SCO will not evolve into NATO-style military forum: China

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Beijing, Jun 7: China has ruled out the possibility of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) evolving into NATO-style military and political bloc as the forum's 12th summit concluded here with calls to counter terrorism and beef up regional stability.

Discounting reports likening the SCO to an eastern NATO, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said that the charter of the SCO determined its nature of non-alliance, non-confrontation, not targeting any third country or organisation and openness towards outside parties. The Chinese explanation came after speculations were gaining ground that SCO, dominated by China and Russia, could evolve into a major security forum as the two scaled up their relations to thwart the US-pronounced push into the Asia Pacific with more military engagement.

Liu told a media briefing here the robust development of the SCO lies in its quest for a new model of partnership for regional organisation, which conforms to the current trend of peace and development. The China-backed SCO, a security forum founded in Shanghai in June 2001, currently has six full members, i.e., China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Mongolia, Iran, Pakistan and India are four observer states while its dialogue partners include Belarus and Sri Lanka.

The two-day summit, which was also attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian External Affairs Minister SM Krishna, concluded on Thursday.


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