Results of SCO summit or China's integration with Central Asia: Chatham House expert

Politics Materials 18 June 2009 09:13 (UTC +04:00)

Research Fellow of Chatham House Royal Institute of International Affairs Russian and Eurasian Program, Political Scientist Yuri Fedorov is specially for Trend .

Kazakh Analyst Marat Laumulin called the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as "geo-political bluff". This is good, although somewhat exaggerated description. The members of the SCO pretend without pleasure that some great politics is happening behind the closed doors of their summit. This, of course, raises their status in international relations and causes a serious concern. But the real role of the SCO comes to legitimize the Chinese penetration into Central Asia. The remaining members of the organization are interested in ensuring that it will help to keep this process under control, at least the minimum, or at least, have more or less a real understanding of the intentions of "big brother China". As part of the SCO, there is also a regional organization to combat terrorism. This is indeed an important area of joint activity, but its success does not require regular pompous summits.

The SCO summit in Yekaterinburg, generally, confirmed these estimates. The adopted Yekaterinburg declaration is no more than a set of political platitudes and good wishes. For example, it states the following about an extremely dangerous situation caused by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's (DPRK) nuclear weapons: "Member States of SCO support resuming the negotiation process on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. They call to demonstrate restraint and continue to search for mutually acceptable settlement on the basis of prior agreements." This means that either the Korean issue, which is currently in the forefront of world politics, is not discussed, or the leaders of the SCO does not know what to do with it, or could not agree on its terms.

Perhaps, the two other documents are more interesting - the SCO Convention against terrorism and Regulations on political and diplomatic measures and mechanisms of the SCO's responding to the situation endangering peace, security and stability in the region. They, however, has not yet been published and it is not known whether they will be published in the future.

Situation in Afghanistan was major topic for discussion in Yekaterinburg. President Medvedev admitted that Afghanistan was major topic of our discussions. It is clear. Moscow complicates situation of the international coalition trying to set minimal order in Afghanistan by obliging Kyrgyz leadership to announce about closing of U.S base in Manas. There is an issue. What will happen in Central Asia and Sintszan of the USA and their partners decide to leave Afghanistan as it is unlikely for them to reach their purposes? An answer is evident. Talibs will get power there and create real threat for Central-Asian regimes. Such a perspective does not suit both leaders of Central Asia and Chinese colleagues.  

Difficult contradictions occurred between Russia conducting irrational anti U.S course in central Asia and interests of countries of this region. One is likely to find any way out of this situation in Yekaterinburg. But this task has no solution. Indeed, if U.S people begin to displace from Afghanistan only China will be able to ensure security of Central-Asian nations. It means that the biggest Chinese troops will enter Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan under aegis of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Presently, Beijing tries to avoid it but development of events can oblige it to conduct these extraordinary actions. Afterwards, it will be possible to read about Russia's impact in Central Asia in historic research.  

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