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Is This Why China Wanted the Land From Tajikistan?

Discussion in 'China & Asia Pacific' started by lca-fan, May 7, 2017.

  1. lca-fan

    lca-fan Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Is This Why China Wanted the Land From Tajikistan?
    Posted on June 9, 2012 by MV / 0 Comment

    In January 2011, Tajikistan ceded 386 square miles or 1,000 square km of land to China, land that was located in the remote, sparsely populated Pamir mountain range. This, China announced, had settled its long border dispute with Tajikistan. We were intrigued. Why would a small piece of land on the border of Tajikistan and Afghanistan be so important to China?

    The only answer we could think of was the Wakhan Corridor. This small corridor, 10-40 miles wide and about 140 miles long, is the only border between Afghanistan and China. This corridor was created in 1873 to separate the Russian sphere, that included Tajikistan, from British-ruled India. Today, the Wakhan corridor sits between Tajikistan, China’s Xinjiang province and Pakistani-occupied part of Kashmir. China is the biggest investor in Tajikistan and Pakistan is critically dependent on China. So the Wakhan corridor is geo-strategically important to China.

    Our conjectures about China’s interests in Afghanistan and the resultant importance of the Wakhan corridor to China were laid out in our article Tajikistan Cedes Land to China – A Step Towards Af-Kash-Bet? on January 15, 2011. This article has become the 5th most read article of this Blog since its publication.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    (src – Wikipedia) (Wakhan Corridor in red – original src Wikipedia)

    While strategic and of long term interest, the Wakhan corridor and its 16,100 feet high Wakhjir Pass is closed during most of the year. So we could not come to grips with how China planned to use the Wakhan corridor to broaden its foray into Afghanistan. This week proved we are simply not as bright or forward thinkers like China’s military leaders. We admit it. Hats off to the Chinese and their unrelenting focus.

    This week we learned that China is planning to build a tunnel under the Wakhan corridor to establish all-weather access to Afghanistan. This would be a major engineering feat, not unlike the Trans-Himalayan railway built by China in Tibet. Plans for this tunnel were discussed by General V.K. Singh, the recently retired Chief of the Indian Army, in a conversation with The Telegraph, a prominent Indian newspaper in Kolkata. We urge readers to read the article in the Telegraph published on June 5, 2012.

    As the graphic below shows, China’s current access to Pakistan is through the Pakistani-occupied Kashmir via the city of Gilgit. By building an all-weather tunnel to Afghanistan, China gets direct access to Afghanistan completely bypassing Pakistani occupied territories. By securing a shorter, more direct, secure and all-weather road access to Afghanistan, China can increase its presence in Afghanistan and get land access through Afghanistan to Iran and beyond. This will make Pakistan even more dependent on China rather than China being dependent on access via Pakistani-occupied Kashmir.

    [​IMG]
    (src – The Telegraph)

    The Battle for Influence and Supremacy in Post-America Afghanistan

    Way back in December 2009, we discussed our views about the new and inevitable great game in our article titled The Battle For Afghanistan, Kashmir & Tibet – A Post-American Withdrawal View Of The Region. The pieces are falling into place.

    This week, China emphasized its interest in post-America Afghanistan. President Hu Jia Tao met Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai on Friday and announced a new strategic partnership between China and Afghanistan. Afghanistan has already signed a strategic partnership with India. But India does not have a direct land access to Afghanistan. Its air access can be shut down at any time by Pakistan.

    China does not have a direct land access with Afghanistan either. But with an all-weather tunnel under the Wakhan corridor it will. Until then, China gets land access to Afghanistan via Pakistani-occupied Kashmir and China already maintains a contingent of military engineers in Pakistani-occupied Kashmir. China’s goals in Afghanistan are complimentary to Pakistan’s goals in Afghanistan, at least for the near term. In fact, we can picture an Afghanistan living under a loose confederacy of Pakistan dominated Pashtuns in the south, Chinese dominated Tajiks in the northeast and Iranian dominated Hazara in the northwest with possibly Russian-influenced Tajiks-Uzbeks in the north.

    The country that will be shut out is India and the country that might lose its considerable investment in Afghanistan is America. This may be why America has begun arguing for a greater role for India in Afghanistan. Frankly, we are not impressed by this soft overture. More importantly, according to Stratfor, Pakistan is not impressed either.

    Unlike India or America, China keeps demonstrating its farsightedness, its laser like focus on its strategic goals and its determination to physically build the infrastructure to implement its strategy. The conception of an all-weather tunnel under the Wakhan corridor is the most recent evidence of these traits.

    Editor’s PS: The article in the Telegraph was brought to our attention by a reader. We thank him for his help and interest in the Blog.

    http://cinemarasik.com/2012/06/is-this-why-china-wanted-the-land-from-tajikistan/

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  2. lca-fan

    lca-fan Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Recent Chinese maps show China extended on the western front.

    Read this line again shows our incompetence, "Unlike India or America, China keeps demonstrating its farsightedness".

    Please see Map: The whole idea is that even if India takes over POK , if China owns it, it will prevent India -Afghanistan connection and thus land route to the rest of central Asia.

    Wakhan_Corridor.png
     
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  3. Golden_Rule

    Golden_Rule Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    The Wakhan Corridor already ends at the Af-China border. Via this, China can always have direct access to Afganistan and Pakistan and further into Iran, bypassing POK. So what is the additional importance of the 1000 sq km of this land ceded by Tajikistan? Is it just the land grab mentality of China by bullying weaker nations around it into submission?
     
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  4. Golden_Rule

    Golden_Rule Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Well, the Wakhan corridor belongs to Afganistan and that part is not ceded as per my understanding of the article. It is some part north of it, in the area owned by Tajikistan.
     
