Kateqoriya arxivləri: Asian Region

China – Pakistan Economic Corridor: An Opportunity for Central Asia?

Chinese foreign ministry has said that its nuclear cooperation with Pakistan is in accordance with NSG. (Source: AP)
Chinese foreign ministry has said that its nuclear cooperation with Pakistan is in accordance with NSG. (Source: AP)

Published by Central Asia – Caucasus Institute Analyst

In May 2017, China hosted an international summit in Beijing gathering 28 heads of state from four continents and representatives of various international organizations. The summit was devoted to the Belt and Road Initiative, referring to overland and maritime routes across the Eurasian landmass. One of the most significant moments of the summit was the meeting between China’s and Pakistan’s leaders and the signing of a new agreement (MoU), adding to the US$ 46 billion already pledged for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a network of rail, road and energy infrastructure. During the event, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met with the leaders of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan, requesting their investment in CPEC.

BACKGROUND: CPEC is the flagship project under the Belt and Road Initiative and has been seen as a “game changer” in the regional geopolitical discourse since it was formally unveiled in April 2015. It has become the foremost bilateral initiative between China and Pakistan and has a budget of over US$ 46 billion. As part of this initiative, an opening ceremony was held on May 6, 2016 in the city of Sukkur in Pakistan’s Sindh Province, marking the beginning of construction of a section of highway between Sukkur and the city of Multan, which will be part of a network of highways connecting the cities of Peshawar and Karachi. Oxumağa davam et China – Pakistan Economic Corridor: An Opportunity for Central Asia?

China’s Long March into Central Asia: How Beijing Expands Military Influence in Tajikistan?

Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon during a signing ceremony at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, Beijing, Sept. 2, 2015 (AP photo by Lintao Zhang).
Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon during a signing ceremony at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, Beijing, Sept. 2, 2015 (AP photo by Lintao Zhang).

Published by Central Asia – Caucasus Institute (CACI Analyst)

China’s gradually increasing economic role in Central Asia since the early 2000s is unsurprising considering the region’s geographic proximity to China’s dynamic economy. In this context, Beijing has carefully shaped a military strategy in the region, particularly in neighboring Tajikistan. In September 2016, Beijing offered to finance and build several outposts and other military facilities (in addition to the Gulhan post, which was opened in 2012) to beef up Tajikistan’s defense capabilities along its border with Afghanistan, whereas China’s and Tajikistan’s militaries performed a large counter-terrorism exercise in October 2016. These unexpected actions have raised concerns in Russia over rising Chinese influence in Tajikistan.

China’s gradually increasing economic role in Central Asia since the early 2000s is unsurprising considering the region’s geographic proximity to China’s dynamic economy. In this context, Beijing has carefully shaped a military strategy in the region, particularly in neighboring Tajikistan. In September 2016, Beijing offered to Oxumağa davam et China’s Long March into Central Asia: How Beijing Expands Military Influence in Tajikistan?

Will Central Asia Fight Over Water Resources?

Women pick cotton in 2005 in the town of Andijan, Uzbekistan, for farmers who are forced to sign annual agreements with the government to grow one of the country's leading exports. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)
Women pick cotton in 2005 in the town of Andijan, Uzbekistan, for farmers who are forced to sign annual agreements with the government to grow one of the country’s leading exports. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)

Water has always been a major cause of wars and border conflicts in the Central Asian region. For being one of the greatest geographical regions, Central Asia has limited water resources. Modern history of the region has been fueled with various ethnic and territorial clashes. Apparently, the main catalysts behind conflicts have been attempts to take control of rich water resources. The main sources of water in Central Asia are the Syr Darya and Amu Darya Rivers, mostly fed by snow- and glacier-melt from the Pamir, Hindu Kush and Tien Shan mountain ranges. The 2,200-kilometer Syr Darya originates in the Tien Shan, flows through Kyrgyzstan as the Naryn River and combines with the Kara Darya to become the Syr Darya.

The water resource crisis is not a new phenomenon in Central Asia. With the eventual fall of the Soviet Union, the resource-sharing system it imposed on the region totally disintegrated. The root of the problem is that the main water resources in Central Asia Oxumağa davam et Will Central Asia Fight Over Water Resources?

