Relations with China: Celestial vault
Against the background of the dynamic development of integration initiatives and not too obvious, but still the triumph (according to some analysts) of Russian diplomacy in the Middle East - an important circumstance that laid a fairly significant conflict potential in relations between Russia and states in the east was completely lost sight of.
At the very beginning of September, without special pomp and scope in the four republics of the region (the only exception was Tajikistan), President Xi Jinping visited China. The leader of the Chinese Communist Party visited the “western frontier” of the Middle Empire in a new capacity for the first time, moreover, very large attention was paid to Kazakhstan and Central Asia in the context of the Chinese political tradition. And there is no need to even enumerate: it is enough that the region has become the third territory where Xi Jinping arrived in a new capacity. This fact alone can be considered a significant confirmation of all the most important foreign policy equivalents of Beijing towards the five former Soviet republics.
The first state where "Comrade C" arrived was expectedly Turkmenistan. Although it looks rather strange, diplomatic etiquette was not violated a millimeter: the Chinese leader already met with the heads of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in a new capacity in a bilateral format, therefore no blow was applied to the vanities and ambitions of the two most jealous leaders from Tashkent and Astana . And by itself, this moment is so surprising that the beginning of the Central Asian tour, laid in Ashgabat, was taken by all as something for granted. However, the visit was quite floridly arranged: the heads of state officially improved relations between the countries before the strategic partnership, signed 13 interstate agreements and agreed to establish cooperation between Beijing and Ashgabat mainly in the energy sector.
The trip to Kazakhstan looked even more interesting, where the Chinese leader emphasized the status of the host country by first announcing the principles of Chinese politics in Central Asia in his speech in Astana. The diplomatic move was a success: in the course of subsequent negotiations, Xi Jinping signed 22 agreements totaling 30 billion dollars, which puts Kazakhstan, which is already the main consumer of Chinese credit resources in the region, in a very peculiar position amid integration projects with Russia . However, one of the agreements signed between Kazakhstan and China was an agreement on the joint use and exploration of outer space for peaceful purposes. The paper has not yet received development, but we can already assume that the joint initiative of Astana and Beijing will somehow relate to the presence of the Middle Kingdom at Baikonur.
From Astana, the chairman of the PRC arrived in Tashkent on an official visit, where he continued to work with Islam Karimov (the parties have already met and even signed a considerable number of documents in a bilateral format). Despite the fact that a considerable number of signed agreements already exist between China and Uzbekistan, Xi Jinping, nevertheless, did not stop at what had been achieved and signed another 31 agreement totaling 15 billions of dollars. These projects concern cooperation in the energy sector and the creation of a number of new production facilities in Uzbekistan. The parties also agreed on infrastructure projects - the construction of strategically important roads for China and railway lines.
At the very end of his tour, Comrade Sy arrived in Bishkek, where he immediately signed the necessary documents to improve the status of relations with Kyrgyzstan before strategic partnership. Here, the Chinese leader has signed just nine documents totaling a billion dollars worth of 3. Most of the signed papers relate to the credit lines of Kyrgyzstan, but there is one important nuance: the Celestial Empire is quite ready to invest money in infrastructure facilities - mainly in the roads, which sets a completely unambiguous trade orientation of Chinese policy in the republic.
In general, if we analyze Xi Jinping's tour of Kazakhstan and Central Asia, one important point should be noted: the Chinese Foreign Ministry "worked out" all directions with a huge efficiency index. The fact is that ten years ago it was impossible to imagine a situation in which the Celestial could at least lay claim to competition with Russia in Central Asia and even more so in Kazakhstan. Now, fundamental changes have occurred - China is already creating its strategic projects in Central Asia and is ready to work with security issues. Moreover, the use of the Celestial Empire will be such a clumsy and amorphous at first glance tool like the SCO, which, as it turned out, is able to pay dividends to Beijing. And these dividends are quite tangible: what is worth only one conflict-free entry into the territory, which Russia considered only recently "controlled territory".
Elites: the conclusion of the struggle under the carpet
Another significant trend of 2013 of the year in Kazakhstan and Central Asia is conflicts between representatives of the ruling elite along the entire perimeter of the region. If you keep in mind that the interethnic massacre in Osh 2010 (Kyrgyzstan), the bloody confrontation of oil and law enforcement forces in Zhanaozen in 2011 (Kazakhstan) and the military operation in Khorog in 2012 (GBAO, Tajikistan) stemmed from the opposition of the elites, no no wonder that any aggravation in the territory of Central Asia attracted increased attention. Yes, and the reasons for concern were serious.
6 November last year Tajikistan went through a presidential election. In spite of the fact that as many as five people were represented during the voting of the alternatives, a nationwide vote could be safely considered an outstanding victory for the current presidential administration. The main intrigue of the elections is the absence of any intelligible representative of the opposition in the list of opponents to the current President Emomali Rahmon. For a short period, the current opponents of the government actually abandoned the political struggle, and as a result, the face of the current Muslim opposition became a woman, for traditional Tajikistan, the figure is obviously impassable.
