China and Central Asia
China is a global player
China is the world's second largest economy, after the United States(*) . Economic growth requires China to expand its access to raw materials and markets. Therefore, Central Asia plays an important role for China as a strategic raw material rear and transit area for its goods.
China is a major investor and foreign economic partner for Central Asian countries. China's total annual trade turnover with the countries of the region has grown to $38 billion (2020)(*) . 90% of Central Asian exports to China are fuel and raw materials(*). More recently, Central Asia has become a kind of land "core" of China's «Belt and Road Initiative»(*) .
China's strategic goals in the region are:
Gaining access to natural resources of Central Asia;
Increase trade turnover and promotion of Chinese goods in the region as well as its transit to European markets;
Development of new transportation corridors through Central Asia.
Although cooperation with China is beneficial for the Central Asian countries, the main goal of the Belt and Road projects is to support the growth of the Chinese economy. When developing projects with China, it is necessary to assess not only the economic and political risks, but also the social and environmental consequences of their implementation(*) . This information resource is dedicated to these issues.