It appears that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization may be expanding soon to include several countries in Southeast Asia. After meeting last month with Wu Bangguo, chairman of the standing committee of the National People’s Congress of China, Philippine Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr.announced that the Philippines would be joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, along with Indonesia and Malaysia. Last year, the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia made a separate agreement to exchange intelligence and conduct joint border patrols and training programs. Later, Cambodia and Thailand signed this accord.
The next meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will be held on September 23rd of this year in Beijing. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Kazakh Prime Minister Daniyal Akhmetov, Kyrgyz Prime Minister Nikolai Tanayev, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, Tajik Prime Minister AkilAkilov and Uzbek Prime Minister Utkur Sultanov are all expected to attend. Chinese news agencies have not confirmed whether Philippine or other Southeast Asian leaders will be invited.