Chinese wing of SCO cooperation with partners increases« Back
Recent meeting of Prime Ministers of SCO member states held in Bishkek with external technical nature of the issues under discussion touched upon the important aspects of the organization. With the deepening of integration the positions of members are converging. Traditionally, it was believed that China within the SCO relies mainly on economic cooperation area, approaching to the issue of security "on the residual principle". Nevertheless, in recent years the geopolitical struggle between the US and the EU has aggravated on the one hand, and Russia and China – on the other, increased the military and anti-terrorism dimension of the Shanghai organization to a great extent, without ignoring economic aspects and interaction.
Train hard, fight easy
While the SCO member states stress that the organization is not a military alliance, joint military exercises - "Peace Mission" - is still held since 2005. China became fully participate and earlier in 2003, refusing the military part of the exercise, which took place in different countries of the SCO. The teachings have anti-terrorist character.
The exercises "Peace Mission-2014" became the most large-scale joint military exercises of the armed forces of the SCO member states in the history of the organization. They were attended by 7,000 Soldiers and nearly 500 pieces of military equipment. As the Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces General of the Army Vladimir Gerasimov stressed "in the present situation, prevailing in the world and the region, the importance of these exercises will only increase."
By 2016, the format of military cooperation with SCO partners has greatly expanded. During the "Peace Mission", held in September in Kyrgyzstan, troops of Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan held a joint anti-terrorist operation. The scale of tasks that have set themselves the allies, said the fact that Russian strategic bombers have been used in the exercises.
As the Assistant Commander of CMR of the Russian Federation Colonel Roshupkin A, "the final stage of the exercise, a pair of strategic bombers Tu-95MS missile, taking off from an airfield in Engels, Saratov region, at an altitude of 900 meters took over the area of the" Peace Mission "and worked data exchange with the Central military District management points that are deployed on the coast of Issyk-Kul. “Strategists” from one in-flight refueling overcame a total of more than 8000 kilometers in the airspace of Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan". Using the forces of this magnitude clearly indicates that the allies are ready to give an answer not only to terrorist threats.
Naval cooperation between China and the Russian Federation has started. In 2015, the Chinese navy took part in joint exercises with the Russian Federation in the Mediterranean Sea, after which the second phase of the exercises took place in the Sea of Japan. In 2016 the Pacific Fleet of the Russian Federation took part in the Chinese naval exercises "Sea cooperation-2016" in the South China Sea.
Antiterrorism: from slogans to deeds
Until recently, China's anti-terrorist activity in the SCO work towards limited cooperation in the framework of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) and platforms for the exchange of information between intelligence services. Everything changed after the start of military operation of MF RF in Syria.
The sharp rise of the confrontation in Russia and the West, double standards and more open support of terrorism by Washington and its allies began to threaten directly the interests of China. Firstly, China receives from the Middle East for almost half of the oil, its economy is very strong connected with this region. China Investments in energy and economic projects in Syria and neighboring countries billions of dollars. Accordingly, the escalation of the Syrian conflict into a major war would cause significant damage to the Chinese economy.
Secondly, in Syria since the beginning of 2015 group of Chinese Uighurs East Turkistan Islamic Movement is actively fighting the number of which reaches 300 militants. According to the newspaper The Long War Journal, its troops are in the Dzhebhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly Dzhebhat en-Nusra) in Aleppo. The alarming situation exists in Afghanistan, where militants ETIM have long settled. ISIL growing influence in this country will inevitably lead to the radicalization of Uighur groups.
It should be noted that the Uighur extremists based in Afghanistan, actively launch the tentacles in the Central Asian states. So, the leaders of ETIM rely on numerous Uighur diaspora in Kazakhstan (250,000 people), Kyrgyzstan (50,000), in the Andijan region of Uzbekistan (14,000). Based in Afghanistan, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which gave the oath of allegiance to ISIL, is a longtime partner of the Uighur terrorist groups. In Kazakhstan movement Uygur ozatshik tashlahty and United National Revolutionary Front of Eastern Turkestan, which is headed by emigrated from China Yusupbekov Mukhlissi.
