CHINA AND RUSSIA IN CENTRAL ASIA: COOPERATION AND RIVALRY
References: 4th International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conference on Social Sciences and Arts SGEM2017, www.sgemvienna.org, SGEM2017 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7105-93-3 / ISSN 2367-5659, March 28-31, Book1, Vol.1, 863-870 pp, DOI:10.5593/SGEMSOCIAL2017/HB11/S12.108
The article is devoted to the pressing issue of the transformation of Russia’s and China’s foreign policy strategies in Central Asia in recent years. The prevailing aspect of economic approaches as the basis of practical implementation of the “strategic partnership” concept is the main feature of these two states’ policies in Central Asia. However, the two countries maintain military and political cooperation, each of them upholding its own political interests. China’s tactics is in its active support of the integrational format of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), while Russia’s preferences lie in the implementation of integrational projects within the framework of the EuroAsian Economic Community (EurAsEC) and the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), setting up a new regional community – the EuroAsian Union.
The USA plays a significant role in the region. Central Asia and the Transcaucasus found themselves open for US penetration after the collapse of the USSR. In case the geopolitical aim of including these regions in the Western countries’ sphere of influence had been realized, the US Administration could have succeeded in solving the most important task of getting an access to the vast reserves of oil and gas. This turn in the geopolitical reality would have meant changes on the geopolitical map of the world: probably, the USA wouldn’t have had to start that wasting Iraqi campaign, dependence on the Middle Eastern oil and Latin American oil would have been reduced, they would have managed to stop Russia’s and China’ influence on the Central Asian region – but that didn’t happen. Since the late 1990-s Central Asia gradually began to be the collision zone of the interests of three global players: Russia, China and the USA. For all this, the threat of Islamic stirring up didn’t go down till the early 2000-s. In this context, Russia and China took their stand of coordinating their efforts in supplanting the USA from the region.
Under the conditions of political cooperation, activisation among the regional countries and simultaneous reinforcement of military and political cooperation between Russia and China’s block and the USA, the further development of Russian and Chinese relations in the strategic partnership format as the axis of regional integration becomes key significant for the economic and military security in the Central Asian region. For all this, D. Trump’s election as US President can lead to unexpected changes in the disposition of forces both on the global scale and on the regional arena, accordingly, this can put to the test the Russian and Chinese union and their view on the future of Central Asia in the new international conditions.
Keywords: Russia, China, the USA, NATO, EuroAsian Union, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, strategic partnership, political and economic cooperation, regional integration
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