A theory often taught in foreign policy courses is that heavily interdependent states tend to want peace and stability between them. I was very encourage to read that a massive gas pipeline, 1,833-kilometers in length, has been constructed, linking Turkmenistan through central Uzbekistan, southern Kazakhstan, and into China through northwestern Xinjiang province.
Xinhua has this story, carried on China Daily: “Chinese, Turkmen, Kazakh, Uzbek presidents unveil gas pipeline.”
“President Hu said at the inauguration ceremony that the China-Central Asia natural gas pipeline is a major cooperative project and of great significance to the four countries.
He said China is ready to continue to maintain close communication and step up coordination with Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to build the second line of the project and secure safety and efficiency in the pipeline’s operation. He said China is ready to advance energy collaboration among the four countries in an all-round way and to establish a long-term, stable, secured and reliable partnership of energy cooperation.”
With the end of the Cold War and the break up of the Soviet Union, Central Asia is slowly re-establishing themselves.
This pipeline is one of the largest physical sign one can see of this linkage between these four nations. Natural gas produced in Turkmenistan will be carried through it to major cities like Shanghai and Guangzhou. The more linkages there are between China and her neighbors, the more stable the region will be.