Turkmenistan-China gas relationship may be viewed as one country’s over-dependence on another, Sean Roberts, an expert on Central Asia and Associate Professor of the Practice of International Affairs, said commenting on the construction of Tajik section of the Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Tajikistan-Kyrgyzstan-China gas pipeline launched last month.
“On one hand, it is easy to understand why Central Asia states are increasingly attracted to trade deals and investment from China. For Turkmenistan and other Central Asian states, China offers economic relationships that are not overtly tied to political issues,” he said.
On the other hand, China is extremely adept at maximizing its own benefits from economic ties with other countries, according to the expert.
“In the case of its gas deals with Turkmenistan, it has largely sought to provide loans to the country in exchange for preferable access and pricing for the country’s gas,” he said.
The expert also stressed that it would be in Turkmenistan’s interest to cultivate diverse markets for its gas, which would provide the state more leverage internationally.
China’s CNPC started construction of Tajik section or Line D of the Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Tajikistan-Kyrgyzstan-China gas pipeline on July 26. (AzerNews/Business World Magazine)
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