But more important here is not the final part of the political game, but the immanent hidden opposition during the previous year and a half. During the 2012-2013 period in Tajikistan, a host of events took place, which was strange and in some places inexplicable. 14 June 2012 of the year Tajikistan shakes news: The son-in-law of President Emomali Rakhmon Holmumin Safarov was killed. At the time of death, the presidential relative heads the forestry and hunting department of the government environmental committee. Moreover, it seems that there are no options - the killer literally shoots the husband of the sister of the head of state with a Makarov pistol. Experts speak about the first signs of political instability in the country. The investigation is extremely fast: six months later, in January 2013, the court will already pass a sentence on 46-year-old farmer Dilovasho Kasymov, who is recognized as the main perpetrator of this crime. Behind the brackets of the process will remain the most important thing: the motives of the convict — for what reason the son-in-law of the head of state was killed, remains unclear to this day.
However, Tajikistan relatively briefly discussed the murder of a close relative of Emomali Rahmon. In August, 2012 of the year in Tajikistan began the largest confrontation of elites in recent years: the reason for the massive military campaign in GBAO was the unexplained killing of the General Directorate of the SCNS in GBAO Abdullo Nazarov. A tough response is a full-fledged military operation to clean up the local elite, consisting entirely of field commanders during the civil war in Tajikistan. According to the results of the campaign, analysts put forward two interesting theses: one of them is expected to link the incident with the upcoming presidential elections. The second point is even more amusing: allegedly about China’s informal assistance, without which government troops could not make a quick march to the rebellious region. Both versions "hang" in the air: no one, of course, went into details in Tajikistan.
All subsequent events in the internal politics of Tajikistan can be denoted by large strokes: it is obvious that the main, critical mass of "fights" inside the elite occurred in 2012 year - the Tajik government gently "cleaned" the less dangerous legal field for the rest of 2013.
At the end of 2013, the information field literally broke through the turmoil in the main family of Uzbekistan. It is not clear where the sources in the capital of the republic, who came from, naturally relished the details of the quarrel between the country's president Islam Karimov and his eldest daughter Gulnara, and the latter commented literally on-line, continually posting full drama of the message on Twitter microblogging. According to the logic of the story, it turns out that the details of the conflict, first of all, the eldest daughter of President Gulnara and the head of the National Security Service, Rustam Inoyatov, became the property of the public. It was according to the results of this confrontation, they say, the head of state Islam Karimov ordered to destroy his daughter's business empire, and, according to the same sources, she was severely beaten. However, the very first thoughtful reading of the materials of this information campaign makes one doubt the reality of what is happening - there are a lot of questions to all actors of the comedy, and indeed it is rather strange to read about the scandal inside one of the most closed families in the entire former USSR almost from the front pages of yellow newspapers. However, this историяit seems that it will be developed this year - and it is possible to judge its real condition only from the results of an analysis of an array of information, and not at all from those bits that were published at the end of last year.
Kyrgyzstan among the states of Central Asia in the past year showed, perhaps, the worst controllability of the processes taking place - periodically the country was “blown up” by rallies and even attempts to block roads. At the same time, 2013 was probably one of the most positive years over the past few years: the withdrawal of the US military began from the territory of the Manas airport, and the republic’s internal policy seemed to stop boiling (in fact, a number of processes were simply pushed out of the official information field) . But the opposition of elites did break through - and not somewhere, but in the heart of the conflict region, the southern capital of Kyrgyzstan, the city of Osh. In fact, there was a rather long intrigue of official Bishkek, who tried to bring the traditional North-South confrontation into the legal field. The intrigue, by the way, unfolded over time. The fact is that the only official after the second coup in 2010 that managed to stay in his chair was Melis Myrzakmatov, the mayor of Osh. He is a protege of the previous president, Kurmanbek Bakiyev. In a short time, he managed to become the largest regional politician who did not actually submit to the central government in Bishkek. The intrigue began to unwind in early December 2013, when Kyrgyz Prime Minister Jantoro Satybaldiev fired the mayor. Officially, due to a change in the status of the city, the relevant law was signed by President Almazbek Atambayev. In accordance with the new legislation, the new mayor should have been elected by deputies of the city council a month after the change of status. 15 January 2014 - the pro-government candidate Aytmamat Kadyrbaev became the mayor of the city of Osh. By the way, on election day, about five thousand supporters of the previous mayor gathered in Osh Square. Skirmishes with law enforcement forces were recorded, but the situation was defused by the former Osh mayor, Melis Myrzakmatov, who arrived at the square. He announced that the political struggle will continue in the spring. The leader of the south declared the capital of Kyrgyzstan, the city of Bishkek, to be the target of political claims.