The recent Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit meeting in Samarkand, Uzbekistan once again highlights the incongruity of India’s continued membership in the Chinese-led and dominated SCO. , which, according to the perception, due to its enlarged composition in Islamic countries, is reminiscent of a Sino-Islamic bloc in confrontation with Western civilization as predicted by Samuel Huntington in his classic work “The Clash of Civilizations”.
China’s semi-official media outlet commenting on the SCO summit says the SCO is a “strategic move to break the US containment of China” by China’s “Circle of Friends” at the SCO. Furthermore, China argued that the SCO compliments China’s international stature and influence. Moreover, the United States continues to keep Russia under pressure in Europe while continuing to keep China under containment pressure.
Reading between the lines, it should be noted that the China-dominated and China-led SCO with Russia in tow is nothing but a fig leaf meant to wrap around the fundamental goals of China and the Russia to forge a united front as a counterbalance to the QUAD and US bilateral strategic partnerships with Major Asian powers like Japan and India and Australia in the wider Indo-Pacific.
Is it not an anachronism that India, whose national security architecture incorporates and revolves around its comprehensive global strategic partnerships with the United States, Japan and Australia, should keep company to a organization like SCO whose aim is to untangle US-led security architectures in the Indo-Pacific in which India now occupies a central role?
Perceptually, the SCO with the exception of Slavic Russia, seen with the addition of Iran to Pakistan and the Islamic States of the Central Asian Republics and now granting delegate status to Saudi Arabia, the Egypt and Qatar strikes me as China attempts to adopt Samuel Huntington’s version of a “Sino-Islamic Bloc” to confront the US-led Bloc of Western Democracies.
One would fully endorse the comments recently made by renowned Indian geopolitical analyst Brahma Chellaney during a recent television discussion that The SCO without India’s membership lacks global credibility and India’s presence at SCO summits “adds respectability” to the SCO. No denial here.
Logically, India has no compelling reason to compel it to “add respectability to an Organization which understands India’s China as India’s Enemy Number One and India’s Enemy Number Two.” India that is Pakistan.
India’s retention in the SCO defies all geopolitical and strategic logic in many ways and primarily that India’s membership in the SCO serves no vital national security or economic security interests of India. .
Perceptually, India’s retention as a member of the SCO “confuses” the United States, major European powers, Japan and Australia regarding India’s strategic compass and whether these major powers Powers that have opted for strong strategic partnerships with India have rightly invested in India’s credibility as an emerging power destined to play an important role in global security and stability.
Notably, China and Russia, as leading members of the SCO, have never verbally asserted or implicitly admitted that they would like India to be a major power playing a vital role in world affairs. The United States has repeatedly affirmed its intentions that the United States should engage in helping India assume this role.
India’s membership in the SCO and the obsessive mindsets in Indian politics to justify India’s membership in the SCO reflecting India’s faith in multilateralism find few takers in the world . The perception that is certainly being generated is that India is once again slipping into the Nehruvian mold of foreign policy.
India’s political establishment must realize that China and Russia are merely rhetorical protagonists of ‘multilateralism’. The predatory aggressive instincts of China and Russia manifested over the past decade point more clearly to the opposite of China and Russia’s credentials.
If all the reasons analyzed above were not convincing enough, the latest claims from the senior Russian National Security Council official visiting China should tell India where Russia is headed, especially after its ill-fated invasion. and misguided Ukraine. It has been claimed that Russia is “committed” to protecting China’s core interests. Need it be pointed out that all of China’s core interests crucially impinge on India’s national security?
The SCO within its organization envelops four complex strategic geometries which are contrary to India’s national security interests, namely the Russia-China axis, the China-Pakistan axis, the Russia-Pakistan trilateral and the trilateral Russia-China-Iran.
In conclusion, as I have been advocating for years, the unfolding of contemporary geopolitical events and strategic geometries at the end of 2022 dictate that India should withdraw from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as continued membership of the India in the SCO is blurring its foreign policy compass and affecting India’s national security interests.