Chinese Foreign Minister Completes Major Visit to Central Asia
June 9, 2022 (EIRNS)—Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was in Kazakhstan for the third foreign ministers’ meeting of the China Plus Central Asia Summit (C+C5) with Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The six nations agreed to establish more regular meetings among their various heads of state and government. There were apparently several documents and/or agreements that include increased trade in national currencies and pushing forward cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative. The ministerial also took a decision to accelerate the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway project, a 325-mile route that has been in the making for 25 years.
Global Times speculates that Global NATO sees the Central Asian region as a geopolitically key in its drive to contain Russia and China, citing a Time magazine article last month titled “Central Asia Could Be the Key To Driving a Wedge between Russia and China,” a plan which is clearly not working out very well, all the more with growing ties between the Eurasian Economic Union and the Belt and Road. Of note, over May 23-27 U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu, traveled to the region for a “C5+U.S.” meeting.
In the C+C5 ministerial, Wang Yi promoted the Belt and Road Initiative and the growth of regional supply chains and trade, explaining that a developed and prosperous China is a blessing to the world and provides new opportunities to the region. Wang also addressed the situation in neighboring Afghanistan and the need to coordinate for its peaceful reconstruction. Wang emphasized that, given the many challenges of the pandemic and ensuing economic strains, food shortages, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and others, Beijing supports building a Central Asia that is “independent, peaceful, prosperous and cooperative.”
According to a statement from the Kazakh government, the six foreign ministers agreed that China’s cooperation in Central Asia “is an important factor in sustainable socio-economic development, maintaining peace, stability and security in the region.” In a meeting with Wang before the C+C5 event, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said that Kazakhstan shares the same policy as China on major international issues, and that he supports Xi Jinping’s recently proposed Global Development Initiative and Global Security Initiative.