China and Russia Hand in Hand to Overcome Security Threats in Central Asia

Beijing and Moscow are now focusing on the Central Asian region following the Taliban’s takeover.

The security threat in Afghanistan and the desire to seal off Central Asia from the influence of other powers, such as the United States, motivate Beijing and Moscow to work together and forget their differences, according to Emil Avdaliani, director of Middle East studies at the Georgia study institute Geocase.

“They deliberately avoided forming an alliance because they both thought it would limit their foreign policy and not create conditions that support coordination,” Avdaliani told reporters. FLY.

While China is an economic powerhouse in the Central Asian region, Russia plays the role of guarantor of security, he added.

In the three decades since the fall of the Soviet Union, Beijing’s gradual engagement with Central Asian countries has focused on economic activity, with investments in state-backed hydrocarbons, mineral extraction, oil pipeline construction, transportation, power generation, and more recently. this, industrialization of non-energy fields. China has also developed security coordination with regional powers through the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Moscow serves as the dominant security partner for countries within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, and is the largest arms supplier. Russia remains the main security guarantor of the Central Asian region, where it controls 62 percent of the region’s arms market.

Meanwhile, Russia’s economic dominance in the region fell by as much as 80% or $110 billion from the value of the trade that the country conducted in the Central Asian region in the 90s. That amount accounts for only about two-thirds of the value of the trade Beijing does in the same region.

“Lately there is a tendency for China to be the holder of security as well,” Avdaliani told FLY. “First, there are reports of Chinese military bases in Tajikistan and their possible military presence in northern Afghanistan. China is also increasingly engaging in military exercises with Central Asian countries.”

Until 2014, arms transfers from Beijing through grants and sales to regional countries, such as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, occurred only in small amounts. But since then, China has ramped up arms sales in the region, according to a report from the Wilson Center released this year. [jm/lt]

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