Sunday, July 13, 2014

Chinese loans will counterbalance Russia’s influence in Kazakhstan

Micha’el Tanchum, Shalem College 

East Asia Forum - 10 July 2014

On 29 May 2014, the presidents of Kazakhstan, Russia, and Belarus signed a treaty establishing the Eurasian Economic Union (EaEU). One week prior, Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Chinese President Xi Jinping announced investment agreements worth US$10 billion. The timing of the two events reflects Nazarbayev’s determination to use Kazakhstan’s burgeoning economic relations with China to counterbalance possible Russian domination. The most telling sign of this intention was the announcement of a US$1 billion loan from China to modernise Kazakhstan’s Shymkent oil refinery.