The existence of the Republic of China in Taiwan as a separate entity from the People’s Republic of China in Beijing is the single largest threat to the survival of the Chinese Communist Party. For years, Beijing has pursued steps to create global conditions favorable for “reunification”–including a military scenario. If a war breaks out over Taiwan, China will be unable to secure energy supplies by sea.
To withstand the economic disruption caused by a conflict in the Western Pacific, China has turned its focus to Central Asia as part of Chinese strategic thinking.
Beyond increasing its military capacity, China has put serious attention to the decoupling scenario with the West. To avoid economic disruptions, it has been promoting the global use of the Chinese currency, setting up its own multilateral financial institutions, and deepening ties with regimes in critical developing countries for strategic resources. Central Asia offers a land-based trade and energy route alternative to the sea-based international political economy foundational to the current geopolitical environment.