China and Central Asia
The disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991 led to the emergence of 15 independent states that were part of former Republics. Out of these emerged five states which are called as Central Asian Republics. These Republics have gained importance in world politics for various reasons. First, there is a revisit of 'Great Game' between Russia, China, and the US. Second is the presence of huge untapped hydrocarbon reserves in the littoral states of the Caspian Sea - Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Third, the colored revolution brought about a democratic set up in place of the authoritarian rule. Fourth, instability in this region is conducive for cross-border terrorism, especially imported from Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Central Asian Republics are plagued with extremism, separatism, and terrorism that can be associated with the power vacuum felt after the demise of communism and dismemberment of the Soviet Union. The power vacuum, coupled with huge untapped hydrocarbons resources, has made this region a battlefield for major powers like the US, China, the EU, Japan, and Russia. Smaller powers - like India, Pakistan, Turkey, and Iran - also want to stake claim on these oil resources. China has gained an edge over other contenders, as it has invested heavily in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Clearly, security of China's western border, and its internal security in the Xinjiang province, depends on peace in Central Asia. This book examines the cooperative relationship between China and the Central Asian Republics.
Publication Date: 2/21/2013