By Pyotr Akopov
(Opinion) The completed Samarkand summit of the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) was called historic even before it began.
Although no loud statements were made on it, its importance is considerable.
The East is consolidating and joining forces. And in conditions when the old world order, formed in the era of Western domination and for Western interests, is changing faster and faster, this is of great importance.
At the summit, the Chinese leader spoke of “rapid changes in the world, the likes of which have never been seen in a century,” and Vladimir Putin said that “these changes are irreversible” and, therefore, “the increasing role of the new power centers is becoming more and more evident.”
The SCO is such a center of power – yes, still emerging (despite more than a quarter-century of history: after all, its predecessor – the “Shanghai Five” – was created in 1996), but already playing a pivotal role in world affairs.
From the original Russian-Chinese stability pact in Central Asia, it is turning into a pan-Asian and Eurasian organization, the primary purpose of which is the independent development of the region’s countries.
Or, to put it more simply, depriving the West of the opportunity to sow discord between Asian countries to “divide and rule” the world.
In Samarkand, the “seven” of the SCO have practically become the “eight”: Iran’s accession is complete, and the next summit will see the Islamic Republic participate fully.
But this is only the beginning of the expansion.
Accession procedure has begun, and Belarus persistently invited Mongolia (the most “long-standing” of the candidates, i.e., observers).
There is no doubt that, over time, another observer will become a full-fledged member of the SCO.
Afghanistan: here, everything depends only on the stabilization of the internal situation in the country.
But the bench of observers, in any case, will not be empty – a whole queue of applicants has already lined up.
While there used to be only one significant power among the partners – Turkey – heavyweights such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt have joined the ranks in the past year.
And this year, three more countries were added from the Persian Gulf: Emirates, Kuwait, and Bahrain.
Thus, virtually all monarchies of the Arabian Peninsula (except Oman) begin the procedure for joining the SCO.
And this cannot be explained simply by their concern about the admission of Iran into the organization.
For them, the relationship between China and Russia is also of great importance.
The Arab countries are well aware of the transformation’s direction discussed at the summit in Samarkand.
The East is consolidating, and the Islamic world in its most crucial part and wants to participate in the processes.
Moreover, the SCO potentially forms a powerful Islamic bloc, albeit also consisting of states with tense relations (Iran and Saudi Arabia).
The first to join were the four Central Asian countries, but although the SCO was only a Russian-Chinese project, they acted as representatives of the region and not of the Islamic world.
However, the situation is beginning to change after the accession of Pakistan (and now Iran).
And in the event of the accession of the Gulf countries, Egypt and Turkey, we will get a completely new configuration.
Yes, Islamic countries differ greatly from each other due to regional characteristics.
However, they have all been the subject of Western manipulation throughout history.
At first, it played mainly on their contradictions to keep them within its sphere of influence.
In recent decades it has increasingly seen them as a potential tool to fight Russia and China, countries that challenge the Anglo-Saxon project.
Suppose Russia, China, and India (another great Asian power) can build a new system of relations with the Islamic world (at least with its most crucial part) within the framework of the SCO.
In that case, this will be a turning point in the entire history of the world.
Not only the SCO but the entirely new architecture of the world order (and security) of Eurasia – and thus the world – will stand not on three but four pillars: China, Russia, India, and the Islamic world.
For many centuries, the Muslim world has been an object, not a subject, of world politics.
A new architecture of world security in the post-Western multipolar world is impossible without their full participation.
And not as an object of manipulation by the new forces, Russia and China but as an independent, responsible player.
For this, Islamic countries still need to do a lot.
Learn how to resolve disputes among themselves and build coordination of their actions in organizations such as the Islamic Conference and the League of Arab Countries.
It’s all a bit complicated.
For example, despite years of calls by such a recognized authority in the Islamic world as the former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad, the project of creating a single Muslim currency has not progressed.
But, despite all the contradictions in the Islamic world, its involvement in constructing a new world order through the SCO format can benefit the consolidation of the Islamic Ummah itself.
In addition to the Islamic world, the Buddhist world is also approaching the SCO: Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Cambodia have already been dialogue partners.
Other countries in Indochina (that is, the Buddhist-Muslim world) are not yet going to the SCO, but as the influence of the Shanghai ASEAN organization grows, they will have to make their own choice.
And countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam definitely do not want to stay away from the pan-Asian processes.
Even though they are increasingly afraid of becoming dependent on China, the expansion of the SCO shows that this organization aims to find collective security measures for the region.
Asia is to solve their problems themselves, without the involvement of “overseas influence,” i.e., Atlantic “friends”, which are the colonizers of yesterday.
Russia has a unique place and role in the SCO.
It is not just one of its two principal founders. As a Eurasian power, it gives the organization a global character, taking it beyond the purely Asian project.
Yes, and as an Asian organization, the SCO would play a massive role in establishing a new world order.
But as a Eurasian organization, it has become the most important, key opponent of the West – a force that acts as an alternative to the Anglo-Saxon globalization project.
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