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Commentary: SCO, rather than military alliance, serves as regional stabilizer

06-06-2012 10:35 BJT Special Report:The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit 2012 |

BEIJING, June 6 (Xinhua) -- As the 12th summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) starts in Beijing on Wednesday, the decade-old claim that the bloc is sliding toward a bullying military alliance is once again proving to be something carved utterly out of thin air.

The past 11 years of development have shown that the SCO, now a high-profile regional group that covers about three-fifths of the Eurasia land mass, has firmly honored the founding principle of non-alignment and functions as an effective stabilizer for regional security and peace.

Member states of the SCO are partners of development and co-sponsors of regional security. No sober mind could term them military allies since their joint actions, instead of aiming at a third country, focus only on combating the "three evil forces" - terrorism, separatism, and extremism - and other unconventional security menaces.

Some Western political analysts have cited routine joint military drills conducted by SCO members as proof that the bloc is in its nature, or at least aspires to evolve into, a military alliance.

Endeavors to portray the SCO as a belligerent monster in the making, despite capturing some media attention, are based on thin air and could hardly be convincing.

Since the first joint military exercise under SCO auspices in 2002, a number of maneuvers have been staged by member states.

Although such exercises have expanded in scale and drawn the participation of troops from different military branches, the maneuvers have for years kept an unchanged theme: to improve the cooperative proficiency of the security forces in the event of a regional terror attack.

A possible terrorist resurgence after the planned withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan in 2014 could mean a higher terror alert for the region and the SCO. That potential threat makes the bloc's emphasis on anti-terror readiness even more relevant.

The SCO has created a new mode of inter-governmental relationship based on equality, mutual trust and respect, and consensus.

The member states share equal rights in the bloc, something rare in certain international organizations that usually divide decision-making powers according to the global significance and economic clout of each member.

The design employed by the SCO is particularly conducive to the promotion of good-neighborly ties among the organization's member states. It is also conducive to the preservation of regional peace and stability.

The SCO, with its proclaimed intention of moving away from the Cold War mindset, unquestionably will make fresh contributions to security and peace in the region and the whole world at large.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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