China’s President Xi Jinping is known for his predisposition towards grand diplomatic gestures that demonstrate to the world that the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation” is underway. As China seeks to play a leading role on the international stage and integrate regional players into its own multilateral institutions, expect there to be significant growing pains.
On June 9-10, leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states will meet in Qingdao for their 18th annual meeting. For the first time in the organization’s history, India’s Prime Minister Modi will participate in the meeting as a full-fledged participant. This elevation in India’s standing comes on the heels of strained Sino-Indian bilateral relations, most notably the Doklam standoff in the fall of 2017.
The SCO was founded in 2001 as a security cooperation organization between China, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan. Billed as a new type of international organization that eschews the traditional U.S. alliance structure in favor of a consensus-driven approach, the SCO was China’s first serious foray into shaping the rules governing multilateral institutions.
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