China Global Podcast:

China, the SCO, and Central Asia

October 04, 2022
Bonnie S. Glaser
Vina Nadjibulla
2 min read

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit took place on September 15–16 in Uzbekistan's Samarkand. The leaders of China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, as well as the leaders of observer countries Iran, Belarus, and Mongolia attended. In addition, the leaders of Azerbaijan, Türkiye, and Turkmenistan joined the summit as special guests. This was the first in-person SCO summit since June 2019 and was also Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first trip outside of China since early 2020. As the SCO marks 21 years since its founding, the question remains: has it achieved Beijing’s goals and advanced Chinese interests? 

To discuss the SCO as well as China’s interests and role in Central Asia, host Bonnie Glaser speaks with Vina Nadjibulla, an adjunct professor at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs at the University of British Columbia. Her current research focuses on China’s diplomacy in multilateral and regional organizations. Nadjibulla previously worked at the United Nations headquarters in New York and in peacekeeping and peacebuilding missions in West and Central Africa. Born in the Soviet Union, raised in Afghanistan, and educated in the United States, Nadjibulla has also worked and lived in China and Central Asia.

Episode Highlights: 

[2:21] Shanghai Five and the SCO

[6:22] Takeaways from Xi Jinping’s Visit to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan

[10:16] Russia-China Dynamic in Central Asia

[15:07] Public Attitudes Toward China

[17:34] Xinjiang and Government Responses

[19:08] China’s Approach to Central Asia’s Energy Resources

[21:33] Turkey and Expanding SCO Membership

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Bonnie Glaser's China Global podcast on Chinese foreign and security policies decodes Beijing's ambitions as they unfold.