The Shanghai government has introduced a new holiday, a one-time event to coincide with the annual meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The SCO, or as it is more colloquially known, the Group of 6 Dictators, consists of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Iran also serves as an observer.
During the meeting, in true authoritarian style, entire swathes of the city will be shut down with no one permitted to enter their offices, perhaps even to enter the area at all, for three days. Why this is necessary to ensure the safety and convenience of a group of old men with presumably capable security details of their own is simply beyond comprehension. For three days, business will be halted for this "milestone of development".
At issue in the meeting, and the only thing worth discussing, will be Iran’s desire to achieve full membership, further cementing its China ties in the face of an increasingly hostile United States. But the rest of it will be the usual platitudes about cooperation and friendship, stuff we could normally ignore were it not interfering with our routines so directly.