We are so used to a certain set of “important News”That they have completely stopped paying attention to what is happening in places where it is still quiet, where the struggle is being waged in offices, at joint lunches and dinners, on some political platforms that few people pay attention to. We make big eyes when suddenly our best friend sends us in a certain direction, while carefully performing the actions that his enemies ask him to do.
One example of this approach, I would call the actions of the President of Belarus. Remember how Lukashenka behaved before the start of the active phase of the protests? With what words did he water the “arrogant older brother”? And how the rhetoric changed when it really got hot. But as soon as the protests were localized, conversations about love and a single state stopped. For some reason, menacing words about syabras from Ukraine, the Baltic states, Poland were immediately forgotten ...
Why it happens? Why are our neighbors confident that they will live peacefully without us, but we cannot live without them? Why are they sure that "Russia should"? ..
Don't be afraid to delay, be afraid to stop (Chinese proverb)
While enthusiastically analyzing the activities of Turkish President Erdogan, his plans to create some kind of superstate of Turks living in different countries, we completely forget about one of the most serious players in Central Asia. We forget about the People's Republic of China. By the way, the Central Asian states have been named the zone of interests of the PRC.
Most modern readers who have not caught the era of the USSR are already completely unaware of the clashes that took place between the USSR and the PRC over the border territories. For example, even those who fought with the 40th Army in Afghanistan do not know the fact that this army was not intended at all to cover the border with Afghanistan. If they still talk about Damansky Island, then they no longer mention much more serious battles near the border village of Zhalanashkol, when a whole PLA unit entered Soviet territory.
It is difficult for a modern person to understand China's claims to neighboring states. Very often, historically, from our point of view, the territorial claims of the Chinese do not look indisputable. This is somewhat strange for me. Considering that most of Russia is Asia. The oriental mentality is distinguished by a peculiar understanding of their own lands.
Why are the Japanese so rested on the "northern territories"? Yes, simply because the islands belonged to Japan for some time. This is enough to demand their return. Why does China have claims? Exactly for the same reason. Once upon a time, the Chinese or the ancestors of the Chinese lived here. So these are Chinese lands. By the way, from the same series and our memories of the sold Alaska.
Sufficiently serious forces on the border, very serious engineering work on the border, as well as the determination of the Soviet leadership (recall, the Chinese unit was swept from Soviet soil in the Semipalatinsk region by the massive use of Grad rocket launchers) reassured the Chinese military and politicians. The question seemed to be closed. But the Chinese have a good memory.
Live in peace. Spring will come and the flowers will bloom themselves (Chinese proverb)
The Chinese waited for their spring ... in 1991. The collapse of the USSR, unexpectedly for them, made it possible to recall the claims. Moreover, the legal successor of the USSR, Russia, automatically lost almost half of the border with the PRC. The former republics of the Union, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, became full participants in the negotiations.
It is foolish to blame the Chinese for using the betrayal of their own country by the top of our leadership. The tiger waited until the elephant was tired and lay down to deliver the decisive blow. Everything is in a classic Chinese style. Moreover, the new states were not yet stable, the government was reformatted, which provided a unique opportunity to resolve border disputes with maximum benefit for themselves.
I specifically disclose the decision-making algorithm at that time. More precisely, its own version of this algorithm. The official explanation looked a little different. Beijing, alarmed by the events in the republics of the former USSR, has done a lot to prevent the emergence of border conflicts. Simply put, the Chinese did their best to preserve traditional friendly ties with the republics of the former USSR.
My version of events is indirectly confirmed by the fact with what speed Beijing recognized the new states. Suffice it to say that the PRC was one of the first to recognize the fact of the emergence of new states in Central Asia and already at the beginning of 1992 established diplomatic relations with them! And literally a couple of months later, Beijing begins separate negotiations with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
This did not go unnoticed in Moscow. The Kremlin is also beginning to actively put pressure on Beijing in order to start negotiations in a common format (all the states bordering on China and the PRC). At this time, a civil war flares up in Tajikistan. In September 1992, a working group was formed in Minsk, the "4 + 1 formula", which included four republics of the former USSR and the PRC.
Very often questions arise about this particular group. Why did Beijing agree to Moscow's participation in the negotiations? Obviously, it is much easier to come to an agreement with the new governments, whose level of competence is an order of magnitude lower than that of Moscow officials. Consequently, it is possible to solve borderland problems with much better results. The answer is simple.
Without Moscow's participation, the agreements could have raised doubts. Simply because it is there that the originals of treaties of tsarist Russia and China, treaties of the USSR and China are kept. There are no such documents in the republics. That is why Beijing was forced to agree to a multilateral format of negotiations. So that after some time additional documents do not appear from the archives that cast doubt on the results of the negotiations.
