India Refuses to Sign SCO Economic Development Strategy

This year's SCO summit was chaired by India for the first time.

2 min read

India declined to sign the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)’s Economic Development Strategy for 2030 on Tuesday, 4 July, citing objections over retaining language that was reminiscent of Chinese official policies.

According to a report by The Wire, India was already wary of Chinese President Xi Jinping's influence on the document, similar to the Global Development Initiative previously.

India decided against signing the 2030 Economic Development Strategy document, citing an overwhelming presence of Chinese catchphrases and an excessive influence of Chinese policy.

India chaired this year's SCO summit for the first time. Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired the virtual summit, during which the members adopted eleven documents and decisions.


India declined to be a part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as well. Every year, this is reflected by India's absence in the list of countries supporting China’s connectivity project in the summit declaration.

All member nations including Russia, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan except India supported China's BRI in a joint declaration.

Some signed agreements included the New Delhi Declaration, the Memorandum of Obligations of the Republic of Belarus, and two statements on deradicalisation and digital transformation, among others.

According to the New Delhi Declaration, the document was considered important by SCO leaders to ensure the implementation adopted by "interested" Member States. This implied that India refused to sign the document along with the rest of the member states.

The Economic Development Strategy, which Tajikistan proposed, has yet to be published. There is little clarity about what it entails.

The New Delhi Declaration states that the document could be "aimed at promoting cooperation in such priority areas as the digital economy, high technology and innovation, creation of new and modernisation of existing international routes for road and rail transport, multimodal transport corridors and logistics centres, finance and investment, energy and food security, reliable, resilient and diversified supply chains, industrial cooperation and inter-regional ties."

Russian President Vladimir Putin publicly stated that “implementation of the SCO Economic Development Strategy to 2030 will further promote regional integration”.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Member
Read More