The Chinese foreign policy priorities in Kyrgyzstan

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Alchynbek Meimanov IR-5 The Chinese foreign policy priorities in Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyzstan is a state of the Central Asian region. Its situation has important geopolitical and geo-economic significance as a bridge connecting West and East, as well as North and South. At the present time Kyrgyzstan is in a period between a communistic past and a democratic future politically, economically, and ethno-historically. Kyrgyzstan, as with the other states of Central Asia, is a place where four civilizations converge: European, mediated through Russia, Arabic-Muslim, Persian, and Chinese. On the one hand this has created favorable conditions for the development of bilateral and multilateral cooperation in different areas; on the other hand it underlines the necessity for a flexible and

balanced foreign policy. Kyrgyzstan is rapidly developing diplomatic and other relations with the majority of countries of the world. The KR receives practical direction and comprehensive maintenance from cooperation with global and regional organizations. Foreign policy activities of the Kyrgyz Republic are enriching. Bilateral diplomacy is an important tool for implementing foreign policy. For that, the crucial necessity is a varied approach in selection of the directions with the best prospects, that meet the cultural, ethno-historical, geopolitical and geo-economic characteristics of the country, that allow pursuit the national interests of the Kyrgyz Republic with maximum effectiveness. To provide for the territorial integrity of the Kyrgyz Republic, as well as its security

and economic development, attention to the Central Asian region is of high priority. Kyrgyzstan is a part of the "Eurasian civilization" that was formed around Russia that has geopolitical, economic, cultural, spiritual and linguistic dimensions. The Interlocking interests of Kyrgyzstan and Russia predestine a high level of political partnership. Strengthening military-political cooperation with the Russian Federation is an important element of Kyrgyzstan's security. Vital economic interests connect the country with Russia as well. All of this underlines the need to build a strategic partnership with Russia. Relations with The People's Republic of China are a very important aspect of the foreign policy of Kyrgyzstan. The priority given to China is determined by its

growing influence in world and regional affairs, its significant economic and demographic potential, as well as its geographical proximity to Kyrgyzstan. Development of good-neighbor relations with China is an essential component of Kyrgyzstan's security, an important condition for development of communication to the South and East, as well as development of a mutually beneficial trading partnership. Political cooperation between Kyrgyzstan and China during this period was characterized by positive interaction and stable dynamics of visits at various levels. This has gradually led to an atmosphere of mutual understanding and trust. The trade turnover has been steadily growing; a new transportation infrastructure was created, while the old one has been improved; and cooperation

between the two countries in other fields has also reached a significant level. Bishkek and Beijing have actively cooperated in international and regional organizations, among which the most important was the Shanghai Five, which was later re-organized into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Most topical issues between the two countries, which hampered bilateral interaction and, to a large extent, the continued progressive development of relations, were settled during the period before 2005 - when the sensitive border problem was solved, and the main political document, the "Treaty of Friendship, Good Neighborliness and Cooperation," was signed. Despite the existing serious concerns from both sides, the dramatic events of 24 March 2005 in Kyrgyzstan, which led to