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China’s Diplomacy in Central Asia

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April 24, 2023

Why in news?

The China and the five Central Asian republics (C+C5) grouping trade meeting indicated the growing diplomatic ties of china with Central Asia region.

What is the status of china’s relation with Central Asia?

  • Ancient Silk Route - Provided trade, cultural, and people-to-people links with the Central Asian region with china historically.
  • Break-up of the Soviet Union - This gave an opportunity to China to formalize the ties with Central Asia.
  • Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) - China’s relationship with the region was institutionalized with SCO.
  • Trade route - The central Asia provided trade route to Europe for China.
  • Chinese investments - Have helped to upgrade Soviet-era infrastructure and carry out development works in these countries.
  • Belt and Road Initiative - There are 51 BRI projects located in the region, which provides transit hub for China’s trade with Europe.
  • C+C5 summit - A grouping of China + Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgyzstan.
  • This summit is the latest development of series of Chinese engagement with Central Asia.

What is the status of India’s relation with Central Asia?

  • Summit of the C5 - Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted a virtual summit of the C5 in 2022.
  • India’s first engagement with the Central Asian nations collectively at the highest level.
  • Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) - India being one of the member of SCO influence its decision on the region which are mostly related to security concerns.
  • Chabahar port - Provides the trading route via sea.
  • Air corridors - India should try the air corridors to overcome the hurdles of land route.

To know about recent developments in India- China relation click here

What are the challenges to India’s relation with Central Asia?

  • Non availability of land trade route since its  access being denied by  Pakistan
  • Even though Chabahar port provide sea trade it is not fully developed yet
  • The Central Asia have well established relationship with china and Russia leaving less room for India
  • Even though India a member of SCO its decision are limited to security concerns
  • The Russia and china are cultural and historically connected unlike India so it’s hard to develop a deep relationship with the region

Quick facts

The Collective Security Treaty Organization

Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

  • It originates from the conclusion of the Collective Security Treaty.
  • Collective Security Treaty was signed in signed in Tashkent (Uzbekistan) on May 1992.
  • The member are Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Belarus and Georgia.
  • The Collective Security Council (CSC) is the highest body of the Organization and consists of heads of the member States.
  • SCO is an intergovernmental organization founded in Shanghai on 15 June 2001.
  • Eight Member States - China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
  • SCO has mainly focused on regional security issues, its fight against regional terrorism, ethnic separatism and religious extremism.
  • The SCO has been an observer in the UN General Assembly since 2005.


  1. UN│About SCO
  2. The Indian Express│ China Diplomatic Ties With Central Asia
  3. CSTO│About CSTO
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