Karimov in China

by Nathan Hamm on 5/25/2005

Karimov has arrived in Beijing for a three-day lovefest visit to boost ties with China. So, expect more praise for Karimov from the Chinese government.

Also expect economic deals to be cut. Like this… No, wait, let me set it up.

You know how one of the constant refrains–the preferred one because it’s so utterly unoriginal and easy to replicate–of leftist commentary on Uzbekistan is that the US doesn’t care about Uzbeks because it just wants their oil?* And you know how I’m always declaring shenanigans on that? Well, Karimov’s China trip adds to my case.

“During this visit, Uzbekneftegaz and China National Petroleum Corp will sign an agreement worth a total investment of $600 million to establish a joint venture,” the state-run newspaper quoted Karimov as saying.

“This is an important step for energy cooperation between the two countries,” he said.

China, the world’s second-largest oil consumer, is hungry for new sources of energy to feed its economy, which has rapidly grown into the world’s seventh-largest.

The deal will focus on development of fields around Bukhara and Khiva. It’s worth noting that the story mentions that Uzbekistan’s oil industry produced a stunning, mind-blowing, worth suffocating democracy for 132,000 barrels of oil per day last year. Just to put it in perspective, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline is expected to be at 1,000,000 bpd in 2009.

*Which makes me wonder what Europeans are there for. Less of the oil? EU states engage in military training programs, Germany has a military base near Termez, and the reaction to the Andijon massacre has been, for all intents and purposes, exactly the same as the US reaction.

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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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