Will the ‘Troika format’ of Astana talks bring peace to Syria?

Turkish Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Sedat Onal, left, and Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov shake hands, as Russia’s special envoy on Syria Alexander Lavrentiev and Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Jaber Ansari, right, shake hands and UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura stand after the final statement following the talks on Syrian peace in Astana, Kazakhstan, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017. (Photo: AP)

On January 23, the next phase of peace talks started in the capital of Kazakhstan, Astana. Syria’s government and opposition forces are to meet in Kazakh capital Astana for the first time since the fall of Aleppo.

Negotiations between the Syrian government delegation and rebel fighters, sponsored by Russia and Turkey – who have been backing different sides of the conflict – are expected to last three days. One of the most significant points of the talks is that this time Syrian opposition is represented mainly by the militant groups, which fight in Syria, not just by secular, and political forces. Nevertheless, uncertainty prevails over all aspects of the talks – from the attendant list to the agenda of the meeting.

The guarantors of the Astana talks – Turkey, Iran, and Russia are seemingly making efforts to show the effectiveness of “Troika” Oxumağa davam et Will the ‘Troika format’ of Astana talks bring peace to Syria?

Azerbaijan’s Growing Military Cooperation With Pakistan

Prime minister Nawaz Sharif and President Ilham Aliyev during joint press conference in Baku (2016)
Prime minister Nawaz Sharif and President Ilham Aliyev during the joint press conference. Baku, 2016

Baku is seeking out increased defense imports from Pakistan, including JF-17 aircraft.

Azerbaijan and Pakistan have a unique political relationship that has surpassed territorial boundaries and geographical distances. Pakistan was among the first states to recognize Azerbaijan’s independence following the 1991 Soviet collapse. Today, Pakistan is the only country that has not established diplomatic relations with Baku’s main foe, Armenia. The bilateral strategic cooperation between these two countries embraces the economic, cultural, political, and especially defense fields. Taking into account their close ties, the current level of military cooperation between Azerbaijan and Pakistan needs to be emphasized. While Azerbaijan’s defense industry has strategic relations with various countries, Baku has been seeking ways of expanding military cooperation with Pakistan in particular over the last years.

Given the Pakistan’s status as a nuclear power, combined with its dynamic military muscle, military cooperation can be seen as another fundamental building block of the bilateral relationship. Oxumağa davam et Azerbaijan’s Growing Military Cooperation With Pakistan

China’s Economic and Military Expansion in Tajikistan

Chinese President Xi Jinping (1st L) and Tajik President Emomali Rahmon (2nd L) attend the groundbreaking ceremony of the Tajikistan section of Line D of the Central Asia-China Gas Pipeline in Dushanbe, capital of Tajikistan

Tajikistan is emerging as a test case for China’s growing security role in Central Asia

Following its economic expansion in Central Asia, China unexpectedly took a step to expand its military dominance in the region. In September 2016, Beijing offered to build 11 new border checkpoints and a new military facility along the Tajikistan-Afghanistan border, which raised some concerns in Russia. Although these moves could position China as a security player in Central Asia, Russian experts seemingly are doubtful about the future of any China-Central Asia military alliance. Notably, Russia has an entrenched presence in the region and its largest foreign military base is located outside the Tajik capital.

China’s economic expansion in Tajikistan is a very young phenomenon. In the early 2000s, Chinese influence in Tajikistan was quite weak and limited, due to the lack of transport networks connecting both countries. Only after the opening of a new major highway between two countries did bilateral trade Oxumağa davam et China’s Economic and Military Expansion in Tajikistan

Is Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada ready for new war?

Screenshot 2016-05-30 20.58.11

Several days ago, a leader of the Taliban movement Mullah Akhtar Mansoor has been killed in a U.S led drone strike in Pakistan, a year after he was appointed to the post. Ironically, his career did not last so long, even though during his reign, the Taliban fighters successfully carried out military operations against the government troops in the Southern part of Afghanistan. Moreover, the physical elimination of Mullah Mansoor would eventually weaken the military readiness of the Taliban movement. Oxumağa davam et Is Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada ready for new war?