World » Asia
Author`s name Ольга Савка

China and Uzbekistan join forces against the USA

China wants the USA to realize that it is becoming a superpower too

Uzbek President Islam Karimov visited China after the uprising in the town of Andijan, in Uzbekistan's east. Western leaders call upon conducting an independent investigation of the Andijan revolt, whereas the Chinese government expressed its total support to Uzbekistan's leader.

As far as appeals for investigation are concerned, Karimov denies such an opportunity. The Uzbek president can allow UN and OSCE representatives in Uzbekistan visit Andijan – this is the only concession that he can make.

Chinese leader Hu Jintao called Karimov “an old friend of the Chinese nation.” The Uzbek president returned the favor and said that China was one of the most important powers in the world. The sides signed 14 agreements during the visit, including the treaty on friendship and cooperation, an agreement about the creation of the oil joint venture (evaluated at $600 million.) Before setting for his five-day trip to China, Islam Karimov told reporters in Tashkent, the Uzbek capital, that he was hoping to attract up to $1.5 billion of Chinese investments during the forthcoming three or five years.

Good relations with Karimov are highly important for the Chinese administration. Beijing is interested in guaranteeing stability to Central Asia, which it views as the center of Islamic extremism. The Chinese authorities are deeply concerned about the penetration of Islamite terrorists in China. Beijing, therefore, could only welcome Karimov's tough decisions that he made to suppress the uprising in Andijan.

Hu Jintao stated that China respected the way that the Uzbek nation had chosen for its own development, and the efforts to defend the national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. It means that China will have no further objections if Karimov decides to take severe measures against the local opposition, Islamic extremists, first and foremost.

The recent events in Uzbekistan occurred 200 kilometers far from the Chinese border. The Muslim religion is not alien for the local population in this region of China. The Chinese authorities do not conceal that Uigur separatists, being a part of the international terrorist network, want to build an independent theocratic state. A spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry stated that the Chinese government was firmly supportive of Uzbekistan government's efforts to suppress terrorism, separatism and extremism. China is interested in maintaining regional stability first and foremost: the Chinese authorities believe that their separatists keep close ties with extremist Islamic groups in Uzbekistan.

Karimov's trip was planned as a visit of respect in return to Hu Jintao's visit to Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, last year. It became possible for the Uzbek leader to show China's support as a result of the visit. In return, Karimov promised to maintain peace and stability in the region – that was exactly what Chinese officials wanted to hear from him.

Like China, the USA is gradually establishing relations with Uzbekistan. However, Washington's and Beijing's attitudes to events in Andijan are completely different. The USA insists on holding an independent investigation and even threatens to suspend the help to Uzbekistan in case the latter does not meet the requirement. It is noteworthy that China is good at building relations with those countries, which Washington tends to punish. Beijing does not want to show any pressure on North Korea, despite persistent appeals from the White House. China is developing economic ties with Iran, in spite of the Tehran's notorious nuclear program. China enjoys quite good relations with Myanmar, Sudan, Nepal and Zimbabwe. China tries to use any opportunity to emphasize its independence and disobedience “to the only superpower that has been left in the world.” China is becoming a superpower too.

Sergei Borisov

On the photo: Chinese leader Hu Jintao and Uzbek President Islam Karimov

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