Proliferation Press

A webpage devoted to tracking and analyzing current events related to the proliferation of WMD/CBRN.

China-Iran Spying Update: Did China Ignore an Earlier Warning? And the SCO Goes Off (At the United States) Without a Hitch.

Posted by K.E. White on August 17, 2007

Summary: No wonder Iran’s perturbed over the Chinese spying—they already sent them a warning. And the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit goes well, war games and all.

From the Daily Times:

Nine days before Iran announced it had arrested two Chinese nationals for taking photographs of military and nuclear installations, China’s foreign ministry had already warned its citizens not to photo sensitive subjects.

In a little noticed announcement on its website, the foreign ministry said the Iranian police had detained some Chinese on suspicion of spying because they did “not understand Iran’s national situation”. “They mistakenly photographed sensitive local political, economic and military areas,” it said, without providing details. “The Foreign Ministry’s consular section and the embassy in Iran remind Chinese going to Iran to strictly respect local laws and religious customs,” the statement said.

“Apart from obviously signed tourist areas, don’t take random pictures in the street to avoid creating trouble.” Reuters

And spying woes didn’t stop the SCO Summit from jabbering away:

Leaders issued a statement Thursday, at a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, that was an apparent warning to the United States to stay away from the strategically placed, resource-rich region.

“Stability and security in Central Asia are best ensured primarily through efforts taken by the nations of the region on the basis of the existing regional associations,” the leaders said at the end of the organization’s summit in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek.

Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia, Hu Jintao of China and leaders of four ex-Soviet Central Asian nations that are part of the SCO were all also set to attend Friday’s military exercises in the Chelyabinsk region in Russia’s Ural Mountains.

At the same time, China and Russia—under the SCO banner—staged their largest yet joint war games exercise. But Marcel de Haas tells Reuters this:

But the senior research fellow at the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael said the SCO was unlikely to turn into an anti-Western club. “Russia wants to use the SCO for its anti-Western (aims) but the others will not allow it.”

But that won’t stop Russia from bring back Soviet-era bomber patrols.

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