Wang Yi’s May 12 Xi’an Invitation to Central Asia’s Foreign Ministers – An Overview

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By Chris Devonshire-Elli

  • Foreign Ministers of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan meeting in Xi’an 

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi is set to meet with five of Central Asia’s Foreign Ministers in Xi’an tomorrow, May 12. The meeting, which includes China together with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, will discuss anti-pandemic cooperation, joint construction of the Belt and Road, interconnectivity, and international coordination. It will also feature discussions as concerns Afghanistan, as Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and China all have borders with the country. The United States military is exiting Afghanistan on September 11 and dealing with regional security is a major issue.

Central Asia in Numbers

Country Population (millions) GDP (PPP) (US$ billions)
Afghanistan 38 20
Kazakhstan 19 182
Kyrgyzstan 6.5 8.5
Tajikistan 9.5 8.2
Turkmenistan 6 41
Uzbekistan 34 58
Xinjiang Province 25 213

We provide some background to recent developments involving these countries and links to China as follows:

Afghanistan

  • The Afghan Peace Process and US Military Withdrawal here
  • Prospects For the Trans-Afghan railway here

Kazakhstan

  • The Emerging Sophistication of Central Asian Consumers here

Kyrgyzstan

  • Border Resolutions to Better Integrate with BRI here 
  • Proposed Kyrgyzstan Rail Network here 

Tajikistan

  • Border Resolutions to Integrate with BRI here 
  • Tajikistan Mineral Deposits here 

Turkmenistan

  • Turkmenistan Developing Regional Trade Ties here 
  • The Turkmenbashi Caspian Sea Port here  

Uzbekistan

  • Linking Central and South Asia via Pakistan Ports here  
  • The EU Meets the Belt & Road in Uzbekistan here 

Xinjiang

  • Investment and Trade here

China, Central & South Asia

Planned Infrastructure Developments to Connect Central & South Asia to China here 

The next great frontier for China is looking West towards the Central Asian region and for that to happen, and to return Xinjiang Province to normality, China needs to settle Afghanistan down, a process which includes the cooperation of Russia. China wishes to expand regional trade West, and to do that, a secondary step will be to agree tariff reductions on the Free Trade Agreement it signed off in 2018 with the Eurasian Economic Union, which also includes Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan – and of which Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have shown interest in joining.

Much yet needs to be accomplished – however tomorrows discussions will start to bring the prospects of a unified Central and South Asian trade and economic space closer together.

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About Us

Silk Road Briefing is written by Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm has 28 offices throughout Asia, and assists foreign investors into the region. For strategic advisory and business intelligence issues please contact the firm at silkroad@dezshira.com or visit www.dezshira.com

 

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