12 September 2013

Editorial: The Shanghai Cooperation Organization - China’s NATO?

By Tyler Roney

On Friday leaders of Central Asian nations will meet at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. China arguably wields the most power of the countries involved, and the propaganda mills in Beijing are pumping out content hailing the importance of the upcoming meeting. In the end, though, what does it really mean for the Middle Kingdom?
The SCO, previously known as the "Shanghai Five," is made up of major and minor players; while China and Russia are the main attractions, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan sit on the sidelines, hoping for a spot in China's "Go West" strategy. There is a lot on the agenda to cover, from China's pipelines to security in Afghanistan. However, one thing is clear: China holds the reins.
Currently, China's celebrated lord and master Xi Jinping is touring the Central Asian nations to much fanfare back home. The state run media is following his stops in each country closely, hanging on every written promise of upholding the rule of law and that China will provide 30,000 government scholarships for SCO member states to study in China.
Indeed, the SCO isn't just a meeting of like-minded nations; it's a chance for China to show off its charm.

Read the full story at The Diplomat