Friday, September 13, 2013
The Route to Cold War II, China's New Silk Road.
One big thing you almost never read about in the western media is the SCO, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
The SCO is something of a work in progress, a Chinese-Russian initiative to create a trade bloc stretching from Eurasia to east Asia to South Asia and into the middle east. Observers predict it will also morph into a military, mutual-defence alliance akin to NATO. The SCO would encapsulate roughly half the population of the planet.
Pakistan is already a probationary member and the rest of the "stans" may soon follow. Asia Times correspondent, Pepe Escobar, says Iran and Syria may soon join the fold to create a 21st century Silk Road.
...to cap it all off, nothing less than a graphic reminder of the stakes involved in the New Great Game in Eurasia; a joint meeting on the sidelines of the SCO, featuring Xi, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
This is Rouhani's first foreign trip since he took office on August 4. Not an epic like Xi's; only two days in Bishkek. In a preliminary meeting face-to-face with Xi, Rouhani even started speaking "diplomatic Chinese" - as in the upcoming negotiations over the Iranian nuclear dossier leading, hopefully, to a "win-win" situation. Xi emphatically supported Iran's right to a peaceful nuclear program under the Non-Proliferation Treaty, while Rouhani stressed the Iran-China relationship "bears vital significance for Asia and the sensitive Middle East issue".
And that leads to the common Iran-China-Russia front in relation to Syria. Even before meeting with Putin, Rouhani had agreed with the Russian four-part plan for Syria, which, as Asia Times Online had reported, was brokered between Damascus, Tehran and Moscow (See Al-Qaeda's air force still on stand-by, September 11, 2013). According to the plan, Damascus joins the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW); discloses the location of chemical stockpiles; allows OPCW inspectors access to the sites; and then comes the long process of destroying the stockpiles.
In the nuclear front, Tehran and Moscow remain open for business. Russia will hand operation of Unit 1 of the Bushehr nuclear power plant over to Iran in less than two weeks. And there will be more "cooperation" ahead.
The importance of this triangulation cannot be overstated. Oh, to be a fly on the wall in that Xi-Putin-Rouhani Kyrgyz room. Tehran, Moscow and Beijing are more than ever united on bringing about a new multipolar international order. They share the vision that a victory for the axis of warmongers on Syria will be the prelude for a future war on Iran - and further harassment of both Russia and China.
There it is, kids. Welcome to Cold War II. It'll be East versus West all over again and this time we'll be playing for the Caucasus, Africa and possibly a new political balance for South America.