chapter  8
19 Pages

Chinese regionalism

Balancing and constraint in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation
WithAlica Kizekova

This chapter explores China's regionalism since 2008 and discusses the noticeable lack of support for Russia's military actions as well as recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia during the 2008 Russia-Georgia War. Confidence building among Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan was facilitated by the Shanghai Five (S-5) series of meetings, with the primary focus on achieving disarmament in border areas and building trust among participating nations. Traditional divisions of labor within the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) are arguably reflected in Russia's security agenda and in China's economic sphere. The origins and significance of the August 2008 war are embedded in the wider geographical and historical contexts of Russia's problematic engagement in the Caucasus. Although the fighting started in South Ossetia, the conflict encompassed other parts of Georgia, and tensions even spread to the Northern Caucasus.