Shanghai Cooperation Organisation - Relations With The West - Geopolitical Aspects of The SCO

Geopolitical Aspects of The SCO

There have been many discussions and commentaries about the geopolitical nature of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. Matthew Brummer, in the Journal of International Affairs, tracks the implications of SCO expansion into the Persian Gulf.

Iranian writer, Hamid Golpira, had this to say on the topic: "According to Zbigniew Brzezinski's theory, control of the Eurasian landmass is the key to global domination and control of Central Asia is the key to control of the Eurasian landmass....Russia and China have been paying attention to Brzezinski's theory, since they formed the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in 2001, ostensibly to curb extremism in the region and enhance border security, but most probably with the real objective of counterbalancing the activities of the United States and NATO in Central Asia".

At a 2005 summit in Kazakhstan the SCI issued a Declaration of Heads of Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation which addressed their "concerns" and contained an elaboration of the organisation's principles. It included: “The heads of the member states point out that, against the backdrop of a contradictory process of globalisation, multilateral cooperation, which is based on the principles of equal right and mutual respect, non-intervention in internal affairs of sovereign states, non-confrontational way of thinking and consecutive movement towards democratisation of international relations, contributes to overall peace and security, and call upon the international community, irrespective of its differences in ideology and social structure, to form a new concept of security based on mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and interaction.

In November 2005 Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reiterated that the "Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is working to establish a rational and just world order" and that "The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation provides us with a unique opportunity to take part in the process of forming a fundamentally new model of geopolitical integration".

A Chinese daily expressed the matter in these terms: "The Declaration points out that the SCO member countries have the ability and responsibility to safeguard the security of the Central Asian region, and calls on Western countries to leave Central Asia. That is the most noticeable signal given by the Summit to the world".

As published on StopNATO.org, also recognised that no single, standardised model of political, economic, social, cultural and ethical development and practices could be forced on the 88% of humanity that lives outside the Euro-Atlantic world, not a parliamentary system devised in the British Isles centuries ago nor a consumerist culture and pseudo-civilisation designed on Madison Avenue and in Hollywood.

Validating that same school of thought, a study published by China's Academy of Military Science criticises Washington's "overbearing strategy of encirclement and suffocation".

That may not be Washington's intent. But from Beijing's vantage point, the United States is arrayed along China's periphery, with a long-term presence in Japan and South Korea, strong ties with Thailand and the Philippines, a blossoming partnership with India and a growing role in Central Asia.

Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao has concluded that the United States is manoeuvring "to preserve its status as the world's sole superpower and will not allow any country the chance to pose a challenge to it".

Russia is not a supporter of NATO or of any of its former Soviet states joining it, as seen in this explicit statement made in 2006 by Russian Ambassador to Ukraine, Viktor Chernomyrdin, "when a neighbouring country becomes a member of the North-Atlantic Military bloc, then I'm sorry—then this strategic partnership should be viewed from a different angle and whether this strategic partnership relationship should continue to exist at all".

An article in The Washington Post in early 2008 reported that President Vladimir Putin stated that Russia could aim nuclear missiles at Ukraine if Russia's neighbour and former fraternal republic in the Soviet Union joins the NATO alliance and hosts elements of a U.S. missile defence system. "It is horrible to say and even horrible to think that, in response to the deployment of such facilities in Ukrainian territory, which cannot theoretically be ruled out, Russia could target its missile systems at Ukraine", Putin said at a joint news conference with Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, who was visiting the Kremlin. "Imagine this just for a second".

The International Federation for Human Rights has called SCO a "vehicle" for Human rights violations.

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