Monday, June 20, 2011

SCO: NATO's would-be rival?

A what? This is the first time I've ever heard of that acronym.
SCO, which stands for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, is an intergovernmental mutual security organization that was founded in 2001 by the heads of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
In the attached 25-minute YouTube video, Al Jazeera's Inside Story tackles deeper what the organization is all about.
Is it really a threat to the US-led NATO?
During its tenth anniversary on 15 June, the bloc condemned the US plan for a missile shield system in Europe which they say could threaten global security.
However, critics say that Beijing and Moscow are using the Organization to form a "NATO for the East," which Russia denied.
The video says the SCO is a security and trade bloc of six Asian countries.
While India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan are observers of the expanding bloc—with 1.5 billion population from six Member States and 11 percent of the world's proven oil reserves—Belarus and Sri Lanka are involved as dialogue partners.
The SCO was established to fight terrorism, regional separatism and religious extremism.
Consolidating itself on the basis of economic and political issues and not on militarization, an analyst from Switzerland said, "The big threat is not the Islamic world, as we know right now, for China and the Russian Federation. But the big threat resulted from the NATO organization from their activities in the Middle East, North Africa, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Pakistan…"
Watch the video as three analysts from Geneva, Moscow and Washington discuss what the SCO means to global security, what it holds for the future and what it means to us.
Whatever the SCO will become in the future, I think, life is a balance and it has the potential of putting the NATO into a stale mate.
Details of this story here.

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