Historic Shift in Geopolitical Alignments: India and Pakistan Join Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

 

On June 9, both India and Pakistan became simultaneously members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a Eurasian economic, political and mutual security organization largely dominated by China and Russia. 

While the SCO with headquarters in Beijing is not officially a “military alliance”, it nonetheless serves as a geopolitical and strategic “counterweight” to US-NATO and its allies. It also plays a significant role in the development of  Eurasian trade, e.g. in support of China’s Belt and Road initiative, oil and gas pipeline corridors linking SCO member states, etc.

In the course of the last few years, the SCO has extended its cooperation in military affairs and intelligence. War games were held under the auspices of the SCO.

The members of  the SCO include China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Pakistan and India are now full members since June 9, 2017. Iran is an Observer Member slated to shortly become a full member.

The SCO now encompasses an extensive region which now comprises approximately half of the World’s population. Continue reading

India, Pakistan join China and Russia-led security bloc

 

Asian rivals India and Pakistan on Friday formally joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, a security bloc spearheaded by China and Russia, despite bilateral tensions bubbling over Kashmir.

Leaders of the largely symbolic body — including Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping — formally signed off on the sub-continent duo’s accession at the annual SCO summit in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana. Continue reading

China Heads New Alliance of Asian Universities

China has organized an alliance of Asian universities to compete with western educational institutions. The alliance will share resources and increase exchanges of students and teachers.

The new organization is called the Asian University Alliance (AUA). It was launched in late April at Tsinghua University in Beijing. The Chinese university was elected as chair of the group that includes a total of 15 universities from 14 countries and areas. Continue reading

India, Pakistan to Become Full Fledged SCO Members

Not only is this an economic union forming, but also the next world war axis under construction. It is a Sino-Soviet military counterweight to the global Western hegemony.

 

 

The meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states wrapped up in Astana on April 21. The participants confirmed the unanimous decision to grant full-fledged membership to India and Pakistan at the SCO Astana summit on June 8-9, 2017.

The SCO was established in 2001 as a multi-purpose regional organization active in three main fields: economic, military-political and humanitarian. The SCO members now are Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Belarus are the SCO observer-countries, while Azerbaijan, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Armenia, Cambodia and Nepal are dialogue partners. Although Russia and China are the most important SCO members, the organization operates by consensus. Continue reading

Russia’s Brand-New S-500 Missile System to Have Unprecedented Damage Radius

Not only are the Russians right around the corner from deploying hypersonic missiles that can beat American missile defenses, they have a system that renders enemy hypersonic missiles useless. In short, when America decides to finally catch up and deploy its hypersonic missiles, they will be useless.

 

Image courtesy Sputnik and Sergey Malgavko.

 

In an interview with Sputnik, Russian military expert Viktor Baranets specifically touted unprecedented the damage range of Russia’s next-generation S-500 Prometey missile system, which is currently undergoing state tests.

Earlier this week, Pavel Sozinov, chief engineer of the Russian defense corporation Almaz-Antey, said that Russia’s next-generation S-500 surface-to-air missile system would be able to engage targets in the upper layer of the atmosphere, 100 kilometers [62 miles] above the Earth’s surface.

The S-500, designed by Almaz Antey, is said to have a range of 600 kilometers (more than 370 miles). The system can simultaneously intercept up to ten ballistic and hypersonic missiles traveling at a speed of up to 7 kilometers per second. Speaking to Sputnik, Viktor Baranets pointed, in particular, to the unique performance characteristics of the new Russian missile system. Continue reading

Iran & Russia Agree on Joint Production of Nuclear Fuel

Photo: RIA Novosti / A. Solomonov

 

The Iranian and Russian authorities have agreed on joint production of nuclear fuel, the ISNA news agency reported, citing Vice President of the republic and head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Ali Akbar Salehi.

He also noted Teheran managed to agree on consultations with the Russian side. “Thus, after the long and intensive negotiations, which have been lasting more than two years, our understanding resulted in a roadmap,” the head of the AEOI said, keeping in mind the visit of his deputy Behrouz Kamalvandi to Moscow in late January. Continue reading

Russia in 2030

It has become increasingly clear that Russia is on the inexorable path toward restoring its territory on the old map of the USSR. Whether Moscow will be able to achieve such a grandiose scheme to recreate another Soviet Union-size Rodina has been traditionally believed to depend on the strength and willingness of NATO and Europe to counter such Russian ambition. The assumption is that if the counterthrusts from the West are robust enough, Moscow will fail in its attempt, otherwise Russia’s territorial map will look like the Soviet Union in 2030.

This dichotomy of thrust and counterthrust by Russia on the one side and the West on the other is for the most part inadequate largely because there is also another crucial factor in deciding the outcome of Russia’s territorial expansion, namely, China and its own territorial ambition that goes against Russia’s objectives in much of Central and East Asia. Continue reading

One China, three foreign policy faces

China has a changing attitude to the thornier diplomatic and security crises now afflicting the Asian continent. Depending on the amount of national interest at play and the power it can reasonably project in the relevant geopolitical chessboards, Beijing can put on the face of peace facilitator in Syria, peace broker in Afghanistan and would-be boss in the Western Pacific.

