Defining the Areas of Cooperation between Russia and China Within the SCO: Organizational and Economic Aspects


  • Dong Zhao
  • Sergey A. Orekhov
  • Vladimir V. Velikorossov
  • Roman V. Glazov
  • Igor B. Khmelev



Purpose. The article discusses the interaction of Russia and China within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the formation and development of legal relations in the context of goals, objectives and functions defined by the SCO Declaration. The article characterizes the regulatory aspects of the priority directions and the prospects of Sino-Russian cooperation, in particular in the sphere of security and stability in the Central Asia.
Design/methodology/approach. The SCO constituent instruments and statistical information on the Sino-Russian relations were analyzed.
Findings. Russia and China’s common objectives in their joint activities were defined. The differences were indicated in the approaches to the further development of the SCO in the near future. The legal instruments regulating multilateral cooperation of the SCO member states, including Russia and China as major actors, require further dynamic improvement. The Sino-Russian relations transformed the SCO into a multi-sectoral eclectic structure. Although these two countries have significantly different interests in the SCO, contradictions can be resolved through bilateral agreements.
Originality. The study points to the problem that international treaties that formalize the cooperation of the SCO member states, including Russia and China despite their leading role, need robust improvement, and the international treaty framework should evolve multilaterally.