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The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation-An Asian tapestry

By Chua Chin Leng ( Updated: 2015-12-15 11:37

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation-An Asian tapestry

A group photograph of SCO heads of state, heads of observer states and governments, and international organisation delegation heads during Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Ufa, Russia on July 30,2015. [Photo/Agencies]

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is growing in stature as a regional political and economic organization since its humble beginning as the Shanghai Five, created for confidence building measures between Russia, China and the Central Asian states. It has since been very successful in reducing regional tension and ensuring peace and stability in Asia. With the growing threats of terrorism, the member states have more reasons to work together to contain the scourge of terrorism spreading into the respective countries.

Though the original conceptualization of this security organization grew out of a necessity, to lower tension and to build trust, to provide a formal framework for consultation and cooperation in security matters, it has expanded its role to cooperation and mutual support in the international arena for its member states. The fact that many countries are lining up to join this low key regional organization signifies its recognition and acceptance as a very important and valued organization.

A sixth member, Uzbekistan, was added to the original Shanghai Five of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan in 2001. India and Pakistan were accepted as the two new members in 2015. Many Asian states have applied and been accepted as Observers and Dialogue Partners. The USA also applied to be an Observer, a status that is a prerequisite to become a full member, but was rejected in 2005.

The security of Asia, to remain as a unified region free from conflict and warfare, depends a great deal to an organization like the SCO. Smaller Asian countries need a security umbrella to protect them from big powers taking them out one at a time. It is of utmost importance that the SCO sew up this tapestry with more Asian members, to keep them together and not be divided and be at odds with each other. A divided Asia will provide the cracks needed for unfriendly forces to exploit and to engage in sowing conflicts in Asia. With more Asian countries showing interest to be a member of SCO, it is an acknowledgement by these countries that they seek peace and stability in Asia and the security and protection SCO can provide them.

Asia must remain united as a region free from war. The SCO, proved to be a dependable and indispensable stabilizing role, must seize the moment to sew up more Asian states into its tapestry, to keep them stitched together as parts of Asia, a united Asia where peace prevailed, and not to be divided and be exploited into unending warfare.

The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and don't represent views of China Daily website.

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