Aggressive U.S. policy strengthens SCO
The SCO summit held in Bishkek will give a new impetus to the whole Eurasian space. More than 20 documents on security, economy and high technologies, including the Bishkek Declaration, were signed following the event. It attaches particular importance to issues of global security and the 'road map' to resolve the situation in Afghanistan. The next SCO Heads of State Council meeting will be held in July 2020 in Russia's Chelyabinsk. Bilateral talks between the leaders of the SCO member states were also important.
The Bishkek SCO summit laid the foundation for the future anti-American platform. The leaders of the SCO member states - Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, India and Pakistan, as well as the leaders of SCO observer states - Iran, Belarus, Mongolia and Afghanistan - changed the agenda during the meeting. The chief researcher at the Center for the Study of Central Asia, the Caucasus and Urals-Volga Region of the Institute for Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Stanislav Pritchin, told Vestnik Kavkaza that instead of economic discussions, the heads of state decided to work out common approaches to the current situation in relations with the United States, as well as on a number of problems in international relations. Therefore, although the Afghanistan and Syria issues were discussed at the summit, they were not the main ones.
The leaders of the SCO countries gathered to discuss and form a common position on the trade war between China and the United States, escalation of tension around the Iranian nuclear program, as well as sanctions against Russia. Judging by the informal talks and a number of meetings between the leaders of Russia and China, these were the priority topics. But, apparently, it was decided not to make sharp statements against the United States. "We needed to 'compare notes', including on such a multi-format regional level," Pritchin noted.
The statement by Chinese President Xi Jinping indirectly confirms it. In particular, he said that the SCO should become a model of cooperation in ensuring universal and complex security: "The Shanghai Cooperation Organization should become a model organization that highlights unity and mutual trust. We need to maintain the Shanghai spirit as a core value, keep up with the times and a changing international landscape."
This position is also reflected in the Bishkek Declaration: "The member states consider it important to utilize the potential of regional countries, international organizations and multilateral associations to promote broad, open, mutually beneficial and equitable cooperation in Eurasia."
Experts believe that a new stage begins to strengthen the Eurasia region through consolidating the most dynamic and political players. In particular, China and Russia.
According to Kyrgyz political analyst Mars Sariev, the United States, by toughening the trade war with China, contributes to the strengthening and expansion of the SCO, and today the countries of Eurasia are uniting under the auspices of the organization. And the observer countries under U.S. pressure are stepping up their interaction with SCO. In particular Iran.
"In fact, it's about a collective awareness that security in the region depends exclusively on the countries of Eurasia," Mars Sariev told Vestnik Kavkaza. In his opinion, it is the issue of preserving regional security that helps unite the countries into one powerful bloc. "If earlier there were fears that the SCO is a purely Chinese project, with a Chinese trade agenda, after the accession of India and Pakistan, these fears disappeared. Therefore, more effective work is expected, which will contribute to the formation of a common language and a single vector," Sariev stressed.
President of Iran Hassan Rouhani said about it during the talks with Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the SCO summit: "The current situation in the region requires more interaction between our countries. In the current conditions, with serious external pressure and sanctions, the need for cooperation in the region, in particular, between our countries, is becoming increasingly important."
It was decided not to discuss the issue of Iran’s entry into the SCO this time either. Nevertheless, it became clear that Tehran could count on the support of the member countries. It is not yet known what what Hassan Rouhani said at the meeting with Xi Jinping, but experts believe that Central Asian countries is a reliable support for Iran.
Another interesting conversation took place between President of China Xi Jinping and Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan. The Chinese leader called Islamabad for closer coordination and cooperation, stressing that both countries should make joint efforts to safeguard regional and international security and develop economic cooperation in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), with new focus on areas including industrial parks, agriculture and social welfare. Xi Jinping considers it necessary that both sides actively use the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement. He also called on to take the upgrade of the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement and use it to expand bilateral trade.
The Indian issue stood out. India is in a difficult situation now. Prime Minister Narendra Modi at some point decided to distance himself from the major powers - the United States, Russia and China, and immediately fell into disgrace with Washington. The issue of what should India do under not yet sanctions from the United States, but prohibitions, was discussed by the leaders of the SCO member states, as well as during bilateral negotiations. In particular, the United States made it very clear to Delhi that purchasing Iranian oil and Russia's S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems is highly undesirable.