The leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) are in Kyrgyzstan for an annual summit.

Led by China and Russia, the eight-member Eurasian bloc accounts for almost half of the world's population.

The meeting comes as tensions are growing between the United States and China over their escalating trade war.

Meanwhile, observer state Iran is seeking support against Washington's "maximum pressure" campaign.

But regular conflicts between its members - namely India and Pakistan - cast doubts on whether the bloc can challenge the existing world order led by the US.

So, what purpose does the SCO serve globally?

Presenter: Adrian Finighan


Alexey Khlebnikov - Foreign policy analyst with the Russian International Affairs Council

David Arase - Professor of international politics at SAIS Hopkins-Nanjing Center

Richard Weitz - Security analyst at Wikistrat

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies