BEIJING: Last week both Pakistan and India become full members of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) amid hopes that the grouping led by China and Russia may help rival countries come closer.
However, an analysis in China’s Global Times today suggested that ‘SCO will not be used by China to intervene in Indo-Pakistan disputes’.
Chen Xiaochen, who is director at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China, said Beijing and Moscow both hope that India and Pakistan can find an effective mechanism to solve their problems.
‘If India and Pakistan can focus more on peace and economic development, all countries in the organization, including China and Russia, will benefit from it. The SCO has the potential to mediate between India and Pakistan, but only the word “potential” can be used in the short term.’
He added: “There is a deep divide between India and Pakistan, so it will be difficult for the SCO to bridge this with its regular mechanism in the short term, and the SCO will by no means become a channel for China to intervene in any conflict between India and Pakistan”.
However, participating in the SCO will benefit these two countries in terms of establishing a platform for mutual communication and negotiation, he noted.
‘India can communicate directly with China and Pakistan through the SCO to better understand and ease India’s resistance to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). This can play a positive role, but we do not expect that India will utterly change its attitude to the CPEC because of joining the SCO.’
Advising New Dehli to adopt a pragmatic approach, Chen Xiaochen said India should accept the fact that China is strengthening its cooperation with other South Asian countries, and it should also understand that India would benefit from a more positive attitude.
If the two countries – which have had long-term disputes over issues such as anti-terrorism efforts and Kashmir – bring their disagreements to the SCO, the club’s internal cohesion is likely to be challenged, said Qian Feng who is a researcher at Tsinghua University.