While the U.S. spends hundreds of billions to fight the Taliban and al-Qaida, China provides a raw material, that is the world’s superpower is bent on safety, while its nearest competitor and very successful – in making money …
The bloody riots in southern Kyrgyzstan these days attract the attention of world media and analytical centers. The dramatic events in the small republic, consists of up to December 1991 the Soviet Union, are, according to many experts, reflecting the complex processes in the Central Asian region, paired with the clash of geopolitical and economic interests of traditional and new centers of power. Among other things, talking about energy and direction of their transportation to world markets.
In May this year, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov made a two-day state visit to India. Given the fact that Turkmenistan is one of the leading gas-producing countries, this visit, of course, did not go unnoticed for the expert community. At the talks in New Delhi Theme expanding bilateral cooperation in the energy sector was one of the leading. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called the energy sector a priority partnership with Turkmenistan. The Indian side also expressed willingness to develop close contacts in the field of high technology and transport.
Manmohan Singh made no secret that India is very interested in the TAPI project – the construction of the Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan – India. In the statement of Indian Foreign Minister on the results of the talks it was emphasized that India and Turkmenistan are going to continue to cooperate on the project Trans pipeline to its early implementation. In turn, Berdymukhammedov stressed that Turkmenistan considers India as a future strategic partner in the energy sector.
The new pipeline, India intends to get the “blue fuel” from the Turkmen fields Davletabad. It is assumed that the pipeline will allow Turkmenistan to export up to 100 million cubic meters of gas per day, ie more than 35 billion cubic meters a year.
Our Help. Pipeline Project, the cost of construction estimated at $ 4 billion, has existed since 1990, but its implementation hinder instability in Afghanistan and the complex relations between India and Pakistan. However, both India and Pakistan is in dire need of hydrocarbon raw materials (petroleum consumption in India in the 2009-2010 fiscal year grew by 3.5 percent with government forecasts of 2.4 per cent) and are willing to buy from Turkmenistan 70 billion cubic meters of gas annually. This is twice the amount provided for the project.
Turkmenistan is interested in India not only as a market for hydrocarbons, but also as a source of new technologies for its energy sector. Its officials stress that would welcome the participation of Indian partners in the modernization of oil and gas sector of Turkmenistan. Oil Minister Murli Deora industry at a meeting with Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov offered to build a petrochemical plant in Turkmenistan with the terms of the guarantee of gas supplies. Indian companies are also willing to participate in the exploration, development and production of hydrocarbons on Turkmen territory.
Berdymukhammedov at the talks in New Delhi said that his country is banking on diversification of the national economy and is interested in developing broad cooperation in such fields as chemical, mining, textile industry, pharmaceutical industry, agriculture, and telecommunications.
A promising area of cooperation between Turkmenistan and India is, moreover, the sphere of transport. According Berdymukhammedov, his country could become a convenient transport corridor to enter India to Europe. Between Turkmenistan and India have already established cooperation in the field of air traffic. Turkmenistan Airlines operates regular flights from India to Europe and from Europe to India.
According Berdymukhammedov, it is time to think about the possibilities of cooperation in the development of ground systems. These systems could be in transit through Turkmenistan to connect India to the markets of CIS and the Caspian and Black Sea regions. “We are interested in attracting Indian capital in the development of transport infrastructure – said Berdymukhammedov – and fully support the establishment of cooperation in this promising direction.”
Central Asia is seen as a promising market for its products and investments not only by India. In addition to the traditional players in this field, regional geopolitics – the U.S., EU, Turkey and Russia – are increasingly manifests itself China. Central Asia has become just one of those geographical areas where the natural face economic interests of many nations, including the two great Asian powers. Relations between India and China, despite the outward calm, far from simple. In addition to the complex history of bilateral relations, the reason for this growing needs of both economies in raw materials, especially energy, which creates competition for their sources.
