The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewPeter Lee Archive
Freedom Not Quite on the March in Central Asia This Week
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information


Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

A story that didn’t receive a lot of ink because it doesn’t fit in with the “pastel revolution/freedom on the march in Central Asia” theme was the victory by Nambaryn Enkhbayar of Mongolia’s former communist Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party in the country’s presidential elections.

He promptly announced

“[The] number one economic partner and number one investor in Mongolia is China,” he said. “We do have very good normal relations with China, and we do intend to keep on having those relations.”

And just as promptly Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi, fresh from delivering a extremely pointed and highly significant snub to Japanese PM Koizumi, jetted to Ulan Bator to sign an 18-point agreement as reported in Ming Pao.

China also hurried to shore up its western flank by welcoming Uzbek bad guy Islam Karimov for a state visit.

Beijing is apparently banking on the hope that his savage crackdown in Andijon will play out in Tian An Men style, stabilize his authoritarian regime, and discourage Xinjiang Muslims from emulating Uzbeki strivings for popular, anti-government self-determination.

China’s main levers in Central Asia are economic, not military, and have unfavorable as well as favorable effects. Chinese economic penetration elicits popular resentment for crowding out local businesses and demonstrating Han Chinese encroachment on local cultures.

Therefore, alliance with China is not a source of political advantage for local leaders seeking to rally the electorate.

So the situation on China’s inner-Asian flank is relatively tenuous and risky, and the Chinese government doesn’t have a lot of tools. The best it can hope for is the continued viability of authoritarian regimes with as much interest in stability and as little interest in popular democratic movements as China itself has.

(Republished from China Matters by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy 
Current Commenter

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone

 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Peter Lee Comments via RSS
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?