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Biden administration up to its tricks in Central Asia

By Li Yang | China Daily | Updated: 2023-09-22 07:42

Workers look at solar power panels at a photovoltaic power plant in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on May 4. XINHUA

The C5+1 summit US President Joe Biden hosted on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, the first of its kind, indicates Washington is now eyeing Central Asia in an effort to put further pressure on China and Russia.

The Tuesday summit vividly shows the US' slight to the five countries in the region — Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Unlike the conventional arrangement of multilateral meetings that often choose round tables to embody the equality of all sides, Biden and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken occupied the two seats in the center of an arc table with the leaders of the five countries seated on the two wings. As such, the address Biden made to the media before the summit looked more like a lecture and the support he vowed the US will give these Central Asian countries sounded like condescending gifts.

Although Biden stressed the US would like to extend its counterterrorism funding to the region and strengthen economic connectivity with it, as well as mineral and energy cooperation, all know that these are only a cover for the US efforts to drive wedges between the region and Russia and China.

The geopolitical importance to the US of the landlocked region that lies in the center of the Eurasian continent and borders both Russia and China cannot be overstated. Since both Russia and China's defense and economic centers of gravity are far from the region, which is nevertheless of strategic importance in energy and logistics to them, Washington views Central Asia as an ideal launchpad for its efforts to constrain China and Russia.

However, as former republics of the Soviet Union as well as a long-term target zone of the US' color revolution schemes, with the one in Kazakhstan in 2022 as the latest, all the five countries in the region are well aware that Washington's sudden charm offensive stems from the mounting difficulties it faces in continuously dragging out the Ukraine crisis and implementing its China containment strategy, rather than any earnest desire to help them pursue common development.

Over the past decade, with the worsening of Russia-US ties and Sino-US ties, Washington has never stopped trying to take advantage of all internal contradictions among the five countries to try and cultivate its own proxies and puppet regimes in the region. The region has also been suffering from the spillover effects of the US' invasion of and failed "democracy experiment" in their neighbor, Afghanistan.

The summit has only served to show the US' long-term ignorance of Central Asia's development needs and its self-serving attempt to harness them to its geostrategic aims.


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