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Source: The post is based on the article “Chinese President to host first meet with all Central Asia leaders” published in The Hindu on 9th May 2023
What is the News?
The Chinese President will be hosting a China-Central Asia Summit.
About China-Central Asia Summit
The China-Central Asia Summit is the first of its kind since the establishment of formal relations 31 years ago.’
Leaders of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are expected to attend the summit.
The focus of the summit will be on strengthening economic and diplomatic ties between Central Asia and China.
What is the importance of Central Asia for China?
Central Asia had relatively a lower strategic priority for China prior to the 2000s. However, it has risen in prominence in China’s foreign policy in recent years.
A few of the reasons for this are:
– It has become a zone of strategic interest for the security of Xinjiang in western China- as it shares borders with three of the Central Asian countries i.e., Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan;
China’s commercial and resource interests: The Central Asian region is rich in natural resources: gas in Turkmenistan; oil, gas and uranium in Kazakhstan; uranium and gas in Uzbekistan; hydropower in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan;
– as a ‘testing ground’ for China’s foreign engagements, including multilateral institution building,
– The region is characterized by cheap wages and a willingness by governments to provide tax breaks and other subsidies for foreign investors in strategic industries. It will also give China access to the European market.