Why did China create SCO while it is already a member of BRICS and there was CSTO?

Why didn't China join CSTO and opened a new organization like SCO?

If SCO a military alliance, there was CSTO. If SCO an economic alliance, there was BRICS.

And, if SCO a military alliance, what is the benefit of having India in there when India is continuously tilting towards the West and it also has a very diferent view of the world?

So, what is the catch?

  • 2
    BRICS is not an alliance at any rate.
    – Anixx
    Aug 15, 2015 at 19:55

1 Answer 1


Most countries are involved in scores of such organizations/treaties/informal groups. Maybe they find it easier to negotiate on some topics in one particular configuration, wanted to have a forum to coordinate with (or exert influence on) countries that weren't part of the other groups or found that the previous efforts stalled.

BRICS in particular is a very different beast than the SCO. It's simply a name and a series of summits with no permanent organization, structure or legally binding agreements. The countries involved are on different corners of the globe and actually not collaborating that well together. Being part of this loose group is certainly not a reason for China not to work with its neighbours (and Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, or Uzbekistan obviously weren't going to be invited to the BRICS summit so another forum was necessary).

It's a bit like the US being a member of the WTO, NAFTA, APEC, G20, etc. and neogotiating the TTIP and the TTP. But there are countless other examples.

  • 1
    What about CSTO? You left that part empty. And, what about Indian particiapation in SCO?
    – user4514
    Aug 15, 2015 at 20:40
  • @anonymous What about them? I don't see anything remarkable that would need to be addressed. The point is that India and China to participate in dozens of international initiatives, each with slightly different objectives and membership.
    – Relaxed
    Aug 15, 2015 at 20:45

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