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  5. Golden_Rule

    Golden_Rule Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Tajikistan cedes land to China
    • 13 January 2011
    The Pamir mountains lie on the Tajik border with China and Afghanistan

    China and Tajikistan say that they have settled a century-old border dispute, after the Central Asian nation agreed to cede land to China.

    The Tajik parliament voted on Wednesday to ratify a 1999 deal handing over 386 square miles (1,000 sq km) of land in the remote Pamir mountain range.

    The Tajik foreign minister said that this represented 5.5% of the land that Beijing had sought.

    China said the move thoroughly resolved the border dispute.

    Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei gave no details on the treaty.

    But he said the dispute was solved "according to universally recognised norms of international law through equal consultations".

    An opposition leader described the deal as a defeat for Tajik diplomacy and a violation of the constitution.

    The Pamir mountain range stretches along the Tajik border with China and Afghanistan.

    It is not clear where exactly the land to be ceded is or how many people live there.

    China is the biggest investor in the Tajik economy, particularly in the energy and infrastructure sectors.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-pacific-12180567
     
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  6. sangos

    sangos Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    And when we retake our lands our military will perched right above the canyon and Chinese approach.

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Hellfire

    Hellfire Devil's Advocate THINKER

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    Read it in light of the Chinese claims over the territories with 'historical' rights. This is one region where, in future, we will see conflict between Russians and Chinese brewing up, why, I keep saying, that at the end of the day, Russia can not let go of India and needs India to counter China 2-3 decades down the time.
     
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  8. A_poster

    A_poster Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Bullshit!!


    China has stacks of unused money/dollars which degrade everyday due to inflation, and excess of infrastructure capacity which ,if not diverted abroad, would have to be closed down leading to widespread job loss and social unrest and possible mutiny.

    All project which China is taking are moneypits, which could not make money like EVER. For some like CPEC or Hambabtota, they would make a profit because those projects were undertaken by stupid governments of their country out of hate of India at terms favorable to China, but main part of OBOR would always be a net loss for China.

    When people say that India and US does not have farsightedness, they completely ignore economics of that farsightedness. India could roll the dice with its investments and try build vanity projects overseas praying for a return down the road, but that money would come from pocket of Indian taxpayers, money that could be invested in much better manner, like developing a tech based industry (industrial revolution 2.0), and military industrial complex.

    I am even circumspect about Chahbhar project, because that too is a money pit that would never provide us with any return.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2017
  9. Hellfire

    Hellfire Devil's Advocate THINKER

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    Boundary news

    Tajikistan ratifies demarcation agreement with China in settlement of long-running dispute
    (13 January 2011)

    On 12 January 2011, Tajikistan ratified an agreement previously signed in April 2010 with China to demarcate their long-disputed boundary in the Pamir mountain range region. The lower house of the Tajikistan parliament ratified the agreement which indicates that 101 boundary pillars will be placed during the demarcation; 52 in the Chinese section and 49 in the Tajik section. Presently there is one checkpoint located at Kara Soo. This is the first of Tajikistan's boundaries to be demarcated since its independence, although it continues to work on reaching agreement with Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan regarding their common boundaries.

    No treaty has previously existed to delimit the boundary in the Pamirs region located north of the tripoint between Afghanistan, China, and Tajikistan. Disputes over the area have continued since the second half of the 19th Century, starting between Tsarist Russia and China, then between the Soviet Union and China, and finally between independent Tajikistan and China. The Soviet Union observed a de facto/customary line to the east of the disputed territory that it claimed had been defined in an 1894 Sino-Russian exchange of notes (Kashgar Boundary Protocol). Chinese governments have never recognised the validity of the 1894 exchange of notes and have made various boundary claims in the Pamirs involving up to 41,000 sq km of disputed territory. When the former Soviet Union signed a boundary treaty with Afghanistan in 1981, in which the Pamir region was recognized as being part of the Soviet Union, China responded by claiming that the agreement was illegal. Most conventional mapping up to the present has shown the boundary section running from the tripoint between Afghanistan, China and Tajikistan, northwards to the Kizil Jik Dawan as the de facto line claimed by the Soviet Union, but often labelled as ‘in dispute.’

    Tajikistan inherited the boundary dispute from the Soviet Union at its independence in 1991 and agreed with China to delimit their boundary in 1996. Negotiations began the following year. In 2002 initial agreements were signed which allocated much of the disputed territory by defining a new boundary. Based on the de facto/customary line observed by the Soviet Union, the new boundary sees China relinquish claims to 28,000 sq km of the disputed land in the Pamirs, accounting for approximately 20 percent of Tajikistan’s overall territory. The new boundary also sees Tajikistan relinquish claims to approximately 1,000 sq km of claimed territory.

    The Tajik government has claimed that the recent agreement is a victory for diplomacy, stating that the land ceded to China represents only three percent of the possible disputed territory in the Pamirs. However, Tajik opposition parties have been critical and claim that there was a lack of transparency regarding the signing of the 2002 agreement. The Islamic Revival Party has stated the ceding of land represents a defeat for the country.

    Source: ‘China’s land mass increases by 1,000 sq km, thanks to Tajik’, The Press Trust of India Limited, 12 January 2011; ‘Tajik parliament passes protocol on border demarcation with China’, ITAR-TASS World Service, 12 January 2011; ‘Parliament ratifies protocol on demarcation of Tajikistan’s common border with China’, The Times of Central Asia, 12 January 2011; ‘International Boundary Study No. 64 (revised): China-U.S.S.R Boundary’, U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, 13 February 1978.


    https://www.dur.ac.uk/ibru/news/boundary_news/?itemno=11360&rehref=/ibru/news/&resubj=Boundary+news Headlines


    Typically shows the Chinese art of manoeuvring! This 'relinquishing the claim' will come back on table after a couple of more decades.
     

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