The Diplomat: Will Central Asia Water Wars Derail China’s Silk Road?

China continues to expand influence with its modern version of the Silk Road, a “prodigiously bold economic ambition to connect with potentially 40 countries across Europe, Asia, and Africa,” reports Nishtha Chugh. “The vast economic corridors and infrastructural network, when fully functional, will potentially give China unprecedented access to 60 percent of the world’s population and a third of global wealth.” Central Asia is the centerpiece linking the regions that will be served by the road, and China is the upstream country for most of Asia’s rivers. Increasing conflicts over water, encouraging waste rather than conservation and contributing to energy and food shortages, could block China’s development plans. Five Central Asian countries no longer cooperate through a Soviet system that once allocated water and other resources: Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan control water and Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan have oil and gas resources, explains Chugh. She concludes that China, in order to complete the new Silk Road, may have to hone skills in water diplomacy and water conservation. – YaleGlobal

The Diplomat: Will Central Asia Water Wars Derail China's Silk Road?

Water shortages lead to conflicts in Central Asia, and to proceed with new Silk Road development, China may have to try water diplomacy
Nishtha Chugh
Friday, March 31, 2017
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