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Profile: Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)


Positions that Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has held:




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Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) actively participated in the following events:


1996      US confrontation with Iran

       The “Shanghai Five” is formed in Shanghai with China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan as its founding members. Its purpose is to resolve old Soviet-Chinese border disputes between the countries and ease military tension in the border regions. An agreement titled “Treaty on Deepening Military Trust in Border Regions” is signed at this time. The five members are said to be bound together by mutual distrust of US hegemony in the region. [Global Security, 4/27/2005; BBC, 6/21/2001; Jane's Intelligence, 7/19/2001]
People and organizations involved: Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

July 18, 2001      US confrontation with Iran

       Ariel Cohen of the Heritage Foundation authors a report warning that recent agreements between Russia and China demonstrate that the two countries are “positioning themselves to define the rules under which the United States, the European Union, Iran, and Turkey will be allowed to participate in the strategically important Central Asian region.”
Good Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation Treaty - The treaty, signed two days before, includes a commitment to pursue “[j]oint actions to offset a perceived US hegemonism.” Cohen says the treaty “should signal to the Western world that a major geopolitical shift may be taking place in the Eurasian balance of power.”
Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) - Cohen says the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), created on June 14 (see ), and consisting of Russia, China, and the Central Asian States of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, could undermine US influence in Central Asia.
Military partnership - Cohen warns that the two counties are interested in boosting “each other's military potential as well as that of other countries that pursue anti-American foreign policies.” They could encourage the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in order to “force the United States to spread its resources thinly to deal with evolving crises in different regions simultaneously.”
Russian and Chinese economic cooperation - There are “numerous projects for developing free economic zones along the Chinese-Russian border and an international port in the mouth of the Tumannaya river (Tumangan)...,.” The Russian and Chinese also plan to “cooperate in developing a network of railroads and pipelines in Central Asia, building a pan-Asian transportation corridor (the Silk Road) from the Far East to Europe and the Middle East.”
Cohen's conclusion - Cohen urges US policy makers to “examine the changing geostrategic reality and take steps to ensure that US security and national interests are not at risk.” [Heritage Foundation, 7/18/2001]
People and organizations involved: Ariel Cohen, Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

August 2003      US confrontation with Iran

       Five of the six members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) conduct their first ever military exercises together. Experts say the joint-maneuvers demonstrate how important the SCO is to China in its effort to counter the growing US military presence in Central Asia. Alex Vatanka, of the London based Jane's Intelligence, suggests the point of the exercises is to show the Central Asian states what China can offer as a partner that the US cannot. [Radio Free Europe, 8/5/2003]
People and organizations involved: Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

February 25, 2005      US confrontation with Iran

       Kazakh Foreign Minister Kasymzhomart Tokayev says during a news conference that the foreign ministries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) are reviewing membership applications submitted by Iran and Pakistan. [Interfax Kyrgyzstan News, 2/25/2005]
People and organizations involved: Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

June 6, 2005      US confrontation with Iran

       Iran, India, and Pakistan join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as observers, paving the way for permanent membership. [Islamic Republic News Agency, 6/6/2005]
People and organizations involved: Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

June 29, 2005      US confrontation with Iran

       Vyacheslav Nikonov, a leading Russian political scientist and the president of the Moscow-based Polity Foundation, says during a news conference in Moscow that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is resetting its priorities and that curbing US influence in Central Asia has become one of the organization's central objectives. “The SCO is now emerging as something of an interest club,” he says. “The member countries are coming to share an interest in the possible restriction of American influence in Asia.” [RIA Novosti News, 6/29/2005]
People and organizations involved: Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

July 5, 2005      US confrontation with Iran

       The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan, calls on the US to set a withdrawal date for US military forces in Afghanistan. “As the active military phase in the anti-terror operation in Afghanistan is nearing completion, the SCO would like the coalition's members to decide on the deadline for the use of the temporary infrastructure and for their military contingents' presence in those countries,” the organization says in its declaration. [Associated Press, 7/5/2005] The declaration also advocates limited outside interference in a country's internal affairs, while at the same time the organization asserts its right to work with Afghanistan on security matters. “We have to make every effort to step up security cooperation or else all our talks about stability will be pointless,” says Chinese President Hu Jintao after the conference. [Eurasia Daily Monitor, 7/6/2005]
People and organizations involved: Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

September 30, 2005      US confrontation with Iran

       Frederick W. Stakelbeck, Jr writes that some conservatives in Washington are becoming deeply worried that Iran are likely to become a permanent member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Stakelbeck writes that Iran's increasing interest in such a military partnership could lead to instability and possibly a war. Stakelbeck recommends that the US Congress and military intelligence quickly recognize the threat that the continued military growth and integration involving China, Pakistan, Iran, Russia, India and Pakistan could mean to US influence in that region. He continues that the SCO is immature, but potentially a dangerous confederacy with a mutual interest to dethrone the US, possibly even confronting it militarily. [Intellectual Conservative, 9/30/2005]
People and organizations involved: Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

October 4, 2005      US confrontation with Iran

       The State Department announce the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's visit to Central Asia the next week will not include a visit to Uzbekistan. The State Department say Rice will visit other Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) members Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan and also Afghanistan, who are under consideration for observer status into the SCO. The omission of Uzbekistan is indicative of growing hostility between Uzbekistan and the US over Uzbekistan unexpected demand that the US vacate its bases in that country (See July 30, 2005 ). [Voice of America, 10/4/2005]
People and organizations involved: Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Condoleezza Rice

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