Pipeline geopolitics: China, Central AsiaAugust 16, 2012
China wants to rapidly double the amount of natural gas that it imports from Central Asia and is working to increase and diversify the pipelines traversing the region. China currently gets gas via a Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Kasakhstan pipeline, but is in negotiations to build several more via various routes that would also involve Tajikistan, Krygyzstan and Afghanistan. Earlier this week, Vladimir Socor detailed the recent developments for the Jamestown Foundations’ Eurasian Daily Monitor. Left wing journalist Pepe Escobar has dubbed the collection of Central Asian energy republics “Pipelineistan” for the myriad existing and proposed projects designed to export gas and oil from deep in the Heartland to hungry customers east, west and south. The map below gives a rough idea of the intersecting lines, but does not include the newly proposed pipelines that Socor discusses, nor many Russian pipelines carrying gas to the same customers.