Looking at the event from prospect of observers of Central Asian events, the visit of Xi Jinping in Russia put in the same room the leader of the country that is progressively changing the status quo in the region – the Chinese – and that of the historic deus ex machina of what moves in the area – the Russia driven by VladImir Putin. The wait has not been betrayed, because the tenants of the buildings of power of Mosca e Beijing for the first time issued a joint statement that sheds light on the two powers’ plans for theCentral Asia.
During a meeting dedicated mainly to the Ukrainian affair and the bilateral relationship between the Russian Federation and the People’s Republicin fact, the opportunity for a press release was not lacking Central Asian Registries must be sounded as a warning. In essence it was put pen to paper that Mosca e Beijing are committed to increasing theirs coordinated efforts to support the regional republics in defending theirs sovereignty and that, crucial point of the text, there is the will to do not accept attempts by outside forces to destabilize the region. This is a clear sign that Russia e Chinese they see relations with the West increasingly compromised and that the defense of their sphere of influence must be carried out with no holds barred. Coming toCentral Asiathe latter is therefore increasingly seen as an area in the complete availability of Mosca e Beijingfrom which it is necessary to keep away external actors such as TurkeyUnited States, European Union e Nato.
In Central Asian capitals, at least in some of them, the digestion of this stance it was certainly complex. Firstly, but this is not a totally new item, because Putin e Xi Jinping they hatched theirs strategy for the region without local leaders being present. Secondly, in the medium term, if the agreement between Moscow and Beijing compared toCentral Asia held, this would be to the detriment of the development regional. The current one is in fact the moment in which the opening of some republics of the area is at an all-time high, Kazakhistan e Uzbekistan above all. Since the end of the Soviet Union, also due to the risk of isolation that a too close proximity to Russia brings with it, there has never been such a frenzy in the growth of international relations on the part of Astana e Tashkent. Between the end of February and the beginning of March, for example, the Secretary of State American Antony Blink made his first visit to the region, touching right Kazakhistan e Uzbekistan and reiterating the attention that United States lend to sovereignty and to the territorial integrity of local partners. From the visit of officer americano no significant concrete elements emerged, but it was an indicative occasion of the “hunger” for new ones partner felt in the region. It’s about efforts that, however, the strategic coordination with respect toCentral Asia from the Russian Federation and of People’s Republic could make useless, limiting strongly and even more than in the past freedom to act independently of regional governments. Who could find their hands tied.
It must be said, however, that another piece of news that emerged during the two days in Russia of the Chinese president could already represent a first crack in the strategic scaffolding set up by the two leaders. While Xi Jinping was located at Moscaindeed, the Chinese officially invited the cinque republics Central Asian countries to take part in the first joint face-to-face summit to be held in May – the official date has not yet been communicated – in Beijing. According to the official media agency of the Tajikistan, Khovarthe Chinese president would have underlined the willingness to present the major initiatives that the People’s Republic has developed to deepen its relationship with the region. Even if the meeting had already been talked about for some time, the fact that the official status was leaked, as mentioned, when Xi Jinping e Putin were in close contact, says a lot about the progress that the Chinese has accomplished in recent years relative to its influence in Central Asia.
It is probable that they are, as anticipated, above all to pay the costs of the situation described Kazakhistan e Uzbekistan. Having said that their room for maneuver is in any case limited by factors of a historical, geographical, economic, political and military nature, the trend of recent years, made up of opening towards the outside at least in the economic dimension, could be interrupted. On the domestic front, however, the Russian-Chinese understanding over the region and the isolation that could ensue from it appear destined to favor further consolidation of the regimes in the area, nipping any potential democratic thrust in the bud. Undoubtedly one of the worst-case scenarios for the nearly eighty million citizens of the republics of theCentral Asia.