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China+Central Asia Foreign Meeting 2021

In July 2020, to boost the relationship between the CARs and China, Wang Yi Chinese Foreign Minister had Virtual discussion with the Foreign Ministers. Following the same, Wang Yi hosted the second China+Central Asia (C+C5) meeting on May 12th, 2021 in Xi’an city of Shaanxi province, China. The meeting was attended by Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tleuberdi, Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Ruslan Kazakbaev, Tajik Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin, Turkmen Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov, and Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov. The meeting’s main purpose was to strengthen the regional cooperation between the countries, with the main focus on the economic cooperation and development projects post Covid (MFA, 2021). 

Central Asia is very important for China based on the security of its North-Western province of Xinjiang, where Uyghurs have been facing oppression at the hands of the Chinese authorities. Also, Central Asia is rich in oil and gas resources and it can fulfill the growing need of the same for China. China already has multiple pipelines project in place and only wishes to expand more. Further, the Chinese Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) makes this region strategically extremely important.

Outcomes of the Meeting:

The summit concluded with the coming of an Eight-Point consensus and three Joint Statements. The Eight-Point consensus included the following:

  • To strengthen strategic mutual trust and respect each other.
  • Celebration of 30 years of diplomatic ties
  • Fight the Pandemic; strengthen medical and health cooperation
  • Strengthen BRI
  • Build sub-national cooperation mechanism of “China+Central Asia”
  • Strengthen regional security and stability
  • Jointly safeguard international fairness and promote a new type of international relations
  • Strengthen the establishment of the mechanism for C+C5 Foreign Ministers and ensure the progress of bilateral cooperation 

Also, Three Joint Statements were purveyed. The first was in response to the Pandemic while the second and third one on BRI and Afghanistan respectively (MFA, 2021).

This new direction into the relationship of these countries will not only strengthen the economic and development ties but also provide a much stronger hold for China over the region. Covid leads to some level of mistrust for the Chinese in the world yet initiatives like such can be seen as a game-changer and turning the situation favourable for China. But this whole new dynamic puts a lot of pressure on countries like India and the USA. Although India’s relationship with these countries has been on a positive front, situations like this make it more important for India to focus and contribute much more to projects like Chabahar and INSTC.