attempt to dominate regional security affairs or infringe upon the legitimate rights and interests of other countries.The interconnected security concept needs more inclusiveness, abide by the basic norms governing international relations such as respecting sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and non-interference in internal affairs, respect the social systems and development paths chosen by countries on their own, and fully respect and accommodate the legitimate security concerns of all parties. The interconnected security concept will not aim to build-up a military alliance or group of forces, targeting at third party.
Publicity of security concept also needs to be improved. Some expert suggested capping it by Mutual Security or Sustainable Security for an easier understanding and remembrance by the broad masses of the people. Some suggested the importance of building up shared security cultures and even common values to underpin common security. And still others suggested fully using the Think Tanks for more professional and academic outcomes.The interconnected security concept will cover security issues in both traditional and non-traditional fields, transnational crimes, environmental security, cyber security, energy and resource security and major natural disasters are becoming new fields of concept implementation.
Last but not least, Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) is also taken a great responsibility of maintaining security in Central Asia besides SCO. Despite overlapping of members of these two mechanisms, the functions and code of conduct are also different. From a certain point of view, CSTO is operation-oriented military coalition led by Russia, has rights and more capacity of intervention on necessary circumstances. SCO is a new non-aligned organization, focused on safeguard the region's security, stability, peace and development. The interconnectivity also applies for strengthening cooperation between these major regional security mechanisms, based on Memorandum of Understanding between secretariats of SCO and CSTO, signed in October 2007.
Upgrade interconnectivity between existing mechanismsand emerging economic initiatives. As main driving forces of economic cooperation within SCO, Russia and China are facing new challenges of internal economic growth and demands of transformation. Russia's economy has suffered due to political tension with Ukraine, which have hurt its relationships with Western nations. Investors have pulled billions of dollars out of the country, hitting the ruble and pushing up inflation. Official Russian statistics showed gross domestic product grew by an annual rate of 0.9% in the first quarter of 2014 that compares with growth of 2% in the final quarter of 2013. In May 2014, the Chinese President Xi Jinping put forward for the first time that China's economy entering new normal of moderate growth. He emphasized that China is still in a significant period of strategic opportunity, must boost our confidence, adapt to the new normal conditions based on the characteristics of China's economic growth in the current phase and remain cool-minded.In November 2014, at Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit, President Xi made the remarks on the New Normal of China's economy, which characterized by having still registered considerable increment albeit the slowdown, growth having become more stable and been driven by more diverse forces, structure having been improved and upgraded, and the government having vigorously streamlined administration and delegated power.
As effective response to economic slowdown, China has proposed it own strategy of One Belt, One Roadinitiative, which focuses on connectivity and cooperation among countries primarily in Eurasia, which consists of two main components, the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) and oceangoing Maritime Silk Road (MSR). The strategy underlines China's push to take a bigger role in global affairs, and its need to export China's production capacity in areas of overproduction such as steel manufacturing.On Sept. 7, 2013, President Xi Jinping made a speech titled Promote People-to-People Friendship and Create a Better Future in Kazakhstan. He proposed to join hands building a Silk Road economic belt with innovative cooperation mode and to make it a grand cause benefiting people in regional countries along the route. The initiative calls for the integration of the region into a cohesive economic area through building infrastructure, increasing cultural exchanges, and broadening trade. Apart from this zone, which is largely analogous to the historical Silk Road, another area that is said to be included in the extension of this belt is South Asia and Southeast Asia. Many of the countries that are part of this 'belt' are also members of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). The initiative also calls for strengthening the cooperation between the SCO and the Eurasian Economic Community, to gain a greater space for development.
Traditionally, the economical integration in Central Asia has always been led by Russia, with joint effort of other former Soviet Union states. In 1994, during a speech at Moscow State University President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, suggested the idea of creating a regional trading bloc in order to connect and profit from the growing economies of Europe and East Asia. In 1995, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, and later acceding states Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan signed the first agreements on the establishment of a Customs Union. Afterwards, The Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia came into existence on January 1, 2010. The Customs Union's priorities were the elimination of intra-bloc tariffs, establishing a common external tariff policy and the elimination of non-tariff barriers. Finally, On 29 May 2014, the presidents of Kazakhstan, Belarus and Russia signed the treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union, which came into effect on 1 January 2015. The Eurasian Economic Union has an integrated single market of 176 million people and a gross domestic product of over 4 trillion U.S. dollars.The EEU introduces the free movement of goods, capital, services and people and provides for common transport, agriculture and energy policies, with provisions for a single currency and greater integration in the future.
By comparative analysis of two major initiatives, the Silk Road Economic Belthas more broader access for all states within this region,but also involves stakeholders from outside, has more flexibility of design of institutions and approaches of cooperation, has more wildly consultation platform for agenda setting. Compare with China’s initiative,the EEU has more advantages on institution building. The union operates through supranational and intergovernmental institutions, including Eurasian Commission as the executive body, the Court of the EEU as the judicial body and the Eurasian Development Bank. In addition, all member states participate in the Collective Security Treaty Organization.
Due to historical reason, Central Asian countries have more identical sense of Silk Road economic belt concept, have clear awareness of importance and urgency of land-based infrastructure building, and role of China as major investor and point of interconnect towards to Asian Pacific Region. More importantly, the consensus has been made by SCO member states that China has more positive capacity of implementation of its promises and plans, and more beneficial and productive for regional development, compare with strategies made by Western countries. For interconnectthe advantage of political relations, the geographical advantage, and the economic complementary advantage into advantages for practical cooperation and for sustainable growth, so as to build a community of interests, the interconnectivity between these major initiatives of regional economic cooperation will be prioritized in the future development of SCO.As President Putin emphasized recently that, all members of SCO working actively on convergence between two big projects – the Silk Road Economic Belt, and the Eurasian Economic Union. Building the links between these projects and Russia’s plans to develop transport infrastructure in the east of country. SCO members should create new brilliance with a more open mind and a broader vision to expand regional cooperation, by strengthening the cooperation between the SCO and the Eurasian Economic Union, for practical cooperation and to be good partners with mutual benefit and win-win opportunities.
From macroscopic perspective, future changes in the internal and external environment will be important conducive force to the further development of the SCO. However, the negative Spillover effect of Ukraine crisis and Soft-expansion of Western-dominated international organization increases variability on both foreign and security issues, damaging cohesion and solidarity within the SCO. The momentum of a world economic recovery has been noticeably weakened and the deep-level impact of the financial crisis has spilled over to the Central Asian region, resulting in an increase in uncertainties and destabilizing factors. The deteriorated situation with terrorism, extremism and separatism become a vulnerable factors and challenges in maintaining regional security and stability. Existing mechanisms including Eurasian Economic Union(EEU), Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA), and emerging regional governance initiatives including Silk Road Economic Belt, Eurasian Union, Trans-Eurasian belt of Development (TEPR) brings dynamic power for promoting regional trade, economic cooperation and cultural exchanges, also formulating platform of functional overlapping and potential competition. According to the generally accepted view, EU and ASEAN mode is now representative of the regional cooperation and integration, based on shared values and common economic interests. However, successful experience of SCO provides new approaches for national and regional cooperation on the concept of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and consultation. Under the influences of above-mentioned internal changes and external challenges, development of SCO has reached to crossroad point. Promoting the interconnectivity between concepts, mechanisms and initiatives focused on internal cohesion and external viability has become a priority and key of innovative upgrading the concept, orientation and structure of SCO.
Source of documents：Gosudarstvennaya Sluzhba (Public Administration), November-December 2015
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