Arrow Down Arrow Left Arrow Right Arrow Up Camera icon set icon set Ellipsis icon set Facebook Favorite Globe Hamburger List Mail Map Marker Map Microphone Minus PDF Play Print RSS Search Share Trash Crisiswatch Alerts and Trends Box - 1080/761 Copy Twitter Video Camera  copyview Youtube
China's President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev at the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, on 4 September 2016. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
Report 245 / Europe & Central Asia

丝绸之路在中亚的竞争对手

中国和俄罗斯在中亚地区有着不同的构思,而这或会转变该地区的政治经济格局及其与这两个欧亚巨头的关系。对于较小的、尚在萌芽中的中亚国家而言,正如水能载舟亦能覆舟,新的地缘政治现状既可能带动经济繁荣,也可能加剧社会动荡和冲突。

  • Share
  • Save
  • Print
  • Download PDF Full Report

执行摘要

中亚的政治格局或因两个新区域性举措而改变。中国国家主席习近平于2013年推出了丝绸之路经济带(SREB)该政策为中亚运输和工业等领域提供了数十亿美元的投资,并提倡了泛区域自由贸易。2015年,俄罗斯带领与其经济关系密切的前苏联国家建立了关税同盟,即,欧亚经济联盟(EEU)。尽管中俄双方承诺将在政治和经济上展开合作,但这两个举措却各怀其志。中亚在经济和政治上充满挑战,而这些举措将为其带来投资并加强合作机会。然而,倘若处理不善,这些举措亦或在当地助纣为虐,从而造成不稳定和冲突。

丝绸之路旨在为中国开辟一条贯穿其广阔内陆的贸易路线,并促进新疆地区稳定。这是一个笼统的概念,而非一系列明确的项目。丝绸之路第一阶段涉及在铁路公路建设上数十亿美元的投资,其将近及中亚,远达伊朗、俄罗斯、高加索、土耳其和欧洲。中国旨在减少地理,技术和政治方面的贸易障碍,进以实现其长期目标,即泛区域自由贸易。而一些经济不发达国家,如塔吉克斯坦和吉尔吉斯斯坦,则希望借此获得农业和工业上的投资,从而促进经济发展。该计划就战略和意识形态而言,是为延伸中国的政治影响力,并推广以国家为主导的发展模式。若是成功,丝绸之路将是中国在主导新型国际秩序上迈开的第一步。

中国的计划面临着很大的挑战。丝绸之路在中亚,政治敏感度高。虽然当地精英阶层欢迎中国投资者带来的资金,但民众却常对其持有怀疑和仇外心理。2016年5月,有关土地被租给中国投资者的谣言在哈萨克斯坦引发了抗议。同年八月,中国驻比什凯克大使馆遭自杀式炸弹袭击,其引发了北京当局对当地安全隐患的担忧。中国的许多投资项目不仅难以受益大众,还往往涉嫌高层腐败,并因造成区域污染而备受环境方面的争议。对腐败和环保的民愤之于民族主义就犹如火上浇油,并令中亚地区的反华反政府情绪高涨。

丝绸之路还挑战了俄罗斯的地位,而其也另建机构来加强区域影响力。 2014年5月,俄罗斯、白俄罗斯和哈萨克斯坦大致参照着欧盟成立了欧亚联盟,吉尔吉斯斯坦和阿米尼亚亦于2015年加入。欧亚联盟旨在促进货物、劳工、服务和资本在区域内的自由流动,并对非成员国进口征收关税。然而,其不仅迄今未能实现更大经济一体化的承诺,而成员之间的贸易额自2015年还因卢布贬值而量价均跌。该联盟同样受制于政治因素,乌兹别克斯坦和土库曼斯坦已明确表示将不会加入欧亚联盟 或由俄主导的集体安全条约(CSTO)。但俄罗斯作为中亚各国重要的合作伙伴,其对中亚政治、社会和文化的影响之深,仍非中国所能及。

中俄均表示将致力于欧亚联盟与丝绸之路的合作。莫斯科亦提出了“大欧亚大陆”这样一个模糊的概念性项目。其以与中国合作为核心,将中国、俄罗斯和中亚连接成一个新的政治经济集团。然而,作为内向型关税同盟,欧亚联盟与中国提倡的欧亚自由贸易策略却在根本上互相矛盾。此外,中亚各国皆为私利,克服区域贸易壁垒将困难重重。因此,哈萨克斯坦希望与西方保密切联系,并以此制衡俄罗斯和中国;而乌兹别克斯坦虽有意与邻国交好,但仍然抵触跨境自由贸易。

更值得顾虑的则是,这些互相竞争的项目不仅忽视法治、福利、卫生、教育或环保等问题,还难以促成必要的政治和体制改革。若缺乏这些改革,中亚各国政权将依旧脆弱,并难以应对社会变革和外部挑战。对西方国家而言,既然这些举措的兴起已然标志了他们在该地区的日益边缘化,欧盟、美国和国际金融机构不妨尝试参入到这两项举措中,并为改善国家治理、环境及劳工待遇而献力。

