Is It Worth “Keeping Hand on the Pulse”...
Recently, Uzbekistan Today published an interview with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of China to Uzbekistan, Sun Lijie, on the outcomes of the successful conclusion of the 19th Congress of the Communist Party of China and the re-election of Xi Jinping as SecretaryGeneral of the Central Committee of the CPC. Highlighting the key points of the report delivered then by the PRC leader, the ambassador spoke about the idea of diplomacy with Chinese characteristics, which is intended to create a community of the common destiny of mankind.
Does this mean that China has announced transition to a more open foreign policy, and how can the community of common destiny be interpreted in the countries of Central Asia?
This issue today is the subject of active discussion in analytical and expert circles. And the attitude to this idea is ambiguous.
Aidar Amrebaev, consultant, head of the Center for Applied Political Science and International Studies, Kazakhstan. Specialist in socio-political and economic processes in Central Asia related to external influence.
According to the Kazakhstani political scientist Aydar Amrebaev, the space of common destiny nations is formed with China, that is, countries involved in Chinese political, economic, cultural influence. The Chinese factor is one of the most effective in the region. But the expert notes that, despite the common approaches and conceptually unified classification of the region, the Chinese policy in Central Asia is characterized by a certain differentiation of priorities for each individual country and their place in the Chinese regional geo-strategy. In this regard, the Chinese regional foreign policy has evolved from a common post-Soviet nation-wide strategy to a point, pragmatic tactic of ‘engaging’ the political, business, academic, cultural elites, mass media, youth in the orbit of Chinese influence. Each country has its own road map ...
But the main geopolitical task is to form the so-called community of common destiny, a complimentary space to China.
Speaking about the future of KazakhChinese relations, the political scientist stressed that for the PRC, dynamically, evolutionarily and steadily developing, enjoying great international authority, China presents great opportunities for development. It is difficult now to assess the effectiveness of a number of bilateral agreements because of their closedness to public attention, but in general it seems that the modernization of the economy and its dynamics, the presence of China to some extent can be a good incentive for development. However, the expert is wary that the neighborhood with China assumes always to keep an eye on the pulse of what is happening in China and with her participation.
Dilfuza Turaeva, senior research fellow at the Institute of Strategic and Interregional Studies under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, an expert on Uzbek-Chinese relations.
A somewhat different opinion is held by the expert Dilfuza Turaeva. In her opinion, the idea of forming a global community of common destiny is, above all, a call for the unification of international efforts in the face of the many challenges and threats that practically every state faces today, as well as joint actions to create favorable conditions for development. Therefore, it is important to note that the initiative of China is not limited to the geographical scope and tied to one country. This is a global ideological format for carrying out joint efforts for the sake of common development, strictly adhering to the principle of mutual wins.
The Chinese leadership understands that a constructive external environment is a key factor for the country’s stable internal development. In this connection, on the world stage, Beijing is trying with all efforts to create an atmosphere of community of interests for the benefit of each state. It seems that the success of Chinese diplomacy in this direction will largely depend on how much the PRC will take into account the interests of partners in its environment, including in Central Asia.
For the countries of Central Asia, the global community of common destiny is primarily a strategic opportunity to ensure security and sustainable development in the region. In this vein, Beijing’s initiative to build the Economic Belt of the Silk Road can be considered a practical step in realizing the idea of a common destiny. The main direction of the EBSR is to establish close transport and communication links between Asia and Europe. In this regard, Uzbekistan was among the first to support the initiative of the Economic Belt of the Silk Road and is ready to discuss specific proposals of the Chinese side on its implementation, especially in the development of transport infrastructure. In particular, the construction of the railway China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan is capable of significantly diversifying the routes of transport communications in Central Asia.