The heads of states will land at the capital Bishkek's Manas airport. The road into town is the scene of some hectic beautification work, which LJ user morrire documents in pictures:
In fact, the whole town is undergoing some crazy last-minute construction frenzy. Azamat comments:
The Mayor of Bishkek, as the main implementer, has done “incredible” things: whitewashing trees and facades of buildings on the road from the Manas Airport to Bishkek and the main streets in Bishkek. As with buildings’ being painted only on frontal sides, so are the trees, as you can see from the morrire's picture […]. If only these changes were regular and less superficial, we would be living in another country.
Mirsulzhan digged into the Kyrgyzstani Russian LJ community to see what the bloggers were saying about this summit preparation.
Zigeunerin is amazed (RUS) that the whole circus could be completed in such short time:
The construction work will be completed within record time – just 157 days! The builders worked both at day and at night.
All residents of a house with windows facing the Philharmonic, where the SCO summit will take place, will be forbidden to open their windows and balcony doors from August 14 until the end of the summit. LJ user lena writes (RUS):
“It’s for your own safety,” representatives of the police reassured the tenants, “because everyone who appears in the window will be at risk of beeing shot. There will be Russian snipers around”
Bishkek is also plastered with large banners carrying slogans of Kyrgyz President Bakiev. antipodean_world wonders (RUS) whether one of these slogans has not been borrowed from Confucius – and that perhaps the visiting Chinese delegation could raise some intellectual property rights issues with the hosts.
Ahead of the SCO summit, the member states are convening a joint military exercise in both Xinjiang (Western China) and Chelyabinsk (Russia). While Uzbekistan only sent observers to “Peace 2007″ (so the name of the exercise), Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are set to learn something from their more powerful neighbours. Bonnie Boyd comments:
Learning security cooperation might not help craft better political policies for border regulation between these three states, but it will help ensure that security forces have a basis for cooperation–once border coordination is allowed politically.
Bonnie Boyd also links to a video clip of CCTV9's coverage:
Fourth World War thinks that Western media coverage of these military exercises is not reflecting the real importance of the event:
To recap, Russia and China are wargaming together, and through the SCO, Mongolia, Iran, India, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are all involved in some capacity with the war games, and the expansion of solidifying of military and security ties amongst the SCO member and observer nations. [Editor's note: Turkmenistan, Armenia and Belarus are no SCO members while Mongolia, Iran, India and Pakistan have observer status only.]
It's a remarkable and historic event, worthy of more than the minimal attention it has recieved in the Western media, so far.