The Great Game that Never Ends: China emerges as leading player in Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan occupies a unique geopolitical position in Eurasia. Kazakhstan has gradually emerged as a regional power as a result of its economic progress and „multi-vector‟ foreign policy. China‟s policy in Kazakhstan is linked to its larger strategic and geo-political interests following the disintegration of the former USSR. China‟s economic policy is also largely based on its energy security needs and search for a market for its finished goods. Simultaneously, there is also a fear among Chinese policy makers with regard to the „opening up „of its north western frontier towards the Muslim Republics of Central Asia as it involves the risk of Islamic fundamentalism and cross-border ethnic separatism that may pose grave threat to China‟s national security. China has achieved a significant advantage over any potential competitor and has created an important infrastructure base in Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan‟s foreign cooperation with Russia or the West will no longer change this trend of increased interaction with China.
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