Defining the Geopolitics of a Thirsty WorldSM
The Thirsty Dragon: Fossil Fuel Wealth, Water, and Poverty in Xinjiang

Via Circle of Blue, a brief look at the tension between China’s desire to promote growth in its Xinjiang region and the lack of water there.  As the article notes, Xinjiang has few local water sources, and even those are complicated by international politics. The Irtysh River and the Ili River originate in Xinjiang, before flowing through Kazakhstan and Russia—both of which are concerned about China’s use of the rivers.

“…In addition to exploiting its abundant coal reserves, the Chinese government also plans to make Xinjiang—desert home to the Uyghur ethnic minority—the center of its oil and gas industry. China National Petroleum Corporation will spend nearly US$30 billion in the province by 2020, with a goal of increasing production capacity more than 60 percent, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Going hand-in-hand with energy development is urban growth, driven in part by national governmental policy. In 1999, China launched the Go West campaign to balance the country’s economic growth and increase the proportion of Han Chinese in areas with restive ethnic minorities.
Yet one barrier to all this growth is water. Xinjiang has few local water sources, and even those are complicated by international politics. The Irtysh River and the Ili River originate in Xinjiang, before flowing through Kazakhstan and Russia—both of which are concerned about China’s use of the rivers.”


This entry was posted on Friday, April 15th, 2011 at 3:03 pm and is filed under China, Kazakhstan, Russia.  You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.  You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. 

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