Dynamics of Uzbek-Chinese relations

By Mirzokhid Rakhimov
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, June 21, 2016
Adjust font size:

In June 2016 Xi is paying a state visit to Uzbekistan and will attend the 16th meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent. In 2012, China and Uzbekistan signed a declaration on strategic partnership. In the following year, Islam Karimov and Xi Jinping agreed to develop and deepen a new agreement on friendship and partnership and a joint declaration was signed during President Xi's first visit to Tashkent in 2013.

China is the leading trade partner of Central Asia, and the dynamics of China-Uzbek trade turnover grow constantly; thus, in 2007, turnover of commodities was US$904 million, and by 2015 it had reached more than US$4.1 billion. In September 2013, during Chinese President Xi's official visit to Uzbekistan more than 30 documents were signed for joint implementation projects with a total value of US$15 billion. In August 2014, during an official visit by the President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov to China, numerous economic and financial agreements were signed, valuing more than US$6.2 billion. Karimov and Xi also signed a strategy partnership development program for 2014-2018.

Chinese investments in the economy of Uzbekistan exceed US$6.5 billion. More than 600 enterprises with Chinese capital operate in Uzbekistan, significant joint projects have been implemented, including in the "Djizakas" and "Angren" economic and industrial zones. In 2009 the first gas pipeline between Central Asia and China was constructed; in the following years second and third lines passing through Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan were completed, which allow for diversification of hydrocarbon exports from Central Asia. Since August 2012, Uzbekistan started exporting gas to China, and by 2013, 6 billion cubic meters were being exported.

Uzbekistan was among the first to express its support for China's calls for the global Silk Road initiative "Belt and Road," and other Central Asia republics were among the 57 nations convened in Beijing to inaugurate the creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) (US$50 billion) as well as the Silk Road Fund (US$40 billion), which is focused on providing investment in infrastructure, energy resources and industries.

During June 2016, President Xi's visits to Tashkent, perspective measures on bilateral relations and extending capacity cooperation between China and Uzbekistan will be discussed with Uzbek President Karimov. While during the SCO summit on June 23-24, member countries will adopt new initiatives for the SCO.

For the SCO it is first time since its foundation in 2001 when the organization will extend its membership. At present Mongolia, Iran, Afghanistan and Belarus have observers' status, while Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia and Nepal are dialogue-country partners. India and Pakistan will get full membership at the SCO summit in Tashkent, which will significantly expand the political and economic scale of the organization. However, it should be noted that with the expansion of the organization, the SCO will face new challenges and problems.

To sum up, China and Uzbekistan have important and strong bilateral relations, which are a prerequisite for economic reform and attracting foreign investment. However, it is essential that bilateral and multilateral agreements are actively implemented and that the range of cooperation between the participating countries is expanded. There can be no doubts that strong cooperation between China and Uzbekistan, as well as between China and Central Asia as a whole, is important for mutual economic development and international connectivity.

The author is visiting Fulbright scholar at Johns Hopkins University. He is head of the Department of Contemporary History and International Relations of the Institute of History of the Academy of Science of Uzbekistan.

Opinion articles reflect the views of their authors, not necessarily those of China.org.cn.

Follow China.org.cn on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from China.org.cnMobileRSSNewsletter