In light of this it is very significant, that Li Keqiang, chairman of the PRC State Council at a recent meeting of the SCO Heads of Governments in Bishkek called for heightened security measures in the SCO states. In particular, he noted that "in the situation in Afghanistan, China is ready to work with all members of the organization in order to achieve peace in the country and the formation of the economy, aimed at the development of the state". Chairman of the PRC State Council Li Keqiang has been one of the central figures in the recent meeting of the SCO Heads of Governments in Bishkek.
Previously, very discreet in matters of military intervention, Beijing has stepped up its cooperation with the Syrian government. It is not about the introduction of troops, but China will send military advisers to Syria.
Economic concentration of forces
Speaking about security issues of the SCO, in no way one cannot be discounted problems of economic development, to a large extent causing the growth of terrorism, wars, territorial and resource conflicts, the scope of the expansion of drug trafficking and crime in the SCO states and neighboring countries. That is why the official Beijing has traditionally attached great importance to the issues of economic cooperation and technological development. Actually, in the framework of the SCO China is the motor of economic and investment integration, creating the Asian Development Bank and the Fund of the Silk Road.
Against the backdrop of strengthening world of contradictions, there is another factor contributing to the growth of China's economic integration initiatives. Winning Donald Trump in the US presidential race involves a significant change in the relationship between Washington and Beijing. Because China has always had a strategic approach and long-term planning, the coming confrontation with the US and protectionist measures one of the main economic partners of China are clearly not a secret for the official Beijing. China for not the first year concentrates significant foreign exchange reserves in their hands and the gold reserves, giving the opportunity to run parallel to the US financial and economic structures. In this context, attention is drawn to, Li Keqiang's position, emphasized that the "closing doors means harming yourself. It is necessary to develop the integration, use every opportunity for doing calculations in interstate commerce in the national currency, which will stimulate the expansion of bilateral ties". In addition, Chinese Premier offers to pay great attention to the implementation of projects of local procurement of goods for the population with jobs. All this suggests that Beijing is betting on the expansion of the SCO, the development of economic relations with partner countries and the formation of the SCO market capable of replacing the potential loss.
Synergyof the interests
Increased attention of Beijing to the SCO, in turn, is fully consistent with the interests of the partners in the organization, bringing together well and the strategic plans of Russia and China, which are the leading states of the union.
According to the head of the State Duma Defense Committee B. Komoyedov, "the Chinese military in Syria - is the first step to the creation of serious military-political coalition, which is dominant in countries that are not participating in the aggressive NATO bloc. The time has come to create such a coalition. If Russia, China, India and Iran consolidate their power in the Middle East sector, the problem of terrorism and eliminate illegal Islamic state will be resolved within a year. It's not only a powerful military potential of these players, but also a serious political influence". In addition, the enormous economic potential of China will provide an opportunity for the effective recovery of war-torn Syria's economy.
Military and political rapprochement between China and Russia is not limited to the Syrian issue. Creation of such a union is able to change the whole world balance of power and to ensure the return of the world situation in the framework of international law. This is what his clumsy policies and pushing the United States. In a recent extraordinary meeting of the UN Security Council the United States (and sing along with them Ukraine) called on the UN to stop the cooperation with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization on the grounds that it includes Russia.
Representatives of the USA and Ukraine, the French commentator T. Meyssan, "concerned the way to the three organizations (the CIS, CSTO and SCO -. Ed.) did not break the monopoly of NATO and the European Union, began to accuse Russia of all mortal sins, and called these organizing a veil to disguise the Russian expansion. The representative of the United States stated that in these circumstances the United Nations any whatsoever cooperation with these organizations, including the SCO, is unacceptable". The outgoing US administration clearly leads to a new formation of opposing military blocs.
However, it will concern not only the military. Attempts to create a Transpacific and Transatlantic free trade zone in opposition of Moscow and Beijing, as well as the persecution of Russian sanctions, as well as future tightening of the US trade regime with China, the SCO countries are pushing for the formation of a regional economic union. Taking into account that the SCO now comprises nearly half of humanity, the experiment has a greater chance of success.