THE NEW GEOPOLITICS OF EURASIAN RAILWAYS AND THE RISING ROLE OF CENTRAL ASIA: TOWARD A NEW WORLD

THE NEW GEOPOLITICS OF EURASIAN RAILWAYS AND THE RISING ROLE OF CENTRAL ASIA:
TOWARD A NEW WORLD

BY JACOPO PEPE
Free University / Berlin

THURSDAY, 14 NOVEMBER
16:30–17.15 / HALL #2
VALIKHANOV BUILDING / KIMEP

 

BAZAARS & BORDER TRADE: THE CHANGING NATURE OF CROSS-BORDER TRADE BETWEEN CHINA & KAZAKHSTAN

BAZAARS & BORDER TRADE: THE CHANGING NATURE OF CROSS-BORDER TRADE
BETWEEN CHINA & KAZAKHSTAN

BY COBUS BLOCK
Fulbright Scholar

THURSDAY, 13 JUNE
16:00–17.00 / HALL#2
NEW BUILDING / KIMEP

COBUS BLOCK graduated from the University of Wyoming in 2012 with a B.A. in international studies. While enrolled at a the University of Wyoming, Cobus spent two years studying international politics at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou and modern Chinese literature at Capital Normal University in Beijing. During his time in China Cobus was also involved with the Frontier Program based at Kansas State University, where he researched food safety and agricultural development issues in the People’s Republic of China. Cobus’ current project focuses on trade between China and Kazakhstan with specific focus on small and medium enterprises.

 

 

 

China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region shares 5,600 km of border with eight countries: 1,700 km of which are shared with Kazakhstan. Small wonder then that the region has grown into a local trading hub. In 2010 the ratio of Xinjiang’s foreign trade value to its GDP was over 30 percent, in the same year the ratio of Xinjiang’s trade with Kazakhstan to its GDP reached 17 percent.

Kazakhstan is a natural market for Xinjiang’s products. Urumqi, the capital and economic hub of Xinjiang, sits over 3,000 km from China’s eastern coast. In contrast, only 1,000 km separate Urumqi and Almaty—the largest city in Kazakhstan. While Central Asia was a destination for only one percent of China’s total exports in 2010, it was the destination for 83 percent of exports from Xinjiang in the same year. Of the Central Asian states, Kazakhstan is by far the most important destination for exports from Xinjiang; in 2010, it accounted for 52 percent of Xinjiang’s exports.

In spite of Xinjiang’s strong presence in Kazakhstan, the Customs Union, established in 2010 by Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia, challenged Sino-Central Asian trade relations. Most importantly, traders in Almaty and Urumqi, who had made a living bringing goods across the border suddenly found business much more difficult—the Kazakhstani customs officials, regulations and requirements were new and unfamiliar. A number of other factors in both Xinjiang and Kazakhstan have dampened the enthusiasm that once enveloped the topic.
Bilateral trade between Kazakhstan and Xinjiang has been a major factor for economic development in both, and current trends in trade may play a large role in the future of the region at large. On a broader level, this case also provides an excellent example of the prospects and challenges facing relations between China and Central Asian countries.

THE WORLD ISLAND: THE FUTURE OF EURASIAN GEOPOLITICS

THE WORLD ISLAND: THE FUTURE OF EURASIAN GEOPOLITICS

MONDAY, 8 APRIL
16:00–17.00 / HALL#3
NEW BUILDING

BY DR. ALEXANDROS PETERSEN
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Dr. Alexandros Petersen serves as an Advisor with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and Associate Professor at the American University of Central Asia.  A scholar of energy geopolitics, he has a decade’s experience conducting research across Eurasia.  Dr. Petersen is the author of The World Island: Eurasian Geopolitics and the Fate of the West and co-runs chinaincentralasia.com.  He has been a Senior Fellow for Eurasia and Fellow for Transatlantic Energy Security at the Atlantic Council, a Visiting Fellow with the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and has provided research for the National Petroleum Council’s Geopolitics and Policy Task Group.

GREAT GAMES, LOCAL RULES: THE NEW WORLD OF CENTRAL ASIA’S MULTIPOLAR POLITICS

GREAT GAMES, LOCAL RULES: THE NEW WORLD OF CENTRAL ASIA’S MULTIPOLAR POLITICS

SATURDAY, 16 FEBRUARY
11:00–12.30 / HALL#3
NEW BUILDING

BY ALEXANDER COOLEY
CHAIR AND TOW PROFESSOR
DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL SCIENCE
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

 

 

 

 

The field of Central Asian studies needs this book. Cliché-ridden thinking blights much popular commentary on the region and the putative competition under way there among China, Russia, and the United States. Cooley brings firsthand research and a detached, sensible eye to a complex, fast-moving subject. In brisk steps, he demonstrates that the “game” today is not the same one played by the great powers in the nineteenth century. Although competition exists among the major players, so does a considerable degree of cooperation. In today’s game, the Central Asian states are not helpless pawns but more than adept at writing and then exploiting the rules. That said, the way the greater powers pursue their agendas has an ugly side: increased corruption, human rights abuses, and political entropy. In addition to crafting a refined assessment of Chinese, Russian, and U.S. policies in the region and the Central Asian response to them, Cooley also speculates about what the dynamic in Central Asia indicates about how an emerging multipolarity might figure in other key regions of the world.

KAZAKH PERSPECTIVES ON CHINESE INVESTMENTS [A ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION]

FRIDAY, 15 FEBRUARY
10:00–13.30 / HALL#237
VALIKHANOV BUILDING
MODERATORS:
Dr. Nargis Kassenova (KIMEP University)
Dr. Alexander Cooley (Barnard College & Columbia University)
J. Edward Conway (University of St Andrews)

PARTICIPANTS:
Sabr Yessimbekov
President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the RK
Dr. Yelena Sadovskaya
International consultant on migration and migration policies
in the Republic of Kazakhstan
Dr. Wen-zhong Zhang
Director of the Institute of Central-Asian Economy and Trade
at the Xinjiang University of Finance and Economics
Dr. Zhanibek Saurbek
Lawyer and expert on energy policy

CHINESE ENERGY DIPLOMACY IN CENTRAL ASIA: TRENDS AND PROSPECTS

CHINESE ENERGY DIPLOMACY IN CENTRAL ASIA: TRENDS AND PROSPECTS

THURSDAY, 25 OCTOBER
16:00–17.30 / HALL#3
NEW BUILDING

BY ELZBIETA MARIA PRON
UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM
School of Contemporary Chinese Studies
OSCE Academy in Bishkek

 

 

 

 

Over the past 20 years China has acquired a position of a major partner of Central Asian energy markets. Today, China is a second largest oil importer from Kazakhstan, important player in Turkmen and Uzbek gas sector, and an investor in Tajik and Kyrgyz energy transportation.

This lecture looks at Chinese energy relationships with states in the region. It examines the geopolitical context of the energy cooperation between China and Central Asia. While the bilateral energy relations will remain the main corridor in the near future, China is actively promoting the multilateral framework of the SCO Energy Club. This shift in Chinese energy diplomacy derives from the new geopolitical conditions after 2011, its increasing domestic demands and a relative vulnerability vis-à-vis its energy partners.

CHINA, CENTRAL ASIA & SCO: INSTITUTIONALISM WITH CHINESE CHARACTERISTICS

CHINA, CENTRAL ASIA & SHANGHAI COOPERATION ORGANIZATION:INSTITUTIONALISM WITH CHINESE CHARACTERISTICS

School of Contemporary Chinese Studies
The University of Nottingham

MONDAY, JANUARY 16
14:30–15:30 / HALL#119
VALIKHANOV BUILDING