SCO and CICA on the Way to a New World Order

Negative headwinds have begun to threaten global trade and economics, largely prompted by the “mercantilist” foreign policy of US President Donald Trump. Against the background of the transformation of global and regional zones of turbulence, two statements, adopted during the recent visit of President Xi Jinping to Russia, offer hope. Naturally, they will influence the course of the discussion of global and other problems at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit and, of course, will be reflected in the outcome document, which is set to be called the Bishkek Declaration.

The positions of President Vladimir Putin and Chairman Xi Jinping on US sanctions and tariff policies will obviously find some politically-motivated but earnest support from other SCO members, including India and Pakistan, and will certainly be one of the main topics at the SCO summit.

The trade war, which the Americans declared without any warning, has now become global problem No. 1, and in the context of strategic instability, nobody knows where it will lead: either to the destruction of the whole world order, or to the formation of a new economic order with clear new rules and principles for establishing trade relations.

The trade war, as it is known, is not only a problem for China; it affects practically the entire economically developed world: Europe, Japan, India, Mexico, Canada and many other states fell under “tariff” and other strikes from the United States. Each of these countries and regions solves its difficulties in its own way, depending on the quality of relations with Washington, as well as the volume of exports and imports. Are some reciprocal joint moves among the aforementioned countries possible? Hardly.

At the SCO summit in Bishkek, China’s trade problems with the United States are likely be discussed along with all the other problems of world politics, especially in connection with Washington’s actions in the international arena. 

Bilateral meetings of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Presidents of Russia and China

The meetings between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the President of Russia Vladimir Putin and the President of the PRC Xi Jinping are very important. This is not just a “time check” within the framework of the SCO and the RIC formats with a corresponding reflection of the whole system of international relations, but to a greater extent, it is a search for mutually acceptable ways to solve some issues that are relevant for India, Russia and China: in particular, Afghanistan, and religious extremism, including ISIS. Nuclear issues, especially in connection with the US withdrawal from the INF Treaty, are also becoming a subject for weighty discussion between India and China. It is quite likely that economic topics will be discussed, including trade and transport corridors. Obviously, the G-20 problems will be a separate topic among the leaders of the three countries at bilateral meetings. The G-20 summit will be held in Osaka, Japan in the near future. Obviously, the achievement of common agreements at the meeting in Osaka would be a favourable outcome of the summit in Bishkek, taking into account the current trade, economic and sanctions situation in the world. 

Discussion on the Indo-Pakistani conflict is not excluded. However, the meaning and tone for the Indo-Russian and Indo-Chinese negotiations on this issue will be different.

For China, the current issue of negotiations with the Indian leader means a possible change of Delhi’s position regarding the Belt and Road initiative. It is clear that the existing tangle of Sino-Indian problems, including India’s role in the Indo-Pacific cooperation concept, is probably far from a possible solution today, but the need for ongoing dialogue at various venues is supported by both parties.

India may also touch the problems of military-technical cooperation with Russia.

CICA as a kind of OSCE

Attempting to design the CICA as a platform like the OSCE for Asia is a great idea, but almost impossible to implement. One of the peculiarities of the situation in Asia is that for this part of the world, there is no single common denominator, a tragic past – a big war followed by the settlement of borders, or rigidly constructed socio-economic and humanitarian systems. In the end, Asia almost does not realize what a tough “bloc confrontation” means.

The CICA with its positive “vestments” still remains an organisation that is not integrated into the regional security system. This is a conference for Heads of State, where speakers present their positions on issues of interest. At the same time, it is clear that the presentation of positional theses, for example, by a country from South-East Asia, leaves at least indifferent a representative from West Asia.

It's most likely that a Declaration or Statement of a very general nature will be adopted in Dushanbe.

Central Asia Hosts Two Major Summits to Find Responses to Global Challenges
Yana Leksyutina
From 13 to 15 June 2019, two major events will take place in Central Asia: the 19th summit between Heads of States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and the 5th Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.