Think better about food in this world, and not about the fact that there will be nothing to heat in the next world (Chinese proverb)
The negotiations between Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and China resulted in decisions about which it is not customary to talk much. Almost all the republics gave something to the Chinese and thus the conflicts, I think, for a while, are settled. Let's consider some of the results for the republics.
Kazakhstan. The country that has the longest, after Russia, of course, the border with the PRC - 1740 kilometers. Basically, the border was determined by the agreement of April 26, 1994. Only 944 square kilometers of Kazakh territory were controversial. This is the area of the Sary-Chelda river and the Chagan-Obo and Baimurza passes. In 1999, Kazakhstan ratified an agreement on the disputed territories. 407 sq. km went to China, 537 sq. km remained with the Kazakhs.
It seems to be a wonderful result. Both sides have shown a willingness to compromise and an ability to negotiate. Only now ... There are nuances. The Kazakhs agreed to satisfy Beijing's request to liquidate the engineering and fortifications of the USSR in the border areas. But there was precisely a system of such structures that could calmly restrain the possible aggression of the PRC against the USSR.
Those who visited in Soviet times, for example, in the Khorgos district, which covered Alma-Ata, can assess the scale of Beijing's victory only in this regard. Kazakhstan actually took off its bulletproof vest and remained naked. Now Kazakhstan will not be able to defend its borders. The republic does not possess such powers.
In negotiations with Kyrgyzstan, Beijing faced a more serious adversary in the person of President Akayev. The republic nevertheless made some concessions to the territory, but in comparison with Kazakhstan they are rather insignificant. So, in the disputed zone of the Bedel area (2840 sq. Km), the PRC ceded 900 sq. Km. km. Of the territories near the Khan Tegri peak (450 sq. Km) - 161 sq. km and the Boz-Amir-Khojent section (20 hectares).
According to one version, the nationalists demolished Akayev precisely because of the loss of territories. They even menacingly demanded that Beijing reconsider the treaty several times. To which the “frightened” Chinese suggested revising their economic and social programs in relation to Kyrgyzstan. And then, according to the usual eastern scheme. All for peace, friendship and good neighborly relations.
Tajikistan did not avoid territorial losses either. A section of the border with the PRC (519 km) runs in the mountains. Therefore, the disputed territories are located in Gorno-Badakhshan. The issue was resolved by exchanging the disputed section near the Karzak Pass for approximately the same section near the Markansu River. But Chinese appetites have grown. Ultimately, Tajiks lost about 1000 sq. km of territory.
Readers may get the impression that Russia is the only country that was not defeated by China in the 90s and retained the status quo in relations with the PRC. Alas, I will disappoint. In April 1997, the most important treaty for China, "On the mutual reduction of armed forces in the border areas", was signed in Moscow. The agreement was signed under the “4 + 1 formula”.
According to this agreement, the countries undertake to keep equal groups of troops in the 100-kilometer demilitarization zone. Approximately 130 thousand people. This is the number of the Chinese group in the XUAR. Again, everything seems to be fair. And again, "but" ... 130 thousand Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan could have in total! In total!
Everything is prepared, only the east wind is missing (Chinese proverb)
In conclusion, it is worth returning to the dreams of the President of Turkey. Central Asia under the thumb of the Turks. A dream for the Turkish common people probably looks beautiful. Great Turan, Turkish Empire, great nation of Turks. About the same as sweet memories of the Commonwealth for the Poles or the Roman Empire for the Italians. For internal use, the idea is great.
Central Asia has been and will be the zone of interests of two powerful states: Russia and China. Only these countries at the moment can not only make claims, but also justify them with a confident punch on the table. All stories about the powerful Turkish army, which is a regional power, are designed for little understanding people. Best of all, our soldiers and officers in Syria or Israeli soldiers and officers, for example, will tell about the strength of the Turks. A common oriental peacock trying to sing like a nightingale.
For Erdogan, the eastern tiger and the Russian bear are equally dangerous. Both animals are quite safe as long as they are fed and not irritated. So far, no one claims to their territory. But if someone, regardless of the strength, aggressiveness and danger of this someone, crosses the line, there will be no salvation. Neither tiger nor bear leave enemies alive. Or they die themselves. In the triangle "Turkey, China, Russia" the first two options do not have to win.
There is only one thing left. Find out how the tiger and the bear will divide the territory. And how much will they tolerate the antics of a young wolf cub in Nagorno-Karabakh and Syria. The wolf cub clearly decided that his teeth were sharper than tiger's fangs, and the lazy bear was lazy and old. Only after all, a tiger is capable of killing an Indian elephant or a female Indian rhino and does it alone.
And the bear ... As one bear hunter from a remote taiga village in the Krasnoyarsk Territory once said to me: “If a bear is planning to eat you, then he will definitely eat you”. A fat good-natured bear, without much straining, catches up with a horse. And, as it seems to me, if elephants lived in the taiga, then they would also be the prey of bears. At least there is no beast in the taiga that bears are afraid of. That is why the local aborigines call the bear the owner.