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Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Scope for Expansion
A mong the various groupings that have been jostling to act as a counterweight to the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) in the global arena, the relatively young Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) hopes to emerge as a viable bloc. The SCO – which currently includes China, Russia and the four central Asian nations of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – is seen variously as an alliance to counter the expansion of NATO into Asia, as a grouping keen to coordinate national actions on terrorism, and as a forum to promote trade and economic ties in the region. Russia in particular sees SCO as a platform that could potentially build a security alliance to thwart attempts by NATO and the US to expand in eastern Europe and central Asia, respectively.