How much power does the China and Russia-led SCO wield?


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani walks to his vehicle after walking out from the airplane upon his arrival at Qingdao Liuting International Airport in Qingdao, China´s Shandong province on June 8, 2018, where he is to take part in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), 18th annual summit.

He also felicitated his Chinese counterpart on the successful conduct of SCO Summit in China.

The meeting is taking place weeks after the two leaders held an informal summit in the central Chinese city of Wuhan during which they exchanged views on solidifying the relationship between the two Asian powers.

India became a full member of the the China-dominated grouping previous year and New Delhi's entry into it is expected to increase the bloc's heft in regional geo-politics and trade negotiations besides giving it a pan-Asian hue. Ahead of the summit, a senior Chinese official was quoted by NDTV as saying that India and Pakistan's entry into the SCO would boost security cooperation amongst the countries.

PM Modi will meet Mr Xi multiple times on the sidelines of the summit.

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"With 8 members, SCO represents approximately 42 percent of the world's population, 22 percent of the land area and 20 percent of the GDP".

The two leaders also made a decision to set up a new mechanism for people-to-people cooperation to build on the momentum in bilateral ties from their unprecedented informal summit in Wuhan almost six weeks back.

India is also keen on deepening its security-related cooperation with the SCO and its Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS) which specifically deals with issues relating to security and defence.

"Met this year's SCO host, President Xi Jinping this evening", Modi tweeted on Saturday.

The SCO meeting - which also features Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani - comes as the U.S. considers new sanctions on Iran, and immediately before U.S. President Donald Trump's scheduled meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on June 12.

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Regional security issues will also feature, because terrorism is the most severe security challenge facing the SCO, according to Liao Jinrong, head of the Chinese ministry of public security's worldwide cooperation department.

The president also plans to hold bilateral meetings with the leaders of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Pakistan, and a tripartite meeting with the presidents of China and Mongolia.

This is the second meeting between Modi and Xi this year and the 14th in the past four years.

China may, however, be hindered from gaining robust support for its project at this summit due to India, the only SCO member that does not endorse it, she noted.

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