In mid-September 2022, the nine-member Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) met in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, for its 22nd Meeting of the Council of Heads of State. Because China, India, and Pakistan are members of the SCO, the organization represents about 40% of the world’s population; with the addition of Russia, the SCO countries make up 60% of the Eurasian territory (the other member states of the organization are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and now Iran). In its Samarkand Declaration, the final declaration of this meeting, the SCO represented itself as a “regional” organization, although the sheer scale of the SCO would allow it to claim to be a global organization with as much legitimacy as the G-7.
Unfortunately, the failure of the recent attempt to create an armed conflict in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAR) has not dampened Washington’s ardor in searching for ways to destabilize the situation in Central Asia and in creating an additional inconvenience for Russia, which at present is conducting a special military operation to de-Nazify Ukraine, by creating a “second front.” The United States, to this end, continues to use its sponsored NGOs, media and US intelligence capabilities to foment old conflicts in the region to put pressure on regional security, with a subsequent threat to Russia, as well as China.
On Saturday, a month-long state of emergency was declared in the former Soviet Republic of Uzbekistan, in response to violent protests in response to government plans to revoke the autonomy of the north-eastern republic of Karakalpakstan , a decision which Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev would later drop following a visit to the region. Despite the current disturbances only starting several days ago, their sudden escalation to extreme violence, as well as the coordinated coverage of the situation by corporate media outlets, including the US government-funded Radio Free Europe, already bears all the hallmarks of a CIA regime change operation.
Border disputes have recently taken on renewed importance, threatening political crisis in the UK, US and EU. Yet 2018 saw positive steps towards resolving some of the world’s most difficult border conflicts, between Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan and Ethiopia and Eritrea. What lessons can be drawn from these examples? International boundaries are not the same as international borders. Boundaries are invisible vertical planes extending upwards into airspace and downwards into the subsoil, marking the legal limit of states. Borders, on the other hand, are the practices associated with managing movement over boundaries, such as customs checkpoints, passport controls, and fences.