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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
08BEIJING3636 2008-09-19 10:02:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Beijing
Cable title:  

SCO: PRC VIEWS DUSHANBE SUMMIT AS TURNING POINT

Tags:   PREL PTER ETRD ENRG ZK XD CH RS IR 
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FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0022
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHAH/AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT PRIORITY 0735
RUEHTA/AMEMBASSY ASTANA PRIORITY 0071
RUEHEK/AMEMBASSY BISHKEK PRIORITY 1341
RUEHTA/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE PRIORITY
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 6747
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 0428
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 9108
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 4637
RUEHNT/AMEMBASSY TASHKENT PRIORITY 1178
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 003636 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/19/2028
TAGS: PREL PTER ETRD ENRG ZK XD CH RS IR
SUBJECT: SCO: PRC VIEWS DUSHANBE SUMMIT AS TURNING POINT
FOR A MORE MATURE SCO

Classified By: Political Minister Counselor Aubrey Carlson.
Reasons 1.4 (B/D).



1. (C) SUMMARY: China believes the Shanghai Cooperation
Organization's (SCO's) August 28 Dushanbe summit marked a
transition to a more "mature" organization that has developed
a strong foundation for increasing trust and strategic
consultation among members, according to an MFA contact.
Security cooperation is at the forefront of China's SCO
agenda, including work to confront "new and increasing
threats," possibly even outside Central Asia. China wants
observer states to play a more active role, but developing a
mechanism for admitting new SCO members remains a long-term
project. In any case, China would consider the political
ramifications of admitting a new member. Iranian President
Ahmadinejad was active at the summit, but kept official
remarks to "SCO-related" topics, our contact reported. END
SUMMARY.



2. (C) MFA European and Central Asian Affairs Department
Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Affairs Division
Deputy Director Mao Wenchong briefed PolOff September 18 on
Chinese views of the August 28 Summit in Dushanbe and trends
in the development of the SCO. Mao attended the event in
Dushanbe.



3. (C) Drawing heavily from the remarks made by President Hu
Jintao at the summit meeting, Mao was upbeat on the results
of the summit. He said the meeting increased "mutual
political trust" and "strategic coordination" among member
states, consequently enhancing stability in the region and
supporting mutual development. Mao stressed that the summit
demonstrated that the "Treaty on Long-Term Neighborliness,
Friendship, and Cooperation of the SCO States" signed in
August 2007 formed a "very significant" foundation for
cooperation among member countries. Mao said the agreements
signed at the Dushanbe Summit, including documents aimed at
increasing cooperation on counter-terrorism, arms control and
banking, further demonstrate that the SCO is continuing to
develop as an organization.

Shift to More "Mature" SCO


--------------------------





4. (C) Mao said that as recently as 2007 observers described
the SCO as a "young" organization still in the process of
developing a framework for coordination and defining its
mission. He said the Dushanbe Summit represents a turning
point for the organization, which should now be seen as a
more "mature" and effective mechanism for increasing
political trust among its member states and taking on a wide
portfolio of security, economic and cultural issues.

Security Issues Stressed


--------------------------





5. (C) As a further sign of increasing political trust, Mao
pointed to efforts made within the SCO framework to deepen
security cooperation in response to "new and increasing
shared threats," both in the region and "in the world." Mao
cited counter-terrorism efforts, the need for a stable
Afghanistan and cooperation in fighting trans-national
criminal groups as examples. He stressed the primary
importance of security cooperation in the overall SCO
mission, noting that the organization's genesis came from the
need to confront shared threats to security, particularly
terrorism, separatism and extremism. He suggested that the
economic and cultural goals of the SCO, while important, are
secondary to political and security considerations.

Georgia


--------------------------





6. (C) On the situation in Georgia and the Summit Declaration
that Russia has claimed demonstrates SCO support for their
actions there, Mao said that China continues to desire to see
the situation resolved through dialogue. Mao emphasized that
the French-brokered six-point agreement to resolve the crisis
is viewed by China as a welcome step. He stressed that the
SCO Declaration was agreed to unanimously by all SCO members,
including China.

BEIJING 00003636 002 OF 002



Observers Should Play More Active Role


--------------------------





7. (C) Mao reported that China views continued "openness" of
the SCO as important. Pressed for clarification, he said
this includes creating increased opportunities for observer
countries to play a more active role, including in the realm
of security cooperation. Mao stressed that the SCO should
also continue to develop on the basis of mutual interest and
open exchange of ideas among member countries.

Mechanism for New Members under Development


--------------------------





8. (C) Mao said that SCO members discussed in Dushanbe the
need to develop a formal mechanism for admitting new members.
Current members agreed to establish a working group to
investigate the appropriate process for admission and the
criteria for membership. Mao stressed, however, that the
process of developing such a mechanism would be a "long-term"
one and that even the principles for a new membership process
are not yet agreed. He added that this mechanism would apply
in all cases and will not be aimed at or developed for any
particular country. He explained that only once this
mechanism has been developed and implemented would the SCO
consider full membership of any non-member country.

Iran


--------------------------





9. (C) Mao acknowledged that Iran remains "very positive"
about joining the SCO. However, Mao said China would take
into account possible political complications and the
potential for "ill effects" that could result from adding new
members. He added that decisions to admit new members would
require unanimous agreement from current members. Mao
pointed out that as the Head of State of an SCO observer
nation, President Ahmadinejad participated in the Dushanbe
Summit. He noted that Ahmadinejad was very active, in
particular in making several proposals for "economic
initiatives." Mao stressed that when making his official
address to the organization, Ahmadinejad restricted his
remarks to "SCO-related topics."
RANDT