China Invests $1 billion in Tajikistan
A meeting between Chinese president Hu Jintao and Tajik president Emomali Rahmon, resulted in $1 billion in agreed upon investment by the Chinese government in Tajikistan to include a concessional loan of $400 million in a 200 MW heat and power generation plant in Dushanbe as well as a $600 million cement factory. The factory will be a partnership effort between TALCO, a Tajik government-owned company, and the Chinese government-owned National Materials Group Corporation.
The efforts plays well with Tajikistan’s goal of becoming a net energy exporter and will build China’s influence with the economically struggling Central Asian nation. Jintao has pledged that China will offer up to $10 billion in loans to support economic development in the region. The specific move visa-vie Tajikistan is likely part of the larger PR campaign China is running to cover for its history of opportunistic trade deals, land grabs and lack of public appeal. This is but the latest maneuver by the Chinese to ease access to Tajikistan’s energy and mineral wealth waltzing with the Tajik desire to diversify its power allies in the region.