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Mapped: The Expansion of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization

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Visualizing the Expansion of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization

Expansion of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization

China has actively pursued the expansion of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a Eurasian political, economic, and international security entity.

Established in 2001 by Russia, China, and former Soviet states, the organization serves as a counterbalance to Western influence in the region.

The map above uses data from Incrementum, the UN, and the SCO to illustrate the development of the largest regional organization globally.

SCO Timeline

The SCO, formed with objectives such as combating terrorism, promoting border security, strengthening political ties, and expanding economic cooperation, initially included China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan.

Country Status Joining date
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ China Member2001
๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ Russia Member2001
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ India Member2005
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ท IranMember2005
๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฟ KazakhstanMember2001
๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฌ KyrgyzstanMember2001
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฐ PakistanMember2005
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฏ TajikistanMember2001
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฟ UzbekistanMember2001
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ซ AfghanistanObserver2012
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡พ BelarusObserver2015
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ณ MongoliaObserver2004
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฟ AzerbaijanDialogue Partner2016
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฒ ArmeniaDialogue Partner2016
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ญ BahrainDialogue Partner2023
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฌ EgyptDialogue Partner2022
๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ญ CambodiaDialogue Partner2015
๐Ÿ‡ถ๐Ÿ‡ฆ QatarDialogue Partner2022
๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ผ KuwaitDialogue Partner2023
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ป MaldivesDialogue Partner2023
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฒ MyanmarDialogue Partner2023
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ต NepalDialogue Partner2016
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ช United Arab EmiratesDialogue Partner2023
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Saudi ArabiaDialogue Partner2022
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ท TurkeyDialogue Partner2013
๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Sri LankaDialogue Partner2010

In 2002, member states ratified the organization statute to encourage political, trade, economic, technological, cultural, and educational collaboration.

Since then, the organization has undertaken over 20 large-scale projects related to transportation, energy, and telecommunications. A notable initiative is China’s expansive Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which aims to rebuild the Silk Road and connect China to Asia, Europe, and beyond through significant infrastructure investments.

The organization has also expanded its geopolitical influence. It attained observer status in the UN General Assembly in 2005 and gave Afghanistan observer status in 2012. Currently, it is working with the interim Taliban administration to include Afghan representatives in its future meetings.

India and Pakistan officially became members of the SCO in 2017, and Iran is in the process of obtaining full-time membership. Egypt and Qatar are dialogue partners, and Saudi Arabia, a traditional U.S. ally, has taken steps to join. Belarus is set to become a member in 2024 after signing a memorandum of obligations.

Furthermore, the organization also plays a crucial role in Chinese military ambitions.

In 2007, the SCO signed an agreement outlining the legal rights and responsibilities for military exercises in another member country.

The agreement allows Chinese armed forces to engage in air-ground combat operations abroad, covering activities like long-distance mobilization, counterterrorism missions, stability maintenance operations, and conventional warfare.

Shanghai Cooperation Organization-Chinese militar operations

Military presence is particularly important for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which fears that separatist movements in the Uyghur-dominated autonomous region of Xinjiang could gain support from other Central Asian states.

Implications for the United States

Today, the SCO encompasses 42% of the global population and 32% of the global GDP.

Due to its growing influence, U.S. policymakers have been monitoring the development of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

In a 2020 report to the U.S. Congress, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission highlighted that through the SCO, China is establishing diplomatic relationships and expeditionary capabilities that could support power projection beyond its borders.

According to the document, “there is a significant risk that Beijing may leverage its relationships with SCO countries to limit the ability of U.S. armed forces to operate in Central Asia.โ€

Nonetheless, the same report mentions that the SCO could serve as a beneficial tool for Central Asian states, offering a platform for cooperation and presenting an alternative to potential domination by Russia, particularly in areas such as energy.

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Maps

Mapped: Which Countries Recognize Israel or Palestine, or Both?

In this visualization, we look at how international recognition of Israel and Palestine breaks down among the 193 UN member states.

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Map showing the recognition of Israel and Palestine by the 193 UN member countries.

Which Countries Recognize Israel or Palestine, or Both?

