عنوان مقاله [English]
Kazakhstan is located in the heart of Eurasia and is one of the most important communication points in the world due to its energy resources and transit and logistical advantages, and it is of special importance in the strategic calculations of the great powers. It is also located on the main economic belt of China's New Silk Road. This study examines the benefits and challenges of this project for Kazakhstan and the type of exposure of this country in the framework of the "Nurly Zhol" (Bright Road) program. In this regard, the development and deepening of economic and trade relations with the region, the development of energy lines and transit are some of the opportunities that the project will create for Kazakhstan. On the other hand, the intensification of competition between Russia, India and the United States in the region, increasing nationalist sensitivities due to China's cultural influence, trade imbalances and the risk of foreign debt are among the main challenges of cooperation in the framework of this plan for Kazakhstan.
This research is analytic-explanatory. The method of data collection is based on library findings such as books, articles, magazines, newspapers and websites.
Results and Discussion
The Republic of Kazakhstan has established short-term and long-term programs to advance its economic and development goals, the latest of which is the "Kazakhstan 2050" program, the main goal of which is to bring Kazakhstan to the top 30 economic countries. China's new project, the Belt and Road Initiative, which is central to China's foreign policy and includes economic, security and cultural dimensions, seeks to influence China in different parts of the world and change the world order in China's favor. The Republic of Kazakhstan is the largest landlocked country and is deprived of the benefits of open seas. Hence, it seeks to diversify its areas of communication. By establishing bilateral and multilateral relations, the Kazakh authorities encourage others to participate in Kazakhstan's economic development, one of which is to take advantage of the plan. Kazakhstan plays a central role in the development of the Silk Road economic belt, as it is China's strategic neighbor, one of China's most important access routes to Europe, and has a unique logistical and transit position on this route. It is also important for supply China's energy needs. These comparative advantages, combined with the country's geo-economic position and its active and balanced foreign policy, have paved the way for its special exploitation of the Silk Road project. Kazakhstan began the process of institutionalizing its relations with China after independence, creating a kind of institutionalization and mutual trust in the relations between the two countries by resolving border disputes and forming various mechanisms. Thus, it can be said that the major grounds for Kazakhstan's participation were provided before the announcement of China's new plan. It should be noted that although there are extensive and significant studies and resources on the subject of the New China Silk Road project, the distinguishing feature of this study is the study of the effects and consequences that this project will have on Kazakhstan. This study answers the question of what opportunities and challenges will the cooperation between Kazakhstan and China in the framework of the economic belt project create for Kazakhstan? The main idea of this paper is that the development and deepening of economic and trade relations with the countries of the region, the development of oil and gas lines, transportation and transit, are among the opportunities that it creates for Kazakhstan. On the other hand, intensifying competition between Russia, India, and the United States in the region, increasing nationalist sensitivities due to China's cultural influence, becoming a mere transit country, and the risk of foreign debt are the main challenges of cooperation in this project.
The Belt-Road project gives Kazakhstan the opportunity to once again become an important and fundamental region of world trade. Due to its energy resources, as well as its strategic position in the heart of Eurasia and China's connection to Europe and the Persian Gulf, and based on proper transportation infrastructure, it is one of the most important countries in the belt-road initiative. The Chinese have done their best to convince their partners that the plan will never bring them security or economic concerns. Countries in the region, on the other hand, are concerned that increasing transport capacity between China and other countries in the region could lead to increased unbalanced trade. Most of the countries around the project import more from China than they export. Kazakhstan, meanwhile, is forced to export raw materials to China to balance exports and imports, and is trying to expand its exports as raw material prices fall. One way China has addressed these concerns is by linking the construction of road-belt projects to investing in industries that could potentially export more items to China. By the time the Belt-Road was introduced as a new project, Kazakhstan's macro-development policies were clear, and the country was quick to align these policies with the Silk Road project and find common ground. Within the framework of the macro-strategy called the "Bright Road", the country had defined its geo-economic position as a logistics hub and transit on the one hand and with many comparative advantages in the field of raw materials and mines, and accordingly, priority areas were quickly identified for Chinese investment and cooperation, and the private and public sectors became operational in these areas, in the form of a larger Belt-Road. On the other hand, by pursuing balanced economic relations with neighboring countries, especially China and Russia, as well as pursuing a balanced foreign policy towards the European Union and maintaining close relations with the United States, it tried to maintain its independence by using the balance of external power. In this context, an important part of the projects in which the government and the private sector of Kazakhstan are involved is in the field of transport and logistics. Given that the shortest land routes connecting Asia and Europe pass through Kazakhstan, the country implemented a national Bright Road program to realize the existing transit potential. In other words, with the implementation of the Belt-Road Initiative, part of the state geo-economic goals to become a transit bridge between Europe and Asia have been achieved. On the one hand, it transforms the country from a landlocked country into a transit hub, and on the other hand, it facilitates its access to China and Europe as the world's largest markets. Overall, this is the biggest opportunity Kazakhstan has had since gaining independence
29.Zimmerman, T. (2015). “The New Silk Roads: China, the U.S., and the Future of Central Asia”, Center on Inernational Cooperation, New York University, available at: www.business-standard.com