Central Asia’s. In recent years, the volatility of the global energy market has intensified, triggering two rounds of energy crises. As the world`s largest energy importer, the shortage of energy supply and soaring prices will inevitably threaten China`s energy security. Fortunately, the five central Asian countries geographically adjacent to China are rich in mineral resources and fossil energy such as oil and natural gas. In recent years China has accelerated energy investment in central Asia. However, the difficulties encountered in construction are rarely presented to the public.
Why do no one buy oil and gas in Central Asia before China?
Central Asia’s, After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the geographical concept of central Asia has actually been equated with the five former republics, namely Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.
According to the current proven data, the oil reverse in Central Asia`s and the Caspian Sea is estimated to be 150 billion to 200 billion barrels accounting for about 18% to 25% of the world`s oil reserves. The proven natural gas reserves amount to 7.9 trillion cubic meters, only behind Saudi Arabia, ranking seventh in the world`s gas reserves with such rich fossil energy reserves, it is no surprise that central Asia will be called the “second Middle East”.
As the world`s largest energy importer, although China has relatively rich oil and gas resources, it is still unable to fill the enormous gap in the country`s rapid industrialization and urbanization. In 2021, more than 40% of China`s natural gas and more than 70 % of its oil were imported from Central Asia’s industries.
The 30 years of history since the end of the Cold War have also proved that any poor area can quickly become a hotbed of extremism. After turning their eyes around, they began to look east, but they also happened to meet the sight of China looking for a way to the west.
Driving the development of the local economy will also help to eradicate absolute poverty, thereby eradicating the breeding ground for religious extremism.
As an essential node of the land channel of the “Belt and Road Initiative, China has attached great importance to energy cooperation with the five Central Asian countries in recent years.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, an international intergovernmental organization jointly participated by China, Russia, and the four central Asian countries (except Turkmenistan), has always regarded counter-terrorism as the top priority of its work.
According to official data, the SCO member states have worked together in the past three years alone to thwart more than 550 crimes involving terrorism and extremism.
Things that are of concern to the Central Asian states are that they are looking in multiple directions. On one side, they are looking at the Chinese but also want the West involved.
Once the crossroad of central Asia`s is re-emerging as a critical region for Trans Eurasian Trade, however, the landlocked central Asian stands sit in a complicated neighborhood with a new sort of significant game being played quietly among Russia, China, and Turkey. With political security and uncertainty in nearby Afghanistan and a growing desire for additional outside investment to build on recent economic and transportation gains.
Considering all the forces pressing the region, Central Asia is essential to geopolitical real estate. From China to Russia and the southern flank, especially with Afghanistan, mired in uncertainty, radiating all sorts of instability.
At the same time, there is the situation with Russia and Ukraine and their weakening ability to influence events in central Asia, China was, at least until relatively recently, being considered as pushing into the region, at least economically and financially, from an investment point of view building all sorts of infrastructure and trade routes the train routes, and of course, there is a portion BRI that goes through Kazakhstan however I think there is more than that there is also know Russia is just weakening.
Still, China is being determined, given the political situation at home given the social situation with covet restrictions, so looking at this, we can say that this area is in flux. Now if we set aside these external pressures on the region, there is also the reality that each of the five stands is now 30-plus years old as independent states.
Central Asia’s, towards Kazakhstan, has a new president it had unrest last year in January; many reforms are taking place, there are going to be elections coming up, and recently the referendum basically brought in a new set of rules and regulations and modifications to the charter. While looking at Uzbekistan, which is now, for last, say, seven years now almost that it`s under a new president, it`s also opening up in terms of civil society though not politically. Given the cross-border situation, Tajikistan is feeling the most pressure from Afghanistan. Kyrgyzstan, over the last at least since 2005, has seen three uprisings, the last being in 2020.
Looking at the current situation of these countries, we can see that there is a great transition, great uncertainty, and turmoil, and it probably will become sort of the focal point of the world in the years ahead.
As we think about central Asia, you know from classical geopolitics that central Asia is part of Mackinder’s Heartland because it`s largely inaccessible to the Western Maritime powers, for example, the United States, at a difficult time. Really pushing the power into central Asia certainly, the United States right now is focused on things like the Indo-Pacific region and that Maritime frontier. They`re encouraging the Europeans to focus on the Ukraine frontier and the Eastern European frontier with the Russians, and so central Asia, in some ways, is a place of flux.
Side by side with these problems in the region, assuming there can be some form of a stable, reliable relationship with the Taliban-run Afghanistan, and that`s a big if—-.
Central Asia’s, Each of these countries can access the Iranian corridor, Caspian Sea, and Indian Ocean Basin; however, the biggest problem of Afghanistan is the uncertainty, instability, and insecurity. The fact that the Taliban remains this actor that the world engages with without having Diplomatic relations under sanctions is what can be done. The Chinese investments that recently took place in some energy projects in Afghanistan.
Central Asia’s, On the other side, you have Pakistan, which is also destabilizing, so because Afghanistan is landlocked, you do not just go through Afghanistan. You must also go through Pakistan to access the Indian Ocean. Then, of course, the relationship between Pakistan and India could be more stable, so therefore India does not have a big market. thus, the double landlocked situation becomes a significant impediment. so, the idea of being physically stuck in the Middle of Eurasia is a big challenge.