China’s reliance on the predominantly Muslim Middle East and Central Asia puts stress on the fact that China cannot tamper or ignore the Uighur (Muslim) question without serious trade implications that could be disastrous for the country’s economy.
The Central Asian governments have also adopted a “Go West” policy which is profoundly supported by China. It can’t be denied that China’s relations with the Central Asian States are vibrant and multi-dimensional in nature and will have repercussions on
80% of the Gwadar Port was financed by China who sees the warm water port as an integral part of its “Strings of Pearls” (SOP) policy. This port holds an important place to China in the light of its trade relations with CAS.
Even for India, a mere observer in this show, Pakistan is the easiest route to CAS.
For the growing needs of its economy, Pakistan needs energy which China can provide for through CAS.
The New Great Game has become a scenario in which China, India and Pakistan’s paths will inevitably congregate with those of CAS.
China has opened up its western region adjacent to Pakistan for trade and investment in order to reduce the economic disparity between its developed coastal regions and other underdeveloped areas. Once developed, this region would be a hub for economic activity
between China, Central Asia, and South Asia.
The construction of the West-East Gas Pipeline initiated in 2002. The pipeline was put into trial operation on 1 October 2004, and the full commercial supply of natural gas began on 1 January 2005. Another estimate is that the West-East gas pipeline project
cost is around $20 billion. It is 4,000 km long and since 2004, 13 billion cubic metres of gas a year has flown from Lunnan (Xinjiang) through eight intervening provinces and across both the Yangtse and Yellow Rivers all the way to Shanghai. Xinjiang is expected
to replace northeast China as the new energy base of China. It will supply over one-fifth of China’s total oil needs by 2010, including an output of 35 million tons and an import of 10 million tons of crude oil from Kazakhstan.