China’s Growing Economic Influence in Central Asia

From The Foreign Policy Association, a nice summary of China’s growing influence in the Central Asian states.  As the article notes, recent projects include:

“-A 960-kilometer oil pipeline from Western Kazakhstan to Western China has partially started operations and should be carrying 20 millions tons of the black gold annually in only a few years time.  For this project, Beijing ponied up $700 million and diligently met the expected time table of completion.

-The planned Turkmenistan-Chinese gas pipeline, which will traverse Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, will stretch over 7,000-kilometers all the way to Shanghai.  This deal also included a production-sharing-agreement (PSA) allowing Beijing to develop the gas fields feeding the pipeline, making it the only nation to have a on-shore PSA with Turkmenistan.

-China won a $3.5 billion contract to develop Afghanistan’s Aynak copper field earlier this summer.  The price and challenging task of working this unstable and possibly violent area showcase Beijing’s ability to take risks that private companies and most nations are unwilling to do.  Though China will face many trials, building up the infrastructure, railways, environmental concerns, displacing villagers, and possible sabotage, in getting this project off the ground, if successful it will be solidify the state’s presence in the nation and further it as a whole in the region.  Afghanistan’s government and people also have much to be gained if the Aynak field can be successfully mined with greater job opportunities and a positive sign to show other foreign investors.

-In Tajikistan, China’s Export-Import Bank provided a $300 million loan to help finance the construction of the Zeravshan hydropower station.  Also in Tajikistan, a Chinese mining group invested approximately $100 million in a gold-mining operation.

-China is also involved in the construction of a railway stretching from Uzbekistan to Kyrgyzstan.

Now these are just some of the projects and investments made by China into the CA region, but one can see their influence is growing tremendously in the past ten years or so and I would imagine that this will only increase with time and a growing Chinese economy.  China also has long-term interests and investments in Iran and Pakistan and this only magnifies the importance of the Central Asian states.  China’s government and businesses have deep pockets, ask no questions about human rights, and are able to provide infrastructure and capital to CA states and leaders lacking in both…”

This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 1st, 2008 at 3:20 pm and is filed under Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan.  You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.  Both comments and pings are currently closed. 

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