Saturday, January 2, 2010

China’s Strategy to Central Asia

Central Asia@peter peng blog

Central Asia is the backyard of China. A stable and friendly environment there is extremely important to China. For the strategic development, China is endeavouring on the aspects of consolidating Shanghai Cooperation Organization, fully supporting Pakistan, and largely investing in Afghanistan.

1, Consolidation of Shanghai Cooperation Organization
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) consists of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan six countries. It was founded in 2001 in Shanghai of China. The six countries are cooperating on security, economy, and culture. In June 2009, China announced plans to loan US$ 10 billion to the member countries to help them get rid of financial crisis caused by global economic recession. At the end of 2009, the six SCO states decided to hold an anti-terror military exercise coded “Peaceful Mission—2010” in Kazakhstan. This organization is becoming a rival of U.S. and NATO trying to going into central Asia by solving Afghan problems.

2, Full Support on Pakistan
Pakistan is a country extremely important to China due to its geographical position. China has been supporting and co-operating with Pakistan for decades in all fields including national defence, technology, infrastructure construction, and finance, etc. China keeps the brother-like relationship with Pakistan is because: First, China needs Pakistan to deter India’s grow-up in Asia. Second, Pakistan connects China via Pakistan-controlled Kashmir at its north and borders Iran at its southwest. Through Pakistan, Iran’s crude oil can be easily transported to China’s landlocked Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Third, Pakistan is a coastal country of Arabian Sea. Through a Pakistan coastal port, China can gain strategic accesses to the Persian Gulf for the crude oil, to Africa for its traditional interests, and to the Gulf of Aden for the supplies to Chinese anti-pirate warships.

3, Large Investment in Afghanistan
To expand its influences in Afghanistan, China has become the baggiest investor there. Turning away from supporting U.S. military actions on Taliban after Sept. 11, 2009, China is trying to return back to the originally neutral status there. That is, only do business and does not offend any local political force in Afghanistan. To China’s view, a SCO-controlled Afghanistan would fit China’s interests. The scenario of U.S. and NATO’s total failure in Afghanistan maybe is a good result in China’s eyes.

Whether China’s strategy to central Asia can succeed or not depends on U.S. and NATO’s military actions in Afghanistan and the development of U.S. and Pakistan relationship.