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Author`s name Ольга Савка

Russia and Asian states welcome USA's sworn enemy, Iran

The USA will have to take account of the new international center, the Asian monster

The leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member countries gathered for a meeting in Astana, the capital of the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan, yesterday. Russia, China and Central Asian states granted the observer's status to India, Iran and Pakistan. The states agreed to continue the economic and the antiterrorist cooperation and expressed their opinions against the unipolar world and so-called color revolutions on the post-Soviet territory.

The struggle with international terrorism became the central subject of the discussion. Vladimir Putin said in his speech that new terrorist threats had obtained the trans-border character: “They are not faceless in their certain manifestations. There are people, who order and execute them. Our goal is to find and neutralize those people. More importantly, we need to make SCO states less vulnerable and more defendable against terrorist forces. It will be possible to achieve the goal only if the tough counter-terrorist work accompanies the activity to root out social and economic grounds of terrorism and extremism,” Putin said at the meeting in Astana Tuesday.

Islam Karimov, the President of Uzbekistan, pointed out the destructive role of the USA in the Asian region. According to Karimov, the events, which have recently occurred in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, unveiled only certain vestiges of the large-scale strategic plan, which the USA was gradually executing in the region. “The final goal of the plan is to change the political and economic correlation of forces in the USA's favor and to take the dominating position in the Central Asian region,” the Uzbek president said.

Members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization agreed to introduce strict regulation of terms for foreign army bases to stay on the member-countries' territories. It particularly goes about US military bases in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

In addition to elevated statements about the anti-terrorist struggle, SCO states – Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan - decided to launch close economic cooperation. It was decided to grant the observer's status to Iran, India and Pakistan. The decision means that the organization of the border cooperation (consisting of China and former Soviet Union states – Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan), which was later renamed in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in 2001, has become a large international organization, which embraces almost 50 percent of the Earth's population – about three billion people.

The monstrous organization, which occupies the territory from the Arctic to the Indian Ocean and from Kaliningrad to Shanghai, may become the second political pole of the world. One may say that member-counties of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization have a great wish to counteract the USA's supremacy: Iran, the habitue of the “axis of evil,” has become the official observer of the organization. Russia, China and India are trying to play their own game, without the participation of Washington, whereas Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan are concerned about the color revolutions that are included in the plans of the US administration.  The Shanghai Cooperation Organization did not set any limits for its expansion: the organization currently intends to grant the status of an observer to Afghanistan, where the USA has been conducting the counter-terrorist operation for four years already. To crown it all, there are no obstacles to welcome another member in the SCO – South Korea.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization may continue its eastwards and southwards expansion. Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia may join the organization in the future. If these plans come true, the SCO will unite most densely populated Asian states and Russia. The USA will therefore have to take account of the new international center.

It is noteworthy that the creation of the “Asian monster” has to face quite a number of serious obstacles. The USA has its army bases in Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Taiwan, South Korea and in South-East Asia states. In addition, one has to take into consideration the contradictions of the two new nuclear powers, India and Pakistan. The two states permanently interrupt their diplomatic relations; armed clashes continue on their borders too. Both India and Pakistan consider each other as their prime enemy.

Contradictions between India and China are rather serious too. Moscow has been trying to establish a triangle of cooperation with Delhi and Beijing, but both Indian and Chinese officials do not welcome Russian suggestions. They are thoroughly engulfed in their inner competition in Asia on the whole, in Indochina, first and foremost. China has been supporting Pakistan in all of its conflicts with India for years already. Each of the feuding states tries to become a separate center of force. In order to subdue rivals, they gladly use the assistance of Washington.

One thus may infer that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization has brilliant perspectives. However, the organization will be viable only when its members get rid of obvious conflicts.

Vadim Trukhachev

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