China has tried to build the land-based Silk Road through its One Belt, One Road policy, which potentially involves over 40 countries. However, it is expected that the revival of the ancient Silk Road will not be an easy goal to achieve because of water conflicts between neighbouring countries involved.
Three Central Asian countries - Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan; are countries with an abundance of fossil fuel resources. However, they have had difficulties accessing fresh water resources. The lack of fresh water has led to several conflicts between the aforementioned countries, especially when they tried to replace the old Soviet water management system.
Due to water crisis, while in the process of building the infrastructure for the “One Belt, One Road Initiative”, China also experienced tensions with Kazakhstan. If such tensions are successfully managed, China could take the leadership as a mediator for water disputes in Central Asia. In turn, this will lead to a successful beginning of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
The gLAWcal Team
(Source: East Asia Forum)