India, not having unlike China land border with the former Asian republics of the USSR, later expressed interest in natural gas and oil in the region. Chinese companies are already receiving oil by pipeline from Kazakhstan and gas from Turkmenistan.
Our Help. Turkmenistan – China, passing through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, was inaugurated in the presence of leaders of the four countries in December 2009 length of the pipeline to the border of China more than 1.800 km. In 2010, for it will be pumped 13 billion cubic meters of gas. At design capacity of 40 billion cubic meters of this transport artery will be released in 2013 30 billion cubic meters intends to sell Turkmenistan 10 billion cubic meters – Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. The contract with Turkmengaz Chinese concluded for 30 years.
Chinese business, supported by the state, rather successfully strengthens its position in Central Asia – and not only in the sphere of energy. Few people know that China’s economic interests are realized today in Afghanistan – a country virtually under the control of the Western States.
In this connection it is appropriate to quote the American newspaper The New York Times, on the pages which in January this year, Michael Vines shared his impressions on Afghan soil: “The fence energized. Blast sandbags. Fifty-three of the national police checkpoint … But Marines stationed in the bowl-shaped valley about twenty miles (32 km) south-east of Kabul, do not fight with the Taliban and do not even carry guns. First, they are preparing to extract copper ore in one of the richest of the never developed such deposits on earth.Secondly, they are Chinese.
These people are working on investment projects that address among similar projects in war-torn Afghanistan, the first place by a large margin.
Two years ago, the Chinese state-owned conglomerate, corporation Steel Group of China “has paid for the right to mine ore deposits near the village Ainako 3,4 billion, that is, one billion more than competing with the Canadians, Europeans, Russian and American. In the next 25 years will be drawn from the bowels of the earth about eleven million tonnes of copper, which is one third of all proven reserves in China.
It turns out that while the U.S. spends hundreds of billions to fight the”Taliban”and”Al Qaeda”, China provides a raw material, actively absorbed its booming economy, that is the world’s superpower is bent on safety, and its nearest and highly successful competitor – on making money. “
The New York Times reported that “China Metallurgical Group” is committed “to build thermal power stations (TPS) of capacity 400 megawatts and supply electricity as a copper mine, and often suffers from power cuts the city of Kabul. For the purposes of TPP CIM intends to open new coal mine and metallurgical plant for the enrichment of copper ore and the railway to transport coal to thermal power plants and copper in China. If contract terms are met, the Chinese also take in Afghanistan, building schools, roads and even mosques. “
Curious comparative assessment of the Americans and Chinese Afghans. “Nurzaman Stanikzay – writes Michael Vines – in the eighties was a mujahid, a soldier shot in the Red Army from the American arms. Now he works contractor CIM constructs to aynakskoy mine electric fencing, Blast walls, dormitories for workers and a highway to Kabul.
– The Chinese are much smarter. The negotiations with local, they dress in civilian behave very friendly. Americans are worse. We arrived in the form, with machine guns and stuff, just not as good, – he said recently. We then chatted for a long time with him in his apartment in Kabul. “
Interestingly, the Afghan police, which is responsible for security in the area of the mines, was formed and trained almost exclusively on American money. However, fifteen hundred Afghan police officers stationed in Ainako and its surroundings, not part of the main police force and hired under special conditions. U.S. Army units stationed in the province of Logar, where the village Ainako amounted to about two thousand troops. His patrol operations are usually carried out south of the location of mines …
These are the metamorphosis of the modern world economy. By the way, the subsoil in the area Ainako in 1979 studied by Soviet geologists. They then took samples of ores and mapping of the area Aynakskogo deposits, but mining operations have not been initiated because of the outbreak of civil war. When American troops landed in Afghanistan in 2001, Afghan geologists have harbored collected data on the Soviet specialists Ainako until not yet been set for the resumption of work at the field. It was then and there were Chinese businessmen.