While the main driver for the Chinese diplomacy in the Middle East is the protection of economic interests, the assertion of national sovereignty, combined with the aspiration to become the driving force in East Asia, mostly explains China’s moves in the East and South China seas. The rationale for Beijing’s posturing in Central Asia is instead more nuanced. The region is in fact a crossroads for many stakeholders; here China is committed to safeguarding precious economic assets and, at the same time, exerting some form of power.

In an osmotic way, all of these three approaches are conditioned by China’s interaction with the other great powers – the United States and Russia. Continue reading

China launches freight train to Britain

The train is part of an initiative by Chinese leader Xi Jinping

 

China launched its first freight train to London on Sunday, according to the China Railway Corporation.

The train will travel from Yiwu West Railway Station in Zhejiang Province, Eastern China to Barking, London, taking 18 days to travel over 7,400 miles.  Continue reading

New USSR: Vladimir Putin ‘to recreate HUGE SOVIET BLOCK’ in plan to DESTROY the West

Split

Putin could potentially head up a huge Soviet bloc (Getty)

 

FORMER Soviet countries could be set to form a huge powerful bloc reminiscent of the USSER [sic], the former president of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev has claimed amid heightened tensions between Russia and the West.

Mr Gorbachev, who was the eighth and final leader of the former Soviet Union, has suggested countries within the former Communist republic could form a new union with an opt-in basis.

Reflecting on the collapse of the USSR in an interview with a Russian TV show to mark the 25th anniversary of its dissolution, the former statesman said: “I think that a new union is possible.” Continue reading

Fed up with EU, Erdogan says Turkey could join Shanghai bloc

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a news conference in Ankara, Turkey, November 16, 2016. Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Palace/Handout via REUTERS

 

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – President Tayyip Erdogan was quoted on Sunday as saying that Turkey did not need to join the European Union “at all costs” and could instead become part of a security bloc dominated by China, Russia and Central Asian nations.

NATO member Turkey’s prospects of joining the EU look more remote than ever after 11 years of negotiations. European leaders have been critical of its record on democratic freedoms, while Ankara has grown increasingly exasperated by what it sees as Western condescension.

“Turkey must feel at ease. It mustn’t say ‘for me it’s the European Union at all costs’. That’s my view,” Erdogan was quoted by the Hurriyet newspaper as telling reporters on his plane on the way back from a visit to Pakistan and Uzbekistan. Continue reading

The New Russian Empire

Russian President Vladimir Putin / AP

 

Russia’s annexation of Crimea in early March 2014 and subsequent confrontational policies in the Middle East and parts of Europe have spawned myriad debates assessing Vladimir Putin’s ambitions and their implications for global security. Many of these discussions conclude that Russia seeks little more than a revival of Soviet-era influence in the near abroad–that is, nations bordering Russia. Continue reading

China’s New Silk Road to Make a Big Move in Gold

It’s one of the great engineering achievements in history…

At 48 miles long, the Panama Canal cuts through a narrow strip of land in Central America.

It links up the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, allowing ships to pass through the landmass instead of sailing around a whole continent.

Ships pay dearly to use this shortcut… up to $375,000 for a one-way toll.

It’s worth the price. Continue reading

Russia’s ‘Greater Eurasia’ plan gets Brexit boost

MOSCOW–The Kremlin has been careful to dismiss claims that Britain’s vote to leave the European Union came as a development largely beneficial for Russia. Yet despite the official denials, the upcoming European disorder sparked by the UK leaving the EU appears to come as a boost to Russia’s plans of increased Eurasian integration.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has rejected allegations by British Prime Minister David Cameron that Russia would welcome Brexit. “The British people have decided to leave the European Union. We never interfered in this process,” Putin said on June 24.

Putin made these remarks on the sidelines of the summit meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The meeting in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on June 23-24 finalized entry of India and Pakistan into the organization that currently includes Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The SCO summit confirmed the grouping’s long-term vision by approving its strategic development blueprint through 2025. Continue reading

The Dragon Muscles In: Growing Number Of Victories In Chinese Arms Exports

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Proudly Made in China Apart from its Russian engines, the J-20 is completely made and designed in China. And even then, future J-20s will be flying with a more powerful domestic engine, the WS-15, by 2021. While the J-20 isn’t for sale (yet?), other advanced Chinese weapons are finding eager buyers. | Andreas Rupprecht

 

Chinese missiles, tanks and drones find foreign buyers

In line with its increasingly sophisticated domestic arsenal, China’s arms exports have become much more technically competitive in the last 10 years; the 2015 U.S. Defense Department’s Annual Report on the PLA even stated that China’s ground systems in particular are globally competitive or nearly globally competitive. With selling points of low cost and affordable service, lack of geopolitical strings and upgrade packages, China has become the world’s third largest arms exporter behind the US and Russia. With a series of recent contracting wins against Russian firms, it looks to expand its market share.

Continue reading