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  • Author: Paul A. Goble
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In most parts of the world, the lines on maps separating countries are true borders. That is, they are controlled by the governments on one or both sides. But in some places, they remain the quasi-open frontiers they were in the past or have reemerged as such because of recent political changes; those borders are highly porous zones, where people and goods can move more or less freely in one or both directions without much regard to the powers that be. Such situations invite outside involvement that can ramp up quickly and disturb preexisting international arrangements. One poignant example is the adjoining border area shared by Tajikistan and Afghanistan. In recent years, that frontier has attracted attention because of the danger that Islamist militants from Afghanistan could cross it to move north into Tajikistan and beyond. But another danger is emerging: China is establishing increasing control over Tajikistan and, thus, is putting itself in a position to project power southward from Tajikistan into Afghanistan. If Beijing does so, that could fundamentally change the security situation and geopolitical balance in Central and South Asia as a whole.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Territorial Disputes, Borders
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, China, South Asia, Central Asia, Asia, Tajikistan
  • Author: Roger N. McDermott
  • Publication Date: 10-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: China's economic influence within Central Asia is undoubtedly growing rapidly, even as energy concerns and economic issues dominate the calculus behind Sino-Russian security cooperation and their engagement with Central Asia. In October 2005, at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Council of the Heads of State held in Moscow, Beijing revealed the extent of its geopolitical ambition in Central Asia by offering $900 million in export credits for SCO members with a 2 percent interest and repayment over 20 years. This was seen by observers as an attempt by Beijing to fund the economies of the SCO members and to create a China-led free trade zone (Xinhua, October 26, 2005).
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: John Calabrese
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: China and Iran are important geopolitical actors as well as major players in the global energy market. In recent years, the Sino-Iranian relationship has broadened and deepened. Energy cooperation is the main axis around which this partnership revolves. As a result, China is a stakeholder in the outcome of the diplomatic crisis that has been brewing over the Iranian nuclear program. The relationship between China and Iran deserves careful scrutiny, not the least because their strategic motivations remain ambiguous and their dealings with each other lack transparency.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: China, Iran