8 June, 2018 by Alex Christoforou
With all eyes on the upcoming Trump-Kim summit in Singapore, the weekend summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization regional security bloc has gone largely under-reported by the western mainstream media.
When SCO summit gets under way in the Chinese port city of Qingdao on Saturday, the leaders from the eight-member bloc are expected to take on some very pressing geo-political issues, from the tensions on the Korean peninsula, to the Iran nuclear deal and a looming US driven trade war.
The SCO’s role has expanded over the years, from a regional security summit, to a political and economic cooperation bloc, with many analysts now characterizing the SCO as a post-cold war Eurasian counterbalance to NATO.
The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the SCO meeting, and how China and Russia will continue to deepen their alliance, as well as the blocs evolution to much more than an economic cooperation, as NATO may finally have a formidable adversary in the making.
Beijing will be looking to press a series of key cross-border matters, particularly the “Belt and Road Initiative”, and greater cooperation to combat the “three evil forces” of terrorism, extremism and separatism, according to state-run Xinhua. Drug trafficking and cybercrime are also on the agenda.
The SCO was set up in 2001 with six member countries: China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. It expanded to eight last year with the admission of India and Pakistan. The bloc also has four observer states – Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia – and six dialogue partners, including Turkey, a member of Nato.
The Qingdao gathering coincides with the G7 summit in Canada, a group of seven major advanced economies, six of which are Nato members.