SCO summit meeting, China backs Russia against US missile shield

Posted Jun 15, 2011 by Sara Star
The 11th summit of the Shangai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) held in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan, saw a declaration signed condemning any unilateral build-up of missile defences.
Kremlin office
According to Reuters, SCO members were unanimous in their criticism of the missile shield and that the declaration referred not only to the European system.
"It is part of a global shield, and the global missile defence system being set up by the United States, which also covers East and South Asia," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has threatened a Cold War-style arms race between the US, if unable to resolve their missile defence differences.
The United States says its planned shield is meant to reduce the threat of a missile attack by Iran. Moscow says it fears the true aim is to neutralise Russia's own nuclear arsenal.
Dmitry Medvedev
Dmitry Medvedev
Kremlin office
SCO members
China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan account for 60% of the land mass of Eurasia and its population is a quarter of the world’s. With observer states included (India, Pakistan, Iran, Mongolia), it accounts for half of the human race.
SCO concentrates on three areas: economy, security and cultural cooperation.
The United States applied for observer status in 2005, but was denied, according to Wikipedia.
In a Moscow Times article by Nursultan Nazarbayev, president of the Republic of Kazakhstan, he writes that "between 2004 and 2011, the SCO’s Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS) prevented more than 500 terrorist acts and saved thousands of lives....
Although the SCO is not directly involved in military operations in Afghanistan, it is providing essential support in the areas of transportation and military-technical support. SCO countries are also involved in infrastructure-building and humanitarian projects in Afghanistan. It is possible that the SCO will assume responsibility for many issues in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of coalition forces in 2014"
Afghanistan drug trafficking
Nazarbayev voiced concern over an increase in drug trafficking by a factor of ten in the last decade, according to AFP. He adds, "It is clear that the source and reasons of this crime against humanity are far outside the borders of Afghanistan."
Afghan President Hamid Karzai attended the summit as a guest.
“The SCO has developed capabilities for dealing with the drugs problem, and Kazakhstan has played a key role in producing a five-year anti-narcotics strategy for the SCO.”
Ahmadinejad attends
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was in attendence as an observer state, voiced his anti-Western sentiments, calling them "slavers and colonisers".
AFP reports, Ahmadinejad turned to the ex-Soviet and Asian leaders and asked: "Have any of us used an atomic bomb against the defenceless citizens of any other country?"
Global financial security
The SCO is also interested in financial security, and with the global financial changes. Nazarbayev writes, “The SCO must think about its place in a complex and fast-changing world. We are not just living through a time of transformation; we are participants in a change of historical eras. Global centers are slowly but increasingly and inexorably shifting to the East. This no longer just means Asia, but also includes emerging countries that were previously considered part of the Third World. “