【Japan Himalaya League】 Author: Beiji  Translator: Ganxieguoshu

In the 30 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations with the five Central Asian countries, the CCP has deeply penetrated into all fields of these countries through its financial foreign policy of spending hundreds of billions of dollars. The recent turmoil in Kazakhstan has not only attracted global attention but also exposed and corroborated the CCP’s financial infiltration and corruption activities in Central Asia.

After the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, five Central Asian countries, including Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan, gained independence one after another. It has been 30 years since the CCP established diplomatic relations with the five Central Asian countries in January 1992.

Last month, Samantha Custer, director of policy analysis at AidData, a research lab at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, released a report called “Corridors of Power.” The report pointed out that over the past two decades, the CCP has provided US $127 billion in financial assistance to the five Central Asian countries and the Southern Asian region, most of which went to Central Asian countries.

Custer pointed out that these Central Asian countries have two things in common. One is that they have abundant oil; the other is the potential of natural gas or hydropower energy supply. According to this feature, most of the CCP’s financial diplomacy is concentrated in the energy and transportation fields.

The report shows that Kazakhstan alone has absorbed 26% ($33 billion) of the CCP financing, which is mainly used for the Communist China-Central Asia gas pipeline. Turkmenistan is the second-largest country in Central Asia to receive CCP financing, at about $9 billion.

The Leader of the Chinese Communist Party, Jinping Xi, holds a press conference with Kyrgyzstan’s President Sooronbay Jeenbekov in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on January 13, 2019. (Photo from Voice of America)

In addition to the penetration in energy and the “One Belt, One Road”, the CCP has also penetrated the five Central Asian countries through soft power in education, culture, communication, and the media in the past two decades. Communist China fosters future markets in Central Asia for goods, services, and capital on the grounds of promoting non-governmental exchanges with Central Asian students and professionals.

To make Communist China the preferred study destination for Central Asian students, the CCP provides convenient and fast visa procedures, high scholarships, English courses, and new training methods.

Leaders at all levels in Communist China have also conducted city-level diplomacy with the five Central Asian countries, such as establishing Confucius Institutes in host countries, Mandarin test centers, media content sharing, and sister city agreements to strengthen relationships with local public and private sector leaders.

Emil Avdaliani, director of Middle East studies at Geocase, a Georgian think tank, said that the CCP has given huge economic aid to Central Asia and also made significant progress in infiltrating the security field.

Avdaliani pointed out that the CCP has a military base in Tajikistan and has participated in military exercises in different countries in the region many times, which has replaced the security role previously played by Russia.

Avdaliani said that although the Chinese Communist Party’s infiltration into the Central Asian countries has been quite successful, it still faces obstacles such as nationalism in the countries and the distrust of the CCP dictatorship by the political elites.

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Edited & Posted by: Ranting