The China-Central Asia summit last week solidified the expansion of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) from Western China in Xinjiang to its western neighbors, extending all the way to Iran, Turkey, and Eastern Europe. This development showcases the rise of the Eurasian Heartland, posing a challenge to the West.
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President Xi Jinping telling President Putin at the end of their summit last March in Moscow that we’re now facing “great changes not seen in a century” directly applies to the new spirit reigning across the Heartland.
Cue to the China-Central Asia summit last week in Xian, the former imperial capital, where Xi solidified the expansion of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) from Western China in Xinjiang to its western neighbors and then all the way to Iran, Turkiye and Eastern Europe.
Xi in Xian particularly stressed the complementing aspects between BRI and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), once again showing that all five Central Asian “stans”, acting together, should counter-act the proverbial external interference via “terrorism, separatism and extremism”.
The message was stark: these hybrid war strategies are all integrated with the attempt by the Hegemon to continue fostering serial color revolutions. The purveyors of the “rules-based international order”, Xi implied, will go no holds barred to prevent ongoing Heartland integration.
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The usual suspects in fact are already spinning that Central Asia is falling into a potential trap, fully captured by Beijing. Yet this is something Kazakhstan’s “multi-vector diplomacy”, coined way back in the Nazarbayev years, would never allow.
What Beijing is developing, instead, is an integrated approach via a C+C5 secretariat with no less than 19 separate channels of communication.
The heart of the matter is to turbo-charge Heartland connectivity via the BRI’s Middle Corridor.
And that, crucially, includes technology transfer. As it stands, there are dozens of industrial transfer programs with Kazakhstan, a dozen in Uzbekistan, and several in discussion with Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. These are extolled by Beijing as part of “harmonious Silk Roads”.
Xi himself, as a post-modern pilgrim, detailed the connectivity in his keynote speech in Xian: “The China-Kyrgystan-Uzbekistan highway that runs across the Tian shan Mountains, the China-Tajikistan expressway that defies the Pamir Plateau, and the China-Kazakhstan crude oil pipeline and the China-Central Asia Gas Pipeline that traverse the vast desert – they are the present-day Silk Road.”
The US is losing its grip on the Middle East as Iran and Saudi Arabia expand their relations with China, all thanks to sanctions.