Risky Business: A Case Study of PRC Investment in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan

Author
Danny Anderson
Content Type
Journal Article
Journal
China Brief
Volume
18
Issue Number
14
Publication Date
August 2018
Institution
The Jamestown Foundation
Abstract
China’s “New Silk Road” or “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) has reached Central Asia in resounding fashion. As a result, the republics of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan have seen large increases in Chinese presence and investment. Although both countries have overlapping needs, the degree and character of PRC involvement in each has differed. PRC investment in Tajikistan is characterized by expensive loans on infrastructure investment and energy projects that the country may be unable to repay (Avesta.tj, December 25, 2017). Kyrgyzstan, while having hosted similar projects, is also attempting to move the country into the twenty-first century by improving its transportation and digital infrastructure (Tazakoom.kg). Development experts classify both countries as “high-risk” for debt distress given public debt projections (Cgdev.org). However, despite the risk of such an outcome, both countries appear inclined to welcome PRC investment with open arms, as a way of funding needed investment like power generation and logistical links with the outside world.
Topic
Development, Infrastructure, Economic Growth, Soft Power
Political Geography
Russia, China, Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan