The Shanghai Cooperation Organization? What is it? Why Does it Matter?

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By: Trevor Loudon
New Zeal

While the West talks nuclear disarmament, a major new power bloc builds in the East.

While most Westerners have never heard of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, this economic/military alliance is set to become one the most powerful forces on the planet.

What is the SCO? According to the organization’s own website:

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is a permanent intergovernmental international organization creation of which was proclaimed on 15 June 2001 in Shanghai (China) by the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan. Its prototype is the Shanghai Five mechanism.

The main goals of the SCO are strengthening mutual confidence and good-neighborly relations among the member countries; promoting effective cooperation in politics, trade and economy, science and technology, culture as well as education, energy, transportation, tourism, environmental protection and other fields; making joint efforts to maintain and ensure peace, security and stability in the region, moving towards the establishment of a new, democratic, just and rational political and economic international order…

The Organization has two permanent bodies – the Secretariat in Beijing and the Regional Counter-Terrorism Structure in Tashkent. SCO Secretary-General and RCTS Executive Committee Director are appointed by the HSC for a period of three years. From 01 January 2007 these posts are held by Bolat K.Nurgaliev (Kazakhstan) and Myrzakan U.Subanov (Kyrgyzstan) respectively.

The SCO member states occupy a territory of around 30 million 189 thousand square kilometers, which makes up three fifths of the Eurasian continent, and have a population of 1.5 billion, which makes up a quarter of the planet’s population.

India, Pakistan and Iran hold “observer” status with the SCO.

While virtually ignored by the MSM, the Communist press regards the SCO as a hugely important organization. It is seen as a means of re-aligning power away from the USA and the West in favor of the East and the Communist/Muslim world.

Here is an article on the SCO from the October 25, 2006 edition of the Communist Party of Australia’s Guardian, with some commentary from New Zeal.

Significance of India, Russia, China cooperation

“The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) countries are going to be the new powerhouse of the world. It is in India’s enlighten­ed interest that we understand its importance as we are a country which desperately needs energy”, CPI (M) General Secretary Prakash Karat says in a statement this month. “Trilateral co-operation between India, China and Russia has symbolic significance as it can dispel the notion that the 21st century is an American century.”

New Zeal: As the head of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Prakash Karat is a hugely influential figure. The CPI(M) controls several state governments and has a strong bloc in the Indian Parliament as does the “rival” Communist Party of India.

The recent meeting between India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Chinese Premier Hu Jintao and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G-8 summit, held tremendous potential in the changing world situation. Karat was delivering a talk on the “Role of friendship societies in Indo-Russian relations”.

Karat said the 21st century was not going to be an American century. “This will be an Asian century. Two countries, India and China, are to power Asia through their economic growth and political clout. Though a unipolar world appeared to emerge after the fall of the Soviet Union, current trends hint at a transition towards a multi-polar world which would be more balanced and equitable and with less scope for hegemony”, Karat said.

Besides Asia, new power centers were developing in Europe, Latin America and Africa much to the “dismay” of United States.

Emerging co-operation among India, Brazil and South Africa, which are important countries in the developing world, would [also] promote multi-polarity in the world.

New Zeal: South Africa’s Communist Party dominated government has been very active in promoting ties with Marxist led Brazil and heavily Marxist influenced India. South African deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Azziz Pahad, brother of leading SACP member and adviser to then President Thabo Mbeki, Essop Pahad, has been particularly active in promoting ties to India.

Stating that energy was going to be a major issue in the 21st century, he said Russia’s energy diplomacy had signaled that it would be assertive in the new situation.

The six-member SCO comprising Russia, China and central Asian republics, would have an increasing role in world affairs.

Karat urged the Indian Govern­ment to understand the importance of the SCO in which India, along with Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan, were observers.

“If the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline became a reality, the country would get gas at one-quarter of its price in the international market. Russia was now co-operating with Iran, and India should use its ties with Russia to play an increasing role in central Asia”, Karat said.

He said the present world situation underlined the need to maintain, nurture and strengthen India’s ties with Russia. In the earlier period of the Soviet Union, India had been greatly influenced by the first socialist experiment.

“Promotion of people-to-people relations was also important while developing strategic relations with countries like China and Russia and developing nations”, Karat said.

New Zeal: How will a nuclear disarmed West deal with a power bloc spanning Asia from Vladivostok to Kiev and from the Arctic circle to Southern India? Combine that with an alliance between nuclear capable, or near capable India, South Africa and Brazil, allied in turn to oil rich Venezuela and Iran and you start to see a potential problem.

Yep, definitely a great time for Communist Party “friend” Barack Obama to lead America down the “no nukes” road.

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