Category Archives: China (BRI)

Türkiye Demonstrates Increased Interest in BRICS Membership

Turkey wants to join BRICS - ảnh 1

Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 21 Issue: 100

Executive Summary:

  •  In June, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan met with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss, among other issues, Türkiye’s prospective membership in the loose-economic grouping of BRICS, which Putin “fully supports.”
  • The impetus for BRICS expansion has grown significantly amid Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, with Moscow and Beijing promoting it as a critical counterweight to US and Western influence.
  • Türkiye’s pursuit of BRICS membership looks to promote foreign investment, increased market access, and economic growth and reflects a foreign policy tradition of balancing between regional powers.

On June 11, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan attended a session of the BRICS group (a loose political-economic grouping originally consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) in Moscow. While there, he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and Russian Security Council Secretary Sergei Shoigu (Turkish Foreign Ministry, June 11). During the face-to-face meeting with Putin, Fidan discussed bilateral economic and political relations, focusing on the geopolitical turmoil in the Middle East caused by the war in Gaza (Al-Monitor, June 16). Putin vowed to “fully support” Turkish membership in BRICS and build stronger ties to facilitate further economic cooperation. Continue reading

On June 18, Saudi Arabia’s Defense Minister, Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, paid an official visit to China to meet his Chinese counterpart, Admiral Dong Jun, and discuss ways to boost the military partnership between the two states. The Saudi defense minister’s first visit to Beijing should come as a little surprise as China’s arms exports to Riyadh have increased significantly in recent years.

Although the United States has traditionally occupied the role of Saudi Arabia’s main security partner and predominant arms supplier, between 2016 and 2020, China increased its arms transfers to Saudi Arabia by nearly 400 percent compared to the previous five-year period. In 2017, Saudi Arabia acquired several Chinese Wing Loong II drones and entered into a memorandum of understanding with China to manufacture an additional 300 drones domestically. The export of Chinese-made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has become a political football between Riyadh and Washington, which refused to sell indigenously manufactured UAVs to the Gulf states—prompting a frustrated Saudi Arabia to look eastward. Continue reading

Gas crunch emerging in East as Kazakhstan fails to meet China’s import requests

Gas crunch emerging in East as Kazakhstan fails to meet China’s import requests

The global energy crisis that is so apparent in the West is now becoming that much more visible in the East. Kazakhstan, one of the leading crude oil and gas suppliers in Asia, has announced that it intends to gradually decrease its natural gas flows to China, citing domestic consumption rising at what could become a crisis-inducing rate.

In June, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev ordered the government to cut gas exports and ensure that an additional 2bn cubic metres (bcm) of gas were available to consumers inside Kazakhstan. Tokayev said meeting domestic demand for gas must be held as an absolute priority over exports, with the gas to be sourced from the Tengiz field developed by a consortium led by US energy giant Chevron. Continue reading

COMMENT: Why replenished ties between Uzbekistan and Turkey suit both Tashkent and Ankara

New Stage in Turkey-Uzbekistan Strategic Partnership – ERI

For both Uzbekistan and Turkey, progress in developing a strategic relationship with elements of trade, investment, and defence cooperation comes at an opportune time. Amid the ongoing momentous geopolitical developments, Tashkent needs to diversify its political outreach to maintain a multivector foreign policy in order to avoid falling under the sway of a particular regional actor. Ankara, meanwhile, wants relationships that revitalize its pan-Turkic agenda across Eurasia.

On March 29, President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan paid an official visit to Uzbekistan at the invitation of his counterpart President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. The strategic partnership was top of the agenda. Although relations between Turkey and Uzbekistan remained stalled during the rule of late Uzbek leader Islam Karimov until 2016, his successor Mirziyoyev has very much brought Turkey into the picture under the multivector approach. For Turkey, the development of ties with Uzbekistan somewhat uneasily took some steps forward just as Ankara was attempting to moderate peace talks between Ukraine and Russia. Continue reading

How Will the Ukraine Crisis Shape the World Energy Market? [Politics Today]

Ukraine war: Can Russia's promise of fewer attacks be trusted? | Russia-Ukraine  war News | Al Jazeera

The Russian military aggression against Ukraine launched almost two months ago has clearly signaled a change in the traditional world order and triggered the unprecedented reaction of the Western coalition led by the U.S. The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has left the global energy market uncertain, threatening to cause severe energy shortages and oil prices exceeding $110 per barrel.

Since the Russian intervention in Ukraine kicked off, numerous sanction packages have been imposed on Russia, hitting mostly financial institutes and state-owned companies. This resulted in Western countries’ consolidation, and the collective refusal of Russia-related transactions and import of Russian natural gas, oil, and coal.

Whereas the U.S. and UK-led Western coalition gathered to support Ukraine politically, economically, and military/technically, some EU countries are at loggerheads over demands for an immediate blockade on Russian oil imports, joining the international financial sanctions, and condemning Moscow’s actions locally.

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How Will the New China-Russia Gas Deal Affect the Ukraine Crisis? [Politics Today]

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meet in Beijing, China on February 4, 2022. Photo by Kremlin Press Office

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meet in Beijing, China on February 4, 2022. Photo by Kremlin Press Office

Amid escalating tensions between Moscow and the West over Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin paid an official visit to China to finalize the negotiations over a new $80 billion natural gas agreement. On February 4, Gazprom signed an agreement with China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) to supply Russian gas to China via the Far Eastern route for the next 25 years, which will boost Russian gas volumes to China by an extra 10 billion cubic meters (bcm) a year.

