At the recent press conference in Astana, Kenneth Fairfax, the US ambassador to Kazakhstan has noted that SCO is not a competitor to NATO. “Regarding SCO I on no account see it as a competitor to NATO. The question is not to choose between these two organizations”, said the head of diplomatic mission.
I think that not only His Excellency but many other persons in USA and other NATO countries with increasing frequency compare image and activities of their organization with SCO. Leaving for Western Asia, which lies many thousands kilometers from their area of responsibility in the region of Northern Atlantic, NATO strategists and their deployed troops are ended up in a gaudy situation. March to the East is finishing in humiliating desertion from Afghanistan and increasing confrontation with their recent ally Pakistan and on the horizon looms the “black hole” named Iran.
Everywhere where NATO soldiers were marching like Balkan Mountains, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan they have left collapsed states, destroyed cities and industrial areas and thousands of graves of prematurely died people. In Western Asia, the tailored for armored expansion block is visible contrasted with the organization acting in this part of the world, the SCO. Not competing but expressly contrasted.
SCO was not imposed on the peoples of Asia but was established by countries of the region under conditions of urgent need, under centripetal energy of political will, pressed to look for an answer for severe challenges of time. The initial objective was connected with solving of border issues, they were successfully solved, and that made to think of prospects of cooperation in such a format.
The organization has serious military potential of its member states however, it entirely aimed within its area of responsibility and has certain format for counteraction to terrorism, separatism, extremism and drug trafficking. In comparison to NATO, SCO is active in the fields of creation not in destruction. In the spheres like promotion of trade and economic cooperation, construction of roads and lines of communications, projects in the fields of education, science and medicine. There is no wonder that countries, which are not members of SCO feel not only an increased interest but more and more notable craving. Mongolia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Iran, Sri Lanka, Belorussia and Turkey are involved in various kinds of interaction (like observer states and partners in dialogue) with the “Shanghai six”. Speaking of “choice between these organizations” they obviously prefer SCO.
This is the contrast in activities of SCO and NATO that makes Western politicians think of competition and even verbally deny its presence. There are increasing agglomerative tendencies in Western Asia. Due to its quick success, Customs Union has already grown into Common economic area and in the near future can enter into a new level of Eurasian Union (EAU).
Kirgizstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are turning to cooperation with the founding members of Common economic area, Russia, Kazakhstan and Belorussia. Close and distant countries are showing interest to the new form of interaction. It is easy to notice that area of activity of a new integration association is overlapping on the area of SCO. It would be natural to expect an establishing of partner relations of these structures especially as China with its enormous financial, industrial and technological resources would join the integration processes on the post-Soviet space.
Such partnership is two times beneficial for China. First of all, speeding up of economic development in the EAU zone will expand markets for Chinese goods and industrial products, will increase production of industrial and agricultural raw materials as well as expand transportation links between the bordering countries. Second, accelerated economic development of Eurasian neighbors and mutually beneficial cooperation with them will speed up guarantees of peace and tranquility on western and northern borders of The Greater China.
Importance of such guarantees is seen by unaided eye in context of increasing of “strategic deterrence” of China. Military pressure on southern and especially eastern borders of Chinese living space was announced as a US priority. Transferring of the leading edge of American military efforts into AsianPacific Region is aimed against China. American leaders even do not try to conceal it.
Projection of free troops from Europe and Middle East to the US Pacific bases, stepping-up of military relations with Japan and South Korea, arms shipments to Taiwan, deployment of bases in Australia and Singapore, attempts to increase anti-China climate in India and Myanmar are most like only the beginning of implementation of a new US strategy. Under conditions of mobilization of its forces for confrontation with China Washington will try to shift burden of operations in other parts of the world to NATO the way it happened in Libya. However, the allies can also find a job in Western Asia. That is why NATO needs neither competition nor contrast with SCO.