International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

China in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization: Hegemony, Multi-Polar Balance, or Cooperation in Central Asia
William E. Carroll

The Shanghai Cooperation Council is a grouping of China, Russia, and Central Asian states, originally founded to address common threats and concerns, especially in the security realm. It has evolved as an organization institutionally and has taken on greater importance in fostering economic cooperation and trade. China plays a leadership role in the SCO, if the leadership role. China has sought to reassure its SCO partners and other states on its periphery that it has no desire to exercise hegemony, but instead sees the SCO as a means of countering any other state’s presumed hegemony, that is the U.S. This paper describes the SCO, China’s purposes in the organization, and those of the other member states – and critically reviews different views of China’s SCO agenda. The article concludes that China is seeking greater economic and diplomatic influence the region and sees the SCO as part of its “peaceful rise.”

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