比什凯克/香港/布鲁塞尔,2017年7月27日

Kyrgyzstan's President Atambayev, Russia's President Putin, Kazakhstan's President Nazarbayev, Belarus' President Lukashenko and Armenian's President Sargsyan stand for a photograph before a meeting of the Eurasian Economic Union in Astana, 29 May 2014. REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin
Report 240 / Europe & Central Asia

欧亚经济联盟:权力、政治和贸易

Since its creation in 2015, the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) has kept only a few of its promises. Its limited economic success cannot mask the many tensions between Russia and its neighbours. Much of the EEU’s future success will depend on its members’ will to shift away from geopolitics a​nd focus on international cooperation, governance, social welfare and migration.

  • Share
  • Save
  • Print
  • Download PDF Full Report

Executive Summary

The Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), created in 2015 by Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz­stan, Belarus and Armenia, claims to be the first successful post-Soviet initiative to overcome trade barriers and promote integration in a fragmented, under-developed region. Supporters argue that it could be a mechanism for dialogue with the European Union (EU) and other international partners. Critics portray a destabilising project that increases Russia’s domination of the region and limits its other members’ relations with the West. The EU views the project as a challenge to sovereign choices in its Eastern neighbourhood. Positions hardened after Armenia’s 2013 departure from the Association Agreement with the EU, including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade area, and Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

On paper, the EEU is an economic, technocratic project that offers some benefits to members, particularly in easing cross-border trade and facilitating labour migration, but also poses economic risks by raising external tariffs and potentially orienting economies away from global markets. So far it has had little economic success, though access to Russia’s labour market has been an important motivator and, on balance, a positive outcome for struggling post-Soviet economies. Beset by trade disputes, sanctions regimes and a regional economic crisis, trade inside the EEU fell by 26 per cent in 2015. But optimists argue that the legal status of labour migrants within the bloc has improved, and there will be long-term gains from harmonising customs and trade rules.

The main political tensions around the EEU, however, stem from its role in regional politics. Russia views it not only as an economic grouping, but also as a mechanism to institutionalise influence over its neighbours and as a building block in a new international order. This raises tensions with members and has led to a clash with other integration drivers in the EU’s and Russia’s shared neighbourhood, specifically the EU’s Association Agreements, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade area (AA/DCFTA). Moscow views these EU initiatives as encroachment into its sphere of influence. This clash between different regional projects contributed to the tensions and conflict in Ukraine in 2014, and while Moscow argued the AA/DCFTA was harmful for its economy, EU officials saw the concern as political, stressing that EU standards are not a burden even for EU companies when exporting to Russia or cooperating with Russian companies. Both sides view the other as a rival, but EEU member states other than Russia have sought to deepen their relationships with the EU where they can.

Closer economic integration within the EEU should make conflicts between members (for instance, between Russia and Kazakhstan) less likely. Easier cross-border trade and movement could reduce tensions in Central Asia. Yet, if Russia uses the EEU to dominate the region politically and as a platform for confrontation with the West, other members are likely to view the organisation as a threat to their independence. Rival economic partnerships – whether with the EU or China – would then look more attractive, potentially creating tensions in relations between EEU members and Moscow.

The EEU’s uncertain role and future and the standoff with Russia over Crimea and eastern Ukraine, make it difficult for the EU to develop a coherent policy toward it. Some Brussels officials and member states are opposed to any talks, fearing they would legitimise Russia’s policies toward its neighbours and cut across bilateral relations between the EU and Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Belarus – all of which have experienced new momentum in the past year and a half. Others argue that EU engagement with the EEU is a possible channel for a breakthrough in relations with Russia, or at least that it could help build bridges, or even take pressure off countries in the Eastern neighbourhood and Central Asia, some of whom have complained about being trapped between Moscow and Brussels.

Political engagement between the two blocs is hardly realistic at present, in particular until conditions such as implementation of the Minsk Agreement on the Ukraine conflict are met. While Moscow has repeatedly expressed an interest in formalising relations, many in the EU have concerns that such a step would produce a substantively empty process with an appearance of normal relations but minimal substantive gains.

If approached with full awareness of the above risks, low-level technical talks between EU and EEU officials could, however, help inform future strategies and offer some pragmatic short-term gains, at least in terms of defining substance for future discussions.

Higher-level engagement, however, should only follow serious shifts in Russian policy, both in Ukraine and in relation to other regional states, and this is highly unlikely in the short-to-medium term. The EU would also have to consider whether recognition of the EEU would enhance or undermine the ability of smaller EEU member states to define their bilateral relationship with Brussels.

Moscow/Astana/Bishkek/Dushanbe/Brussels, 20 July 2016