Table of Contents
Central Asia, In 1991 when the Soviet Union disintegrated five new nations emerged. Five countries with a shared history but a remarkably distinct identity Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan together these countries form what is called central Asia and are known as the heartland of the Asian continent.
These countries are distinct and increasingly very important for the great superpowers. Russia sees them as its turf while America is engaging with them, and China is eyeing them. Central Asia is a region in history. It has a blend of identities and ethnicities and diversity of both scenery and culture. There are shimmering mountains stunning highlands, dazzling lakes, ancient cities, bustling markets, and hospitable people.
Until the 16th century central Asia flourished due to the Silk Road at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. Ideas, trade, and people flowed through this region however with the advent of colonialism trade routes changed, and faster sea routes between Europe and Asia emerged. Silk Road empires lost power and clan-based nomadic kingdoms took charge with little consciousness of the history they concealed themselves from the world.
In Central, Asia water is at the heart of the conflict. The regional states depend on one other for their natural resources and energy needs. Tensions are sharpest in the densely populated Fergana valley where Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan converge. Every so often things get so heated that violence becomes unstoppable the 70-border conflict took place between 2011 to 2015 and in every encounter, Russia stepped in as a mediator and forced a ceasefire however the permanent agreement has remained beyond reach.
Fargana Valley is an oasis of life, and it boasts a population density 40 times higher than the original average. Historically the area has acted as a regional breadbasket. The Central Asian countries could not escape the specter of Moscow`s designs. Under Soviet rule, the countries operated within the collective power grids that spread power-generating efforts. According to each nation`s local resources Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan developed hydropower dams. The Amudharia and Syrdaya Rivers originating in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan make up the most important rivers for hydropower generation.
China`s interest (BRI)
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s tour of four Central Asian countries. China struggles to reduce its exposure to security risks and supply disruptions in the South and East China seas. By exploring new overland sources of and transport routes for goods, energy, and natural resources. In recent years another somewhat less overt strategy for mitigating the impact of overseas supply disruptions has begun to take shape in the form of rapidly expanding investments in central Asia.
We have heard a lot about the Belt and Road initiative how should we think about how Beijing is looking at central Asia? So China wants the most in central Asia to follow things first to understand what transform policy all about for the survival of the CCP is and for many years been quite responsive. So, after the Tiananmen Square incident in 1989, we see, that China was trying to convince the Western World that it could be more responsible, so it opened its markets for economic liberalization.
The Belt and Road initiative was first announced in Kazakhstan several years ago but now has kind of gone global here a question arises how should we think about the Belt Road in central Asia and what is Beijing global?
Now looking at the Turkmen and Uzbek figures and comparing them to the Kazakh figures we do seem to see a divergence and what`s been happening so far. Turkmenistan which sells almost exclusively natural Gas and very little else to China as it produces little else has seen imports fall almost 20 % percent.
Kazakhstan overall has seen an import spike, on the other hand, an Uzbek estate has seen imports decline although they are more diversified not just Gas the mix in regular times roughly broke up to 30 billion cubic meters. The landlocked resource-rich Central Asian region has been squeezed between Russian, Chinese, Iranian, and Turkish spheres of influence and is particularly vulnerable to its effects.
The geographic isolation of the five post-soviet republics Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, and the military imperialism of their northern neighbor is making central Aisan capitals increasingly anxious. Central Asia is a region. Russia began its colonial conquest of the central Asian territories during the imperial reign of Tsar Nicholas the First. In the first half of the 19th century to consolidate these areas the Kremlin sent Russian colonists to change the demographics of the region resulting in the deportation of the people living in these areas.
Whereas later in the Soviet era the room was a resettlement point for the Crimeans, Tatars, pontic, Greeks, and Georgians and the Kremlin`s goal was to break up the population consolidation potential of the area which could threaten Moscow with a similar strategy also in use today.