Key takeaways as China emphasizes solidarity with Russia, India, and other Shanghai Cooperation Organization allies

China’s President Xi Jinping called for strengthened ties and resistance against Western sanctions during the virtual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) hosted by India. The SCO, encompassing a vast region from Moscow to Beijing, includes half of the world’s population when observer nations are considered.

Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed gratitude to SCO partners for their support during a failed mutiny by the Wagner mercenary group. Putin reaffirmed Russia’s resilience against external pressure and appreciated the SCO nations’ backing in protecting constitutional order and citizen safety.

China, aiming to ensure regional peace and common security, emphasized the need for solidarity among SCO member states. It denounced external forces instigating confrontation and interfering in internal affairs, referencing pro-Western uprisings in Eastern Europe.

Iran became a full member of the SCO, seeking collective security, expanded ties, and strengthened unity. This move may raise concerns among some Western critics. However, the SCO is not viewed as inherently anti-West by countries like India and Central Asian nations.

India and Pakistan expressed concerns about security in Afghanistan, with India cautioning against the potential for instability spreading from there. The Taliban’s draconian policies and human rights abuses have isolated Afghanistan, leading to sanctions and frozen assets.

India’s diplomatic balancing act is notable, being a member of the SCO and “The Quad,” a cooperative group countering China’s assertiveness. India maintains a long-standing alliance with Russia, its primary arms supplier and an importer of Russian oil during the Ukraine conflict.

As China highlights solidarity among SCO allies, the summit addressed various geopolitical and security challenges, emphasizing the importance of regional stability and cooperation.

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