The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is a Central Asian security bloc led by China and Russia that is often described as a future Eastern counterweight to NATO. It held its annual summit last week in Kazakhstan, and the most significant outcome was the announcement that India and Pakistan became its first new members since being formed in 2001. The evolution of the SCO looks set to continue, with Iranian membership gaining momentum and Turkey’s an increasing possibility.
If this initial expansion of the SCO into the Middle East happens, it is likely to spark interest among Arab states to apply as well.… Seguir leyendo »
Recent steps taken by the government of Turkey suggest it may be ready to ditch the NATO club of democracies for a Russian and Chinese gang of authoritarian states.
Here is the evidence:
Starting in 2007, Ankara applied three times, unsuccessfully, to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (informally known as the Shanghai Five). Founded in 1996 by the Russian and Chinese governments, along with three former Soviet Central Asian states (a fourth was added in 2001), the SCO has received little attention in the West, although it has grand security and other aspirations, including the possible creation of a gas cartel.… Seguir leyendo »
On the surface, the 12th summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Beijing was a striking success. The regional organization — comprising China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan — took a strong position against externally imposed regime change in the Middle East, admitted Afghanistan as a new observer and announced steps to broaden its agenda into the next decade.
That is the dynamic and active image the S.C.O. seeks to present to the world — as a guardian of regional security and a new-style organization that, unlike Western bodies, does not intrude in the sovereign affairs of its members and condemns outside military action.… Seguir leyendo »
By Bronwen Maddox (THE TIMES, 17/08/07):
Is Russia managing to build a rival to Nato? More than you would have thought last year and more than is comfortable in Europe and the US.
The summit yesterday of Russia, China and their Central Asian neighbours was dubbed the “anti-Nato” by Izvestia, the Russian daily newspaper, and it has a point. Iran, as an “observer”, added a new and menacing tone to the group.
Russia’s main frustration in its ambitions for the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO), as the 11-year-old group is formally called, is that China wants the club to focus on economics and energy more than security and shares none of Russia’s delight in picking a fight with the US.… Seguir leyendo »
By Simon Tisdall (THE GUARDIAN, 10/08/07):
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) - the fast developing six-country alliance led by China and Russia that is sometimes called central Asia's answer to Nato - will raise its strategic profile another notch or two in coming days. But Vladimir Putin's belligerent stance towards the US, Britain and the west is beginning to strain ties with fellow members whose main interest is survival, not confrontation.
Military exercises, dubbed Peace Mission 2007 and involving 6,500 troops and 80 aircraft from China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, began today in Chelyabinsk, in Russia's Ural region. For the SCO, initiated in 1996 to defuse Sino-Russian territorial disputes, the war games mark its most ambitious attempt yet to build an integrated military security apparatus to complement expanding political and commercial collaboration.… Seguir leyendo »
By Simon Tisdall (THE GUARDIAN, 06/06/06):
Tony Blair's promotion of shared global values and inclusive institutions in his Georgetown speech last month took little account of the rise and rise of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. Few may yet have heard of it. But out of the east comes a radically different paradigm for 21st-century international organisation, short on idealism and long on hard-headed self-interest. The "universal" principles of "liberty, democracy and justice" lauded by Mr Blair are hardly its driving force.
Founded by China, the five-year-old SCO groups together like-minded authoritarian leaderships in Russia and four central Asian republics - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.… Seguir leyendo »