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China’s Belt and Road Initiative: Impacts and Effects for Central Asia

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Abstract

This chapter reviews the emergence and implementation of China’s BRI in Central Asia. The authors set forth Beijing’s foreign policy strategy with respect to the initiative in terms of its main components in Central Asia. The cooperation of Kazakhstan and China is separately considered within the framework of the concept of linking the “Nurly Jol” state program of infrastructural development for 2015–2019 and BRI. Given the long-term nature of this project, forecasts are provided for the interaction of the Central Asian states with PRC within the framework of the Chinese initiative. Additional issues relating to the coexistence of several projects in the Eurasian space, in which Kazakhstan and other countries of the region participate, are also considered. In particular, the authors analyze the role and place given by Chinese authorities to Russia within the BRI strategy. Despite the official statements of the authorities, or established plans (Beijing-Moscow high-speed railway, highway, etc.), China generally assigns an insignificant place to Russia in its strategy. Moreover, by offering road construction projects to Moscow, Beijing apparently expects to divert Russia’s attention from its own plans in Central Asia. Against this background, there is a clear response from Moscow which is most evident in Russia’s desire to actively promote the Greater Eurasian Partnership project.

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-981-15-0856-1_3
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Notes

  1. 1.

    “Full Text of President Xi’s Speech at Opening of Belt and Road Forum”, Xinhuanet, May 14, 2017, http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-05/14/c_136282982.htm.

  2. 2.

    Speech by H.E. Xi Jinping President of the People’s Republic of China at Nazarbayev University September 7, 2013, http://worldjpn.grips.ac.jp/documents/texts/BR/20130907.O1E.html (Accessed July 19, 2019).

  3. 3.

    Ibid.

  4. 4.

    “Zhongguoyu Hasakesitan jianshe, ‘Sichouzhilu’ jingjidai” [China and Kazakhstan Built the Silk Road Economic Belt], ChinaIRN.com, October 16, 2014, http://www.chinairn.com/news/20141016/114121216.shtml (Accessed July 19, 2019).

  5. 5.

    Konstantin Syroezhkin, “Geopolitical Projects in Central Asia and the Role of Kazakhstan”, Cabar, April 6, 2016, https://cabar.asia/en/konstantin-syroezhkin-geopolitical-projects-in-central-asia-and-the-role-of-kazakhstan/ (Accessed July 19, 2019).

  6. 6.

    “Programma perenosa moshchnostey iz KNR v RK vklyuchaet 51 proekt na $26 mlrd” [The Program of Transfer of Industrial Facilities from the PRC to the RoK Includes 51 Projects Worth $26 billion], Zakon.kz, September 2, 2016, https://www.zakon.kz/4814888-programma-perenosa-moshhnostejj-knr-v.html (Accessed July 19, 2019).

  7. 7.

    “42 protsenta vneshnego dolga KR prihoditsya na Eksportno-importnyy bank Kitaya” [42 Percent of the External Debt of the Kyrgyz Republic Falls to the Export–Import Bank of China], Sputnik, March 22, 2018, https://ru.sputnik.kg/economy/20180322/1038281033/kyrgyzstan-kitaj-dolg.html (Accessed July 19, 2019).

  8. 8.

    Konstantin Bondarenko, “Tajikistan’s External Debt: Growing Risks Against the Background of Fragile Stability”, Cabar, October 12, 2016, https://cabar.asia/en/konstantin-bondarenko-tajikistan-s-external-debt-the-growing-risks-against-the-backdrop-of-a-fragile-stability/ (Accessed July 19, 2019).

  9. 9.

    “Kitay oboshel Rossiyu po pryamym investitsiyam v Tadzhikistan” [China Overtakes Russia in Direct Investments in Tajikistan], Asia-Plus, July 19, 2019, https://news.tj/ru/news/tajikistan/economic/20170202/kitai-oboshel-rossiyu-po-pryamim-investitsiyam-v-tadzhikistan (Accessed July 19, 2019).

  10. 10.

    Saipira Furstenberg, “Mersiyoev khochet peremen, no spravitsya li on?” [Uzbekistan: Mirziyoyev Seeks Changes, But Will He Manage?], Eurasianet, April 10, 2017, http://russian.eurasianet.org/node/64796 (Accessed July 19, 2019).

  11. 11.

    Mirziyoyev: The Trade Turnover between Uzbekistan and the PRC in 2017 Will Amount to $5 billion, May 13, 2016, regnum.ru/news/2274429.html (Accessed July 19, 2019).

  12. 12.

    China and Turkmenistan: Regional dimension, August 17, 2016, http://cabar.asia/ru/ruslan-izimov-kitaj-i-turkmenistan-regionalnoe-izmerenie/ (Accessed July 19, 2019).

  13. 13.