The modern-day conflict between Israel and Palestine emerged from the British Mandate for Palestine, which administered the former Ottoman Empire territory after World War I. But even after 75 yearsโ€”and declarations of independence from each sideโ€”universal recognition eludes them.

In this visualization, we look at how Israel and Palestine recognition breaks down among the 193 UN member states as of November 14, 2023, using Wikpedia data for each state.

This post is a companion piece to separate maps showing the recognition of Israel and of Palestine by country.

A Declaration of Independence

The Jewish Peopleโ€™s Council declared the foundation of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948 (the same day that the last British forces left Haifa) on the basis of the 1947 UN Partition Plan, which divided the Mandate territories between Jewish and Arab populations.

U.S. President Truman granted de-facto recognition 11 minutes after the Israeli declaration. Not to be outdone by their Cold War adversary, the U.S.S.R. followed suit three days later with de-jure recognition and was joined by Warsaw Pact allies Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and Poland.

By the end of 1948, 21 countries recognized Israel.

A Second Declaration of Independence

A declaration of independence for the State of Palestine, comprising the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem, didn’t happen until 40 years later.

In the midst of the First Intifada, a five-year-long Palestinian uprising that began in 1987, the Palestine Liberation Organization proclaimed the new state in the city of Algiers on November 15, 1988.

A dozen countries, including 10 members of the Arab League along with Malaysia and Yemen, immediately recognized the new state. The Soviet Union, the Eastern Bloc, and most of the Muslim world also joined in recognizing the State of Palestine.

Recognition of Israel and Palestine by Country

As of November 2023, 163 UN member states have recognized Israel, while 138 have recognized Palestine.

