【2023TCF】 China and Central Asia - A New Energy Cooperation, by Vladimir Norov
24 September , 2023

I welcome the organizers and participants of the sub-session on the topic: China and Central Asia - a new energy cooperation that is relevant and in demand.


In the Xi’an Declaration of the China-Central Asia Summit held in May of that year, the parties emphasized that they support the establishment of the Central Asia-China partnership on energy development, enhancing cooperation along the entire production chain, further expanding cooperation in the field of traditional energy sources, including oil, natural gas and coal, cooperation in the field of hydropower, solar, wind energy and other renewable sources, deepening cooperation in the global use of nuclear energy, projects using green technologies and clean energy sources, implementing the concept of innovative, coordinated, green, open and collaborative development.


The parties welcome the acceleration of the construction of the fourth, line D of the Turkmenistan-China gas pipeline, passing through the territory of Central Asia.


The initiative to develop a UN Strategy aimed at implementing measures for the development of low-carbon energy, as well as the development under the auspices of the UN of an international "Roadmap" for the development of hydrogen as one of the priority areas in the energy sector, was also noted. To ensure adequate oil supplies and mitigate geopolitical uncertainty, China has diversified its sources of crude oil and gas imports in recent years.


Central Asia, a region rich in oil and natural gas next to China, could play a crucial role in China’s strategy to reduce its dependence on energy supplies.


Two-thirds of China’s gas imports last year came from Central Asia. This indicates that cooperation in this area is very important and promising.


According to the PipeChina West Pipeline Company, 43.2 billion cubic meters of natural gas was delivered to China through the existing China-Central Asia transnational gas pipeline last year. In total, from the start of operation in 2009 until the end of 2022, a total of 423.2 billion cubic meters of gas was supplied to China through it.


Currently, the pipeline transports about 100 million cubic meters of natural gas per day.


As China’s first transnational gas pipeline, it crosses the border of Turkmenistan through Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and connects with China’s West-East gas pipeline at Khorgos, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwest China.


The new Line D of the China-Central Asia gas pipeline is one of the most difficult gas pipeline projects in the world, as the line passes through difficult terrain and some mountainous areas with significant earthquakes.


In addition, this is the first time that the China-Central Asia gas pipeline passes through Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. However, one can be sure of the success of this project thanks to the strong partnership between China and the Central Asian countries.


Energy cooperation between China and Central Asian countries is of strategic importance for negotiations between the parties and establishing conditions of trust and cooperation between them.


Thanks to a number of projects implemented in the field of energy, the inhabitants of these countries have received tangible benefits.


For example, in 2011 the government of Tajikistan and the Chinese company Tebian Electric Apparatus Stock Co., Ltd. (TBEA) signed an agreement on the construction of the Dushanbe CHPP-2, a combined heat and power plant with a total installed capacity of 400 megawatts.


Officially launched in October 2012, the project was aimed at solving the problems of electricity shortages in Tajikistan during the winter period and adjusting the national energy supply structure. Built in 2016, CHPP-2 returned central heating to the residents of Dushanbe after a 15-year break.


At the same time, President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev at the summit suggested paying special attention to issues of cooperation on the climate agenda and green energy.


“Unfortunately, the pace of development of energy employment in Central Asia,” the President of Uzbekistan said, “does not keep up with the pace of industrialization and urbanization, as well as demographic growth.”


“Today, this is indeed a very serious challenge to the long-term sustainable development of our countries.”


“Taking into account China’s technological leadership in the field of solar, wind and hydropower, as well as the existing financial instruments to support projects, we consider it necessary to expand close scientific and practical partnership in alternative energy,” he noted.


Last year, China’s electricity generation from clean energy showed growth amid the country’s move towards green and low-carbon energy.


In the reporting period, electricity generation through the use of energy increased by 16.3 percent. on an annualized basis and the creation of 762.4 billion kWh.


At the same time, the volume of photovoltaic energy production reached 425.1 billion kWh, an increase of 30.4 percent, compared to the previous year.


In 2022, China continued to optimize the power supply structure.


In particular, the share of installed capacity of non-fossil energy sources amounted to 49.6 percent of the total electricity generation in the country, and the share of electricity generated by coal-fired power plants decreased to 43.8 percent.


In the context of the global response to climate change and accelerating the transition to clean and low-carbon energy, in recent years, China and Central Asian countries have strengthened cooperation in the field of renewable energy such as hydropower, wind power and solar power, expanded cooperation in the entire energy industry chain, promoted environmental energy transformation, and jointly promote the green, low-carbon and sustainable development of the Belt and Road.


When Chinese enterprises began to cooperate with the countries of Central Asia in the field of renewable energy, on the one hand, they contributed to the development of the local economy, increased employment and interconnectedness of energy infrastructure.


On the other hand, they have taken support measures to provide technical assistance, developed a number of socially significant projects and organized training.


China is a world leader in renewable energy and an important player in the energy transition in Central Asia.


The export of Chinese clean technologies and equipment forms the core of China’s plan for green transition and economic prosperity, which is in line with the goals and aspirations of the five Central Asian countries for energy security and sustainable development.


Growing demand for green technologies in Central Asia makes the region an attractive market for Chinese surplus solar panels, electric vehicles and wind turbines.


Affordable Chinese equipment is more competitive in Central Asian markets.


China’s pragmatic approach to the green transition, embodied in the principle of “technological neutrality,” makes Beijing a particularly attractive partner for countries in the region.


China and the countries of Central Asia share concerns about the interconnected triangle of energy security, environmental crisis and economic development.


They strive for a coordinated, balanced energy system in which renewable energy and cleaner fuels coexist.


At the same time, the use of fossil fuels will gradually decrease.


In general, cooperation between China and Central Asian countries in the energy sector has great potential and prospects for both sides.


China and Central Asian countries must continue to develop partnership in this area and create conditions for the sustainable development of the region and the world as a whole.


I wish all participants of the session fruitful work.



  • Gu Boping Chief Cultural Scholar of Taihe Institute, Member of the 12th CPPCC National...
  • Siddharth Chatterjee UN Resident Coordinator in China
  • Wu Hailong President of China Public Diplomacy Association