The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is a multi-
national organization that represents half the world's population.
Although little known in the West the SCO could soon become a powerful institution with the clear intent to counterbalance the United States' political and strategic hegemony.
An important aspect of the SCO club is that it includes some of the world's largest future producers of oil (Russia, Central Asia and Iran) as well as the future largest consumers of oil (India and China).
Originally the SCO was created in the early 1990s as a forum for Russia and China to deal with minor border disputes. Since then four Central Asian republics have joined, and India, Pakistan, Iran and Monogolia were granted observer status that may be a prelude to membership.