UN Member StateRecognize Israel ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑRecognize Palestine ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ธ
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ซAfghanistanNoYes
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฑAlbaniaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฟAlgeriaNoYes
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฉAndorraYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ดAngolaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฌAntigua and BarbudaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ทArgentinaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฒArmeniaYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บAustraliaYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡นAustriaYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฟAzerbaijanYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ธBahamasYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ญBahrainYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฉBangladeshNoYes
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡งBarbadosYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡พBelarusYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ชBelgiumYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฟBelizeNoYes
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฏBeninYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡นBhutanYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ดBoliviaNoYes
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฆBosnia and HerzegovinaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ผBotswanaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ทBrazilYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ณBruneiNoYes
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฌBulgariaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ซBurkina FasoYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฎBurundiYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ญCambodiaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฒCameroonYesNo
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆCanadaYesNo
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ปCape VerdeYesYes
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ซCentral African RepublicYesYes
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฉChadYesYes
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฑChileYesYes
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณChinaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ดColombiaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฒComorosNoYes
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ทCosta RicaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฎCรดte d'IvoireYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ทCroatiaYesNo
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡บCubaNoYes
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡พCyprusYesYes
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟCzechiaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฉDemocratic Republic of the CongoYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐDenmarkYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฏDjiboutiNoYes
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฒDominicaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ดDominican RepublicYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡จEcuadorYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฌEgyptYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ปEl SalvadorYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ถEquatorial GuineaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ทEritreaYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ชEstoniaYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฟEswatiniYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡นEthiopiaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฒFederated States of MicronesiaYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฏFijiYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎFinlandYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ทFranceYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฆGabonYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ชGeorgiaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ชGermanyYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ญGhanaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ทGreeceYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฉGrenadaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡นGuatemalaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ณGuineaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ผGuinea-BissauYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡พGuyanaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡นHaitiYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ณHondurasYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡บHungaryYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ธIcelandYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณIndiaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฉIndonesiaNoYes
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ทIranNoYes
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ถIraqNoYes
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ชIrelandYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑIsraelYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡นItalyYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ฒJamaicaYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ตJapanYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ดJordanYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฟKazakhstanYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ชKenyaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฎKiribatiYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ผKuwaitNoYes
๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฌKyrgyzstanYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฆLaosYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ปLatviaYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡งLebanonNoYes
๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ธLesothoYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ทLiberiaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡พLibyaNoYes
๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฎLiechtensteinYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡นLithuaniaYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡บLuxembourgYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฌMadagascarYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ผMalawiYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡พMalaysiaNoYes
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ปMaldivesNoYes
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฑMaliNoYes
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡นMaltaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ญMarshall IslandsYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ทMauritaniaNoYes
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡บMauritiusYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝMexicoYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฉMoldovaYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡จMonacoYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ณMongoliaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ชMontenegroYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฆMoroccoYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฟMozambiqueYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฒMyanmarYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฆNamibiaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ทNauruYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ตNepalYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑNetherlandsYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟNew ZealandYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎNicaraguaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ชNigerNoYes
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฌNigeriaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ตNorth KoreaNoYes
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฐNorth MacedoniaYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ดNorwayYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ด๐Ÿ‡ฒOmanNoYes
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฐPakistanNoYes
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ผPalauYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฆPanamaYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฌPapua New GuineaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡พParaguayYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ชPeruYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ญPhilippinesYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑPolandYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡นPortugalYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ถ๐Ÿ‡ฆQatarNoYes
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฌRepublic of the CongoYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ดRomaniaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บRussiaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ผRwandaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ณSaint Kitts and NevisYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡จSaint LuciaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡จSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ผ๐Ÿ‡ธSamoaYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฒSan MarinoYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡นSรฃo Tomรฉ and PrรญncipeYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฆSaudi ArabiaNoYes
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ณSenegalYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ธSerbiaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡จSeychellesYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฑSierra LeoneYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌSingaporeYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฐSlovakiaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฎSloveniaYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡งSolomon IslandsYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ดSomaliaNoYes
๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฆSouth AfricaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ทSouth KoreaYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ธSouth SudanYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธSpainYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฐSri LankaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฉSudanYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ทSurinameYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ชSwedenYesYes
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญSwitzerlandYesNo
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡พSyriaNoYes
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฏTajikistanYesYes
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฟTanzaniaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ญThailandYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฒThe GambiaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฑTimor-LesteYesYes
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฌTogoYesYes
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ดTongaYesNo
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡นTrinidad and TobagoYesNo
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ณTunisiaNoYes
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ทTรผrkiyeYesYes
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฒTurkmenistanYesYes
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ปTuvaluYesNo
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฌUgandaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆUkraineYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ชUnited Arab EmiratesYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡งUnited KingdomYesNo
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธUnited StatesYesNo
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡พUruguayYesYes
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฟUzbekistanYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡บVanuatuYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡ชVenezuelaNoYes
๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡ณVietnamYesYes
๐Ÿ‡พ๐Ÿ‡ชYemenNoYes
๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฒZambiaYesYes
๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ผZimbabweYesYes

Most of the countries that do not currently recognize Israel are Muslim-majority countries. However, some Muslim-majority countries have recognized Israel, such as Egypt and Jordan, who specifically agreed to do so under peace treaties signed in 1979 and 1994 respectively.

Several conflicts have also resulted in some countries suspending relations with Israel. The 1967 and 1973 Arab-Israeli Wars (also called the Six-Day War and Yom Kippur War, respectively) all saw countries suspend diplomatic relations, including Mali and the Maldives. In the case of Eastern Bloc countries that did so in 1967 and 1973, many resumed relations after the fall of the Soviet Union.

On the other side, despite more countries recognizing the State of Palestine over time, none of the G7 and only nine of the G20 have recognized the state. Similarly, only a minority of the EU has endorsed the declaration.

Present-Day

Israel and Palestine continue to vie for recognition in the international arena, with the former gaining recognition from a few countries including Bhutan and the UAE in 2020, and the latter from Colombia in 2018 and Saint Kitts and Nevis in 2019.

But universal recognition continues to elude both sides, with many countries awaiting a formal resolution to the conflict from the two sides.

Itโ€™s worth noting that both Israel and Palestine took steps towards recognition under the Oslo Accords, signed on September 13, 1993. The agreement saw Palestine recognize the State of Israel, put an end to the First Intifada, and allowed for limited self-government under a new Palestinian National Authority in Gaza and the West Bank. It promised to lay the groundwork for a two-state solution; a promise of peace that has yet to be realized.

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