SCO Secretary-General Rashid Alimov chats online with Xinhua netizens in Beijing, capital of China, June 27, 2017. (Xinhuanet/Li Qing)
BEIJING, June 28 (Xinhua) -- The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is not a military alliance like NATO and the regional body has no intention to target any country, SCO Secretary-General Rashid Alimov said here Tuesday.
In response to netizens' questions during an interview with Xinhua, Alimov said the Western hype labeling the SCO as a "future Eastern counterweight of NATO," which emerges from time to time, deliberately distorts the SCO's essence and its practical activities.
Speculations re-emerged that the SCO could be a potential antagonist of NATO following the accession of India and Pakistan into the bloc earlier this year.
The SCO has never and will never go against any country, and this has been clearly stated in the organization's basic documents, Alimov said, adding that the bloc has vastly increased its influence and prestige in international and regional affairs within a relatively short period of time, and has always been advocating peaceful development and good-neighborly relations.
The SCO is not a military bloc, but it constantly strengthens mechanisms aimed at resolutely eradicating terrorism and other forms of criminal acts, Alimov said.
Apart from India and Pakistan, the SCO also groups China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
The bloc, founded in 2001, now covers three-fifths of Eurasia, and has nearly half the world population.