Unlike the previous Russia-China gas agreement on the Power of Siberia pipeline, which is being built for the last five years, the new agreement does not entail the construction of an additional pipeline network. Although the Western media dubbed this agreement unexpected, the negotiations over the agreement lasted six years and resulted in the signing of memoranda of understanding in 2015 and 2017, respectively. Russia has long aimed to capitalize on its vast hydrocarbon resources to cater to China’s increasing liquefied natural gas (LNG) demand. The agreement was signed at a time of an uneasy geopolitical situation between the U.S. and Russia over Ukraine, which prepares for the full-scale war with Russia. In this vein, it is significant that the new gas agreement was settled in euros in an effort by both Moscow and Beijing to diversify away from trade in U.S. dollars.

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Beijing’s Long Road to the Gulf Region (Baku Dialogues; Spring 2021)

Baku Dialogues; Issue: 4. Spring 2021

Baku Dialogues; Issue: 4. Spring 2021

Energy cooperation has been a key aspect of growing bilateral cooper­ation between China and the Arab states of the Gulf region for the past several years. Since 1996, China has become a net importer of crude oil and, as the second‑largest en­ergy consumer in the world after the United States, is now the third‑largest importer of oil after the United States and Japan. Therefore, it should not come as a surprise that China is eying a deep and strategic partnership with the states of a re­gion that sits on top of the world’s largest proven crude oil and natural gas reserves.

The deepening political and economic cooperation between China and the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has received increasing atten­tion from the region’s more estab­lished strategic players: foremost the United States, but also the UK as well as the EU and some of its member states. Indeed, the region’s apparent geopolitical challenges— such as the American withdrawal from the Middle East, the escalation of sectarian wars in the region, the outbreak and development of the Syrian conflict followed by the spread of Islamic radicalism and similar threats—have encouraged the Arab states in the Gulf (as well as Iran) to look more to the East for new reliable partners. This has pro­vided China with an opportunity to obtain a foothold in the region, which sits adjacent to the Silk Road region and is therefore of signifi­cant and lasting interest to readers of Baku Dialogues. Continue reading

Searching for the right formula for South Caucasus regional co-operation

President Erdogan’s initiative for a 3 + 3 regional co-operation format in the South Caucasus offers the possibility of opening up the region through an extensive network of land corridors. Not everyone has welcomed the initiative, but the prospect of turning a fragile region into a beacon of stability after a long period of instability and violence is a worthy aspiration, argues Fuad Shahbazov in this op-ed for

The second Karabakh war has shifted the geopolitical and geo-economic realities in the South Caucasus region, particularly heightening the possibility of competition over the region’s transport corridors. The Moscow-brokered ceasefire agreement signed on 10 November brings with it the possibility of opening a number of transit routes, which have been closed for almost 30 years. In the aftermath of the Armenian forces’ devastating defeat in the 44-day war, the idea of regional co-operation becomes increasingly important. Continue reading

China to Europe By Way of Azerbaijan’s Trans-Caspian Gateway

On February 6, the Azerbaijan-China Business forum held in Beijing gathered together a number of state officials including Minister of Economy Shahin Mustafayev, the Chairman of the Export and Investment Promotion Fund of Azerbaijan (AZPROMO), as well as officials from the Ministry of Commerce of China and the Chinese Council of Propaganda of International Trade. The business forum was reportedly devoted to the Trans-Caspian Transit Corridor as part of China-led ambitious Belt and Road Initiative.

The Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, a corridor of 6,500 km links Asia with Europe and passes through countries including Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Turkey. A flagship project of the corridor, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) Railway, was inaugurated in October in 2017. The railway connects Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey, establishing a freight and passenger link between Europe and China. During the inauguration ceremony President Ilham Aliyev stated that “Baku-Tbilisi-Kars will connect not only countries, but continents as well.” Thus, the BTK project is undoubtedly has enormous importance to the competitiveness of the Trans-Caspian corridor. Continue reading

China – Pakistan Economic Corridor: An Opportunity for Central Asia?

Photo Credit: Anadolu Agency

Photo Credit: Anadolu Agency

In May 2017, China hosted an international summit in Beijing gathering 28 heads of state from four continents and representatives of various international organizations. The summit was devoted to the Belt and Road Initiative, referring to overland and maritime routes across the Eurasian landmass. One of the most significant moments of the summit was the meeting between China’s and Pakistan’s leaders and the signing of a new agreement (MoU), adding to the US$ 46 billion already pledged for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a network of rail, road and energy infrastructure. During the event, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met with the leaders of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan, requesting their investment in CPEC.

BACKGROUND: CPEC is the flagship project under the Belt and Road Initiative and has been seen as a “game changer” in the regional geopolitical discourse since it was formally unveiled in April 2015. It has become the foremost bilateral initiative between China and Pakistan and has a budget of over US$ 46 billion. As part of this initiative, an opening ceremony was held on May 6, 2016 in the city of Sukkur in Pakistan’s Sindh Province, marking the beginning of construction of a section of highway between Sukkur and the city of Multan, which will be part of a network of highways connecting the cities of Peshawar and Karachi. Continue reading