Staunton, July 29 – Moscow and Beijing have reacted to the protests in Karakalpakstan and their suppression by Tashkent in strikingly similar wars, Andrey Kazantsev and Sergey Lebedev say, the result of the fact that the two major powers have very similar agendas as far as Uzbekistan is concerned.
The two, one a professor at the Higher School of Economics and the other an instructor at the Russian State University of the Humanities, argue that officials in Moscow and Beijing reacted to the Karakalpak events in the same way, interpreting them as an effort to produce a color revolution (vb.kg/doc/420912_protesty_v_yzbekistane:_reakciia_rossii_i_kitaia.html
oth powers also want to keep Uzbekistan neutral or at least prevent it from offering bases on its territory to the US or any other outside country. Both want economic stability and expanded trade with Uzbekistan. And both believe that what happens in Uzbekistan will affect the broader region and their ability to cooperate with it.
Kazantsev and Lebedev published their analysis in the main newspaper of Kyrgyzstan, but what makes it worthy of wider notice is that it reflects a reality that some in the West often underrate. Russia and China do have common interests in places like Central Asia and are not cooperating with each other there or elsewhere solely because of their opposition to the West.