    “Wuzibiekesitanzongtong: toidong Zhong-Wu youhao hezuo gengshangcenglou” [Promoting Friendly Cooperation Between China and Uzbekistan Reaches New: Level], Huanqiuwang, May 10, 2017, http://oversea.huanqiu.com/article/2017-05/10635499.html (Accessed July 19, 2019).

  14. 14.

    “Kitay predlagaet sozdat’ zonu svobodnoy torgovli v ramkakh ShOS” [China Proposes Creating a Free Trade Zone within the SCO], Tass, December 15, 2015, http://tass.ru/ekonomika/2527761 (Accessed July 19, 2019).

  15. 15.

    Kerry R. Bolton, “‘One Belt, One Road’, China, Globalization and the International Oligarchy”, Foreign Policy Journal, October 19, 2017, https://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2017/10/19/one-belt-one-road-china-globalization-and-the-international-oligarchy/ (Accessed July 19, 2019).

  16. 16.

    “Boao Yazhou luntan mishuzhang Zhou Wenzhong: Yi dai i lu shouxian jianshe xiangmu ying nachu moban” [Secretary-General of the Boao Forum for Asia Zhou Wenzhong: First We Need to Develop a Project Template for the “Belt and Road” Construction], Renminwang, March 23, 2015, http://finance.people.com.cn/n/2015/0323/c394778-26735349.html (Accessed July 19, 2019).

  17. 17.

    Mark Towsend, “Eyes Too Big”, Global Finance, June 1, 2018, https://www.gfmag.com/magazine/june-2018/eyes-too-big (Accessed July 19, 2019).

  18. 18.

    “Prospects and Challenges on China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’: A Risk Assessment Report”, The Economist Intelligence Unit, 2015, https://iffo.org.hk/docs/default-source/Default/ge-one-belt-one-road-report-engversion_economistc63aa06efc2665b498f6ff0000d93771.pdf (Accessed July 19, 2019).

  19. 19.

    China’s Economy Faces Deeper Risks than Trade War, June 28, 2018, https://www.ft.com/content/e957a6da-7a9c-11e8-bc55-50daf11b720d; Sarah Lain on the Chinese investment in Central Asia, June 5, 2017, http://caa-network.org/archives/7200 (Accessed July 19, 2019).

  20. 20.

    Speech by President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China at the Nazarbayev University (Full Text), September 16, 2013, http://kz.china-embassy.org/eng/zhgx/t1077192.htm (Accessed July 19, 2019).

  21. 21.

    “Sovmestnoye zayavlenie Rossiyskoy Federatsii i Kitayskoy Narodnoy Respubliki o sotrudnichestve po sopryazheniyu stroitel’stva Evraziyskogo ekonomicheskogo soyuza i Ekonomicheskogo poyasa Shelkovogo puti” [Joint Statement of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China on Cooperation in Combining the Construction of the Eurasian Economic Union and the Silk Road Economic Belt], May 8, 2015, http://kremlin.ru/supplement/4971 (Accessed July 19, 2019).

  22. 22.

    “Mezhdunarodnyy forum ‘Odin poyas, odin put’” [‘One Belt, One Road’ International Forum], May 14–15, 2017, http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/54491 (Accessed July 19, 2019).

  23. 23.

    Ibid.

  24. 24.

    “China and the EAEU Declared the Conclusion of Negotiations on the Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation”, EEC, February 10, 2017. http://www.eurasiancommission.org/en/nae/news/Pages/2-10-2017-5.aspx (Accessed July 19, 2019).

  25. 25.

    See, for example: “‘Yidai yilu’touzi cujin yanjiu” [Studies in Promoting BRI Investments], Belt and Road Portal, June 13, 2017, https://www.yidaiyilu.gov.cn/xwzx/roll/16020.htm; http://obor.bisu.edu.cn/ (Accessed July 19, 2019). China Academy of Belt and Road, http://obor.bisu.edu.cn/ (Accessed July 19, 2019).

  26. 26.

    Serghei Golunov, “Russian and Chinese Influences in Shared Borderlands”, PONARS Eurasia, January, 2017, http://www.ponarseurasia.org/memo/russian-and-chinese-influences-shared-borderlands (Accessed July 19, 2019); Wade Shepard, “China’s Challenges Abroad: Why The Belt & Road Initiative Will Succeed”, Forbes, October 17, 2017, https://www.forbes.com/sites/wadeshepard/2017/10/17/chinas-challenges-abroad-5-reasons-why-the-belt-road-will-succeed/#2c4a4ad54a82 (Accessed July 19, 2019).

  27. 27.

    Irina Ionela Pop, “Strengths and Challenges of China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ Initiative”, Centre for Geopolitics & Security in Realism Studies, February 9, 2016, London, UK, http://cgsrs.org/files/files/file-1547324431.pdf (Accessed July 19, 2019).

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Izimov, R., Muratalieva, Z. (2020). China’s Belt and Road Initiative: Impacts and Effects for Central Asia. In: Lukin, A. (eds) The “Roads” and “Belts” of Eurasia. Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-15-0856-1_3

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