Today’s very big news story is most likely not seen in the news as it’s a huge Obama administration failure. While Hillary Clinton is out wasting time in Myanmar (Burma), a country that will likely not break ranks with China, Vietnam gets sucked into the SCO camp. This country has historically been a key ally in the region for containment of China. With America’s economic, political and military clout in continued decline, look for this trend to continue with other neighboring countries following suit as the decrease in confidence of the US defense umbrella signals a need to search for another protectorate.
Vietnam has indicated its desire to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in a fresh sign of the rapidly growing clout and appeal of the Eurasian security body.
“Hanoi has signalled its intention to seek the status of ‘dialogue partner’ in the SCO,” said Kirill Barsky, special envoy of the Russian President to the SCO.
Vietnamese authorities conveyed their aspiration to Mr. Barsky during his recent trip to Hanoi. Earlier this year Turkey applied for a similar status.
The SCO, set up 10 years ago, has six full members – China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, four “observer” states – India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan, and two “dialogue partners” – Belarus and Sri Lanka. After the SCO lifted its moratorium on admission of new members last year, India, Pakistan and Iran have sought to upgrade their observer status to full membership. However, under the SCO rules Iran stands disqualified for now because it is under United Nations sanctions over its nuclear programme.
Mr. Barsky did not rule out that India and Pakistan may be granted membership at the SCO’s next annual summit in Kyrgyzstan in the summer of 2012.
Continue reading article: Vietnam bids to join SCO (The Hindu)