During the last decade, China’s diplomatic, economic, security and multilateral relations with Resource-Rich Countries (rrcs) in general, and with Central Asia and the Caspian Region (cacr) in particular, created a regional web of complementarity connecting states and societies. This trend reflects a dimension of the “statist globalization” of the Chinese economy. Chinese National Oil Companies (cnocs) are powerful actors within this emerging network. This comes as no surprise, as China’s domestic power-wealth structure relies on uninterrupted foreign (energy) supplies. The main aim of this paper will be to present a geopolitical economic reflection on China’s post-Cold War energy relations with the rrcs of Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan. Our theoretical framework, which stems from critical geopolitics, tries to conceptualize the geopolitical economic policy tools used by China’s ruling class in rrcs in general and the two cases in particular.
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