- SCO wants to stabilize Afghanistan
- Billions of new trees planted – not just for climate protection
- EU continues work on Indo-Pacific strategy
- Swiss Parliament strengthens focus on human rights
- COVID: Lockdown in Fujian extended
- Yunnan puts climate protection before growth
- Evergrande continues downward spiral
- Battery separator films made in Hungary
- Economist Min Zhu on the globalization of electromobility
The hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan is having an almost physical effect on the balance of power in Asia. The vacuum left by the Western alliance is now being filled by other players. Today, our author Michael Radunski takes a look at a lesser-known player that is currently gaining status as a result of US actions: the Shanghai Organization, launched by China. Their membership list reads like a recital of Afghanistan’s neighbors. This makes them particularly affected by the shift in power. But they can also be particularly successful in this crisis – if they play their cards right. And who will benefit the most in terms of foreign policy? Take an educated guess.
China is also proving itself to be particularly actionable in other areas as well. The reforestation of the tree population lost over the centuries is a prestigious project of the communist government. This monumental endeavor has several beneficial effects on the environment. Locally, it reduces droughts and sandstorms. Globally, newly planted trees counteract the greenhouse effect. Again, while not everything is going perfectly – and the project has experienced a learning curve over the decades – the central government’s creative power is clearly working towards a just cause.
Meanwhile, our EU correspondent Amelie Richter is annoyed by the chaotic communication style in Brussels. The Commission was supposed to present its long-awaited Indo-Pacific strategy on Tuesday. Unofficially, it is the answer to China’s sprawling territorial claims in the region. But now it was rescheduled for Thursday. Apparently, the finishing touches are still being applied.
The Shanghai Organization shows commitment to Afghanistan
The withdrawal of Western troops has seemingly catapulted Afghanistan back into the past in one fell swoop. As in the years prior to the U.S. invasion in 2001, the radical Islamic Taliban are in power. Does this mean that the terrorist threat is also returning?
This is of particular concern for neighboring countries. One name that keeps coming up in connection with Afghanistan’s future is the Shanghai Cooperation Organization or SCO for short. In a telephone conversation a few weeks ago, China’s President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin agreed to use the SCO’s potential to bring peace to Afghanistan.
Founded in 2001, the SCO includes China and Russia as well as India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Members have nothing but the highest praise for the organization’s potential. The goals: creating mutual trust and promoting cooperation in every possible field. This means in politics, trade, economics, research, technology, culture, education, energy, transportation, tourism, environmental protection, and so on. The most important tasks are cooperation between member states on security, economic and trade issues, and the promotion of stability in the region.
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