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  • Author or Editor: Rila Mukherjee x
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This essay tries to place the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) within the context of China's experiences with Central Asia. I argue that while this emphasis on Central Asia is new, we see, too, that the SCO's attempt to project Central Asia as an area of prime concern in global politics reveals China's historic obsession with this “near other”. I trace this obsession with Central Asia to Chinese foreign policy from the Song through the Yuan (Mongol) and Ming periods. In its history, China has always played off its northern border -symbolised by the Great Wall - against the maritime border which is, by its very nature, fluid and expansive. The SCO actually reveals once again China's fear perception of its northern border. History and memory cast long shadows, even in strategic studies which deny long-term trends in history. How long before China starts a similar exercise for the Indian Ocean, an exercise for which Shanghai has a locational advantage?

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