Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)

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Chinese Foreign Ministry recently said that the Chinese President will attend the virtual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) being hosted by India.

About Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO):


  • SCO  is an intergovernmental organization founded in Shanghai, China, on 15 June 2001 by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan
  • Apart from Uzbekistan, the other five countries have been a part of the ‘Shanghai Five’ constituted in 1996 by China to address border security issues with four of its neighbours.
  • The cooperation was renamed SCO after Uzbekistan joined the organization in 2001.
  • The SCO currently comprises eight Member States: China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
  • India and Pakistan became permanent members in 2017.
  • The main objectives of the SCO are as follows:
    • Strengthening mutual trust, friendship and neighborly relations among the member states;
    • Promoting effective cooperation in political, trade, economic, scientific, technical, and cultural spheres as well as in the realm of educational, energy, transport, tourism, environmental protection, and other areas;
    • Jointly maintaining and safeguarding peace, security and stability in the region; and
    • Fostering creation of democratic, fair and rational new international political and economic order.
  • Structure:
    • The Heads of State Council (HSC) is the supreme decision-making body in the SCO. It meets once a year and adopts decisions and guidelines on all important matters of the organisation.
    • The organisation has two permanent bodies:
      • The SCO Secretariat based in Beijing.
      • The Executive Committee of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) based in Tashkent.
      • RATS serves to promote cooperation of member states against terrorism, separatism and extremism.
  • The official working languages: Chinese and Russian.


Q1) What is the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS)?

RATS as a permanent body was instituted during the Council of Heads of SCO member states meeting on 7 June 2002 in St. Petersburg. Since its establishment, RATS has become the pillar of coordination for combatting separatism, terrorism, and extremism regionally as well as globally.  

Source: President Xi Jinping will attend virtual SCO summit hosted by India: Chinese Foreign Ministry