9 June: Pakistan becomes a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SOC), in Astana, Kazakhstan.

Highlights from Astana by Mona Alam

Dateline Astana with Mona Alam | Pakistan at SCO Summit

All you need to know about Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

8 June: PM Sharif is attending the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Astana, Kazakhstan, starting today.

Sharif is likely to meet Russian President Putin and Presidents of Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and UN Secretary General at the Summit.

Pakistan is granted full member status along with India as the 17th Meeting of the SCO Heads of State Council (HoSC) takes place on 8-9 June in Astana.

1 June: China hopes Pakistan and India will improve bilateral relations after becoming the full members of SCO during upcoming Astana Summit. Speaking at a briefing in Beijing, spokesperson of Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hua Chunying said we hope that Pakistan and India would inject new impetus to the development of SCO.

Chinese President Xi Jinping will pay a State visit to Kazakhstan on 7-10 June to attend the 17th Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of SCO. Xi will also attend the opening ceremony of Astana Expo 2017.

India and Pakistan will complete the process of joining the SCO during the SCO summit in Astana. Their membership will make the SCO the world’s largest regional cooperation organisation in terms of population of its members.

China will take over the SCO rotating presidency after the Astana summit, noting that Beijing is actively making a work plan that covers six major fields: politics, economy, security, humanities, foreign relations and mechanism building.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the signing of the SCO Charter and the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty on Long-Term Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation by SCO members. – Global Times

4 Nov 2016: The SCO will establish a new development bank to boost investment in the region.

Chinese PM Li Keqiang tells SCO Summit which PM Nawaz Sharif missed because of PTI protest in Islamabad that China is open to setting up a free trade zone among the group including Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

The group approved a 38-point five-year plan to boost cooperation in finance, transportation and agriculture over the 2017-21 period.

3 Nov: Pakistan and China agree to continue closer cooperation in all spheres of bilateral relations.

This was agreed during a meeting between Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met on the sidelines of 15th SCO Heads of Government Council meeting in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

PM Sharif had cancelled his visit to Bishkek because of PTI’s planned protest and the announced lockdown of Islamabad.

28 Oct: PM Sharif cancels visit to Bishkek to attend SCO summit in Kyrgyz capital Bishkek on 2-3 November.

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List of Summits | Heads of States and Governments | Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) since it started in 2001

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The SCO is viewed as the largest and most powerful global organisation after the United Nations.

The SCO’s six full members account for 60 percent of the land mass of Eurasia and its population is a quarter of the world. With observer states included, its affiliates account for about half of the world’s population.

Pakistan applied for the membership of SCO 10 years ago. Russia endorsed Pakistan’s bid in 2011. At the SCO Summit in 2014, China expressed support for Pakistan’s application for full membership.

Pakistan’s full membership was approved by the SCO in July 2015.

It signed a memorandum of obligations on 24 June 2016 at Tashkent to join the SCO as a full member.

Pakistan is expected to formally accede to the SCO organisation at the next meeting at Astana in Kazakhstan.

So far, Pakistan has been enjoying the observer status in the six-member organisation.

The SCO, previously known as the Shanghai Pact, is a Eurasian political, economic and military organisation which was founded in 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.


More about Pakistan economy

Harvard predicts Pakistan GDP to grow by 5% over next 10 years

Pakistan included in VARP, the new BRICS

Pakistan is the world’s fastest-growing Muslim economy: The Economist

Pakistan GDP set to grow by 5.3% by 2020: IMF

$10B TAPI natural gas pipeline to be operational in 2020

In a corruption-riddled world, Pakistan is better than one-third countries: TI

Pakistan petrol prices 18th lowest in the world

VIDEO: Shanghai Cooperation Organisation eyes economic push. – CCTV

20 Oct: The first-ever SCO economic forum kicks off in Beijing

Officials say the meeting marks a new era of shifting the agency from security cooperation to economic joint efforts.  Topics include trade, investment and financing.

Participants discuss several landmark projects, including the free trade area between China and Russia, panda bonds and energy production.

The forum also aims to promote participation in the China-sponsored OBOR initiative.

China’s world-reshaping $225B One Belt, One Road (OBOR)

What China signalled through OBOR Forum

What is reshaping the world while we are unaware?


23-24 June: The Uzbek capital city of Tashkent hosts the SCO summit of leaders

This is an important event that can not only become a turning point in the regional configuration of forces but also affect the world order.

The SCO’s expansion to include India and Pakistan was the main issue on the summit’s agenda.

After the ratification, India and Pakistan will become full members of the SCO next year.

Additionally, Iran may also join following the lifting of UN sanctions. – Eurasia Review


See also: When Chinese Leadership style meets Pakistani: Wali’s Talk PPt for China Mobile/ Zong strategy team

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Wali’s note to Ufa SCO/BRICS Summit story below

Since no state or private media accompanied Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to BRICS/SCO summit in Ufa, Russia, where significant and far-reaching developments were about to happen, we are taking the liberty to reproduce parts of report from Xinhua, the Chinese state news agency.

It is headlined: Chinese President Xi Jinping signalled: China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has entered the stage of implementation.

On 10 July at Ufa, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) decides to admit Pakistan as a full member.

xi-nawaz-sharif-at-shanghai-cooperation-organisation

Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with Prime Minister Sharif in Ufa, Russia.

11 July 2015, UFA, Russia: Chinese President Xi Jinping said that Beijing welcomes Pakistan’s upcoming entry into the SCO.

Xi made the remarks when meeting with Pakistani PM Sharif on the sidelines of the 15th SCO summit, which is set to start procedures for granting India and Pakistan full membership.

Pakistan and India are currently among the five observers of the SCO, which currently groups China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Beijing attaches great importance to the relations with Pakistan and always regards the bilateral ties as a foreign policy priority, said the Chinese president.


Have you seen other CPEC stories on this blog?

CPEC fact sheet: 2013-2017

16 CPEC projects in Balochistan, 8 in KPK: Chinese Embassy

Chinese Embassy shares progress on CPEC projects

40 CPEC projects in 4 photos & 60 seconds

CPEC gets 4-layer security as Gwadar to be weapon-free


On the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Xi said the project is an important component of the Beijing-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (OBOR), and relates to the two countries’ long-term development.

Xi added that since he paid a state visit to Pakistan in April, a batch of projects have been officially launched, signaling that the economic corridor has entered the phase of implementation.

For his part, PM Sharif thanked China and said Pakistan supports China’s OBOR, as well as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the Silk Road Fund, and will vigorously participate in relevant cooperation.

xi-nawaz-sharif-at-shanghai-cooperation-organisation-ufa-russia

Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with PM Sharif in Ufa, Russia


12 July 2015: China enables both the BRICS and SCO to embrace fresh opportunities for their future development, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said following the conclusion of two international gatherings in the Russian city of Ufa.

The two summits, namely the 7th BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) summit and 15th SCO summit, highlight China’s constructive role and further enhance China’s strategic mutual trust with relevant countries, Wang said.

Both as multilateral frameworks featuring emerging economies and developing countries, the BRICS and SCO are important platforms for cooperation among today’s emerging powers, he said.

At the summit, leaders of the member states approved the SCO Development Strategy until 2025, which sets detailed targets and tasks for the bloc’s development in the next 10 years.

The SCO nations also ratified a resolution on starting the procedures of granting India and Pakistan full membership of the organisation and elevated Belarus to the status of observer from dialogue partner, and took in Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia and Nepal as new dialogue partners. – Xinhua


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SCO Heads of Government summit in Kyrgyz capital Bishkek on 2-3 November with Chinese PM Li.