A New Silk Road?
Left, the Prime Ministers at the September 2003 Beijing
Is The Shanghai Cooperation Organization?
In 1996, China founded a little-known
international alliance known as the "Shanghai Five". It
consisted of China, Russia, and three Central Asian States
once part of the Soviet empire, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan,
and Tajikistan. The group specifically focused on battling
the terrorist threats emanating from Afghanistan and ensuring
regional stability. In June 2001, Uzbekistan was invited
to join and the group was officially named the Shanghai
| Although originally dismissed in American intelligence circles
as a loose alliance against the proposed National Missile Defense
system and described by anti-China fanatics as a Chinese led
anti-US "axis", the group is applying for formal recognition
from the United Nations and could well be the new cornerstone
in any prolonged effort to end the threat of global terrorism.
"We are confident that the example -- of good relations among
neighbors and a mutually advantageous partnership across the
wide space from Europe to the Pacific Ocean, which the countries
of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization are demonstrating --
will be positively received by the world community." Russian
President Vladimir Putin, at the conclusion of the summit in