Shanghai Cooperation Organization

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Under the auspices of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), "China and Russia are working equally hard to assert their influence in Central Asia," according to Asia Times' Jephraim P. Gundzik, who wrote June 9, 2005, that the China-Iran-Russia axis is also "challenging US interests in Central Asia," with Washington "working feverishly to gain security footholds in Tajikistan and Kazakhstan to complement existing US military bases in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan." [1]

Background

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization was created with "its present membership of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in 2001, the origins of the S.C.O. date back to 1996 when Beijing initiated the Shanghai Five, which included all the current S.C.O. members except for Uzbekistan. The official purpose of the alliance, according to its founding declaration, is to form a comprehensive network of cooperation among the member states, including military security, economic development, trade and cultural exchange." [2]

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