In a major change in policy, China is becoming more militarily active in the Central Asian republic of Tajikistan. Tajikistan, which was one of the republics of the Soviet Union, is usually thought to be in Russia’s exclusive sphere of influence.
As we have reported in the past, China has been very economically aggressive in Tajikistan. It is thought that there are now 150,000 Chinese working in Tajikistan, and China has been buying up industries and huge amounts of farmland. In 2011, Tajikistan agreed to hand over around 1% of its territory to China in exchange for having some of its debts forgiven.
Russia promises Tajikistan a ‘large quantity’ of military aircraft
On Monday, defense ministers of Russia and Tajikistan, meeting in Moscow, signed a military aid agreement specifying that Russia would provide a “large quantity” of military aircraft to Tajikistan over the next year. Russia’s defense minister Sergey Shoigu said after the meeting: