Geopolitics of energy: China and Central Asia

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Series Details Vol.9, No.4, October-December 2007, p44-62
Publication Date October 2007
ISSN 1302-177X
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Energy-deficit China and resourceful Russia/Central Asia have been engaged most intensely over the past decade in a complex relationship involving expanded oil and gas trade, cross investment, pipelines and geopolitical ambitions. Today, Central Asia represents for China both a potential market for its growing economy and a source of strategically important raw materials. It is also important for ensuring stability and security in China’s restless Xinjiang- Uyghur Autonomous region on the other side of the border. The verdict is not out yet, but clearly China has made significant progress in achieving its goals vis-à-vis Central Asia, namely (i) support regional stability, (ii) obtain access to energy resources on a mutually beneficial basis, and (iii) further develop economic relations with region. The Russia factor is omnipresent and swings from confrontation to co-operation as national interests and regional politics dictate

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