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Politics of Oil Dominate Shanghai Summit

Analysts say the United States has reason to watch closely for signs of anti-American sentiments at the SCO. Robert Cutler, a senior research fellow at Carleton University in Canada, says the underlying purpose of the organization is for Russia and China to assert their influence in Central Asia. He says this is especially true of China, with its bid to secure energy resources.

"This must be said, that the SCO would not exist without the impetus and the support, both financial and diplomatic, given to it by Chinese diplomacy," said Cutler. "It is very much a tool of Chinese diplomacy to exclude U.S. influence from the region and extend its own economic influence."
Cutler says the SCO maybe able to counterbalance U.S. influence in the region in the long run. He points to the withdrawal last November of U.S. forces from a base in Uzbekistan, and subsequent calls by SCO members for Washington to set a timeline for the departure of remaining American forces in Central Asia. The members meanwhile called for expanded military cooperation among themselves.

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Excerpt Luis Ramirez, "Politics of Oil Dominate Shanghai Summit, Voice of America, 16 June 2006).

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