And to rub salt on the wounds, it really does appear that Russia and China (and the rest of the SCO, which hardly matters unless Pakistan and India join) are moving closer and closer together. Their recent and planning military exercises are unnerving to some:
President Putin of Russia and his Chinese counterpart, President Hu, will attend an unprecedented show of joint military force Friday amid fears that the Russian leader is trying to turn an increasingly powerful central Asian alliance into a second Warsaw Pact.
Although I mentioned in a previous post that the SCO isn't likely to admit Iran, it does create a dangerous situation:
Yet the SCO has wider ambitions. Pakistan, India, and Mongolia all want to join Â-- as does Iran, whose president, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, attended the summit as guest of honor, a title bound to rile Washington. Iranian membership of the SCO would pose an enormous headache for the American government. Like Nato, its treaty states that an attack on one member is regarded as an attack on all, raising the prospect that the American government could find itself aligned against both Russia and China if it invaded Iran.
In that previous post, I also optimistically predicted that the SCO would retain its largely economic agenda. That might indeed have been optimistic.