Relations between China and Central Asia are often viewed in the context of security and development, but they also have a political dimension, as reflected in the Xi’an summit and initiatives for regional cooperation.
This week in Prabhasakshi News Network’s special program Shaurya Path, we wanted to know from Brigadier DS Tripathi (R) that while the leaders of the G-7 countries were preparing for the summit in Japan, Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke about the Central Asian The countries met their counterparts from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. After all, how is China increasing its influence in Central Asia as part of its plan to become an alternative to the West? Apart from this, how do you see the way China rejected the joint statement of G-7 and Quad?
In response, he said that in fact, Central Asia is important to China’s efforts to become an alternative to the US-led liberal order, in which China’s undisputed dominance is. Xi Jinping outlines the vision of a “China-Central Asia community with a shared future” based on the four principles of mutual assistance, common development, global security and lasting friendship during a meeting with counterparts from Central Asian countries . Although relations between China and Central Asia are often viewed in the context of security and development, they also have a political dimension, as reflected in the Xi’an summit and initiatives for regional cooperation. These initiatives propose building links between Chinese ministries and government agencies and their counterparts in Central Asia, increasing academic and cultural exchanges, and creating mechanisms such as the Central Asia-China Business Council. This is likely to further strengthen China’s role in the region. In return, China will work to insulate most of Central Asia’s authoritarian leaders from economic and political pressure from Western countries trying to move them toward democracy, and protect their sovereignty and territorial integrity from any Russian adventurism. Will do
Brigadier Shri DS Tripathi (R) said that during the summit 54 agreements were signed, 19 new cooperation mechanisms and platforms were created and nine multilateral documents including the Xi’an Declaration were prepared. Historically, Russia has been Central Asia’s main partner, but it can no longer compete with Chinese investment and construction contracts in Central Asia, which since 2005 have been around $70 billion. The tilt towards China is reflected in the declining importance of Russia’s regional integration project – the ‘Eurasian Economic Union’, compared to China’s global ‘Belt and Road’ initiative. The ‘Belt and Road’ program of infrastructure investment was launched by Xi in Kazakhstan in 2013 and since then the region has drawn closer to China not only economically, but also politically. With the Russian “Northern Corridor” now largely closed as a result of Ukraine war-related sanctions, the so-called “Middle Corridor” has become increasingly important not only to China but also to the G7 countries. The central corridor starts in Turkey and passes through Georgia and Central Asia.
Brig Shri DS Tripathi (R) said that another option with equal geo-political importance is transport through Afghanistan to the Arabian Sea via the Pakistani port of Gwadar. In the long term, a route through Afghanistan is in the interest of both China and Central Asia. It will contribute to (but also depend on) stability and security in Afghanistan. The enthusiasm with which the presidents of the five Central Asian countries have welcomed these initiatives shows their willingness to move closer to China. However, it remains to be seen how sustainable or popular this approach will be given the anti-China sentiment in the region.