It is easy to assume that China’s activity in Central Asia does not meet the geopolitical interests of the United States. Americans want to send oil and gas in Central Asia in the west or south. As the Armenian analyst Igor Muradian, “India, the idea of American designers to become a pole of attraction of vast regions of Central Asia, providing a great power in South Asia, its resources. In 2006, Bush signed a document containing a mission to organize the overflow of energy resources of Central Asia to India. Despite the fact that the document states the entire South Asia, including Pakistan, as a consumer of these Central Asian resources, but there is no doubt that the true purpose – is strengthening prevention and India targeting oil, gas and other raw resources of Central Asia to China. “
That is why the U.S. since the Clinton administration trying to create a military-political conditions for the realization of the idea of construction of the pipeline Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan – India. He must pass through the Afghan province of Helmand in Pakistani Baluchistan, which has access to the Indian Ocean.
In Balochistan problems potentially no less than Afghanistan. This area is more than 40 percent in Pakistan. Part of the tribal chiefs unhappy with the economic policies of the central government in Islamabad, and from time to time in the province of an armed strife.The essence of the requirements of the local elite is quite simple: the central government should leave the province in more revenue from the mining of uranium and copper.
Until the separatist claims department until it comes. But hypothetically, it is not difficult to imagine how events might develop in this province, if the extremist organizations of the religious persuasion will be able to plunge Pakistan into turmoil. Geopolitical benefits for certain centers of power – the possibility to export oil and liquefied natural gas to world markets, bypassing Pakistan.
Of course, this is only one of the potential scenarios in the Indian Ocean. The Western think-tanks have a whole set of geopolitical scenarios to redraw borders in Asia, depending on the “geopolitical situation of the moment”: the creation of a Kurdish state, dividing Iraq into Sunni and Shiite parts, and Turkey, reduced by removal of her Kurdish and Armenian ” areas – in Europe and Asia, Iran’s crushing and separation from his northern areas, where traditionally occupied Azeri (Southern Azerbaijan), “sorting” of Pakistan, which became the state only recently, after giving the British India’s independence in 1947 …
The new national security strategy, U.S. President Barack Obama is considering India as a rising power. “Responsible promotion of India, – the recently released document – provides a positive example for developing countries, as well as an opportunity to expand economic, scientific, environmental, partnership and partnership in the sphere of security.” It is stressed that the U.S. and India – are the two largest democratic countries in the world, who build strategic partnerships, supported by “common interests and common values.”
President Obama said recently that he plans a trip to New Delhi in November this year.According to the owner of the White House, his country appreciates India, not only for geographical position in South Asia, but mainly profound social, political and strategic ties linking the two States.
U.S. geopolitical vision is clear, including to New Delhi. With regard to India itself, it tends to hold with regard to the neighbors very well-balanced policy of keeping peace on its borders.
The pipeline project from Turkmenistan to India via Afghanistan and Pakistan (TAPI) in the original American version, apparently did not realize in the foreseeable future. First, the situation in Afghanistan can not quickly normalize. Secondly, extremist groups, based on Pakistani soil, apparently, will continue terrorist attacks against India, which is fraught with new periodic exacerbations of bilateral relations between the neighbors (because of the difficulties with other projects – the Iran – Pakistan – India).
There is another variant of gas deliveries from Turkmenistan to India. But this must be activated Iranian territory. Extracted from the Turkmen gas can be supplied for the needs of the northern regions of Iran, and Iran is in the same volumes of gas from its southern oil fields to Indian companies. “Blue fuel” does not necessarily carry through Pakistani territory.It can be pumped into India in the underwater pipeline, bypassing Pakistani territorial waters.
The draft, note, expensive, but technically implement. Although there are caveats – the negative U.S. attitude toward Iran, with which can not be in New Delhi. Yet, apparently, hopes the Indian business is not lost. Indian companies declare their intention to acquire stakes in gas fields in Turkmenistan and to direct their investments in gas fields on land. So the wealth of Central Asia attracted to centers of the world economy. Competition for influence in the region escalates.
About the author: Andrew Diev – expert of the Institute of geopolitical information “Energy”.