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Tajikistan’s Growing Dependence on Beijing

On September 9, Xinhua quoted a report from the Russian newspaper Independent (Независимая газета) that China is becoming Tajikistan’s most important economic and strategic partner.
The article, titled, "Tajikistan Is Becoming China’s Important Client in Raw Materials" stated, "Today, Beijing is one of Dushanbe’s [the capital of Tajikistan] top three trading partners. During 2011, bilateral trade exceeded US$2 billion. Dushanbe believes that this is not the upper limit."
"Xinjiang is treated as one of the future directions of the two sides for expanding trade cooperation. Emomalii Rahmon (the President of Tajikistan) said in an interview, that he hoped to reach an agreement on the Tajikistan-Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) subcommittee on economic and trade cooperation during his talks with Chinese leaders. One cannot rule out that the plan will be implemented, as China regards Tajikistan as Xinjiang’s energy supplier."
"Tajikistan also hopes to participate in supplying natural gas to China. The Central Asia gas pipeline will go through Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. Dushanbe wants to pump the natural gas from the Bokhtar field into the pipeline. China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and the French Total oil company have started to develop this field. Experts from the two companies said that Tajikistan is likely to become the region’s second-largest supplier of natural gas to China."
"Last year, China won the right to develop the Zeravshan gold mine. In 2007, China’s Zijin Mining Group Co., Ltd (紫金矿业公司) acquired the Zeravshan Gold Company. In 2013, Zijin invested US$60 million in gold mining. Last year, Tajikistan received a US$140 million long-term loan from China. The funding will ensure the increased production of gold. In addition to gold, China also paid special attention to lead and zinc."
"China’s agriculture encountered little significant competition in Tajikistan. When local farmers traveled to Russia for the Gold Rush, Chinese farmers came to cultivate the land. The Ministry of Agriculture of Tajikistan leased land to Chinese farmers. The Ministry explained that there is a lack of domestic farming capacity, and that cotton-planted lands are no longer suitable for other crops. The Chinese have the technology to restore the salts to the soil. Their Tajikistan grown products will be sold locally."
"In recent years, China’s investment in Tajikistan approached US$500 million (about 3.07 billion yuan); its loans were about US$1 billion (about 6.14 billion yuan). Beijing is becoming a generous and important source of finance for a number of projects in Tajikistan. Tajikistan’s growing economic dependence on China is not only the key for Beijing to access natural resources, but also a tool for political pressure."
Source: Xinhua, September 9, 2014