Home Foreign policy of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the concept of building a community with a common destiny for humanity.

Foreign policy of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the concept of building a community with a common destiny for humanity.

The Chinese concept of building a “community with a shared future for mankind” has been the central idea of Chinese foreign policy in recent years. The concept is a call for the world’s countries to work together to solve global problems, promoting peace, security, prosperity and openness.


However, before the concept of a “common future for mankind” acquired global significance for China, it was introduced in a regional context. This is especially true of the speeches of Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China, which he delivered at the Asian Forum in Boao on April 7, 2013 and at the Working Seminar on Diplomatic Work with Neighboring Countries on October 24, 2013. In these speeches, Xi Jinping emphasized that the understanding of a common future should be especially embraced by countries bordering China, thereby indicating the initial direction for the development of this project. In the context of Kazakhstan, as a country with a long border with China, this idea is important, implying involvement and active participation in regional initiatives aimed at shaping a common future. [1].


The concept emphasizes the need for joint efforts to address international challenges such as climate change, terrorism, cybersecurity and global inequality, believing that all countries are interconnected and that peace and stability can only be achieved through joint efforts and mutual understanding.


This concept has been met with varying degrees of approval and skepticism. Supporters view it as a vision of a more collaborative and harmonious global order, while critics see it as a strategic move by China aimed at restructuring global governance and expanding its influence on the world stage [2, p. 73–74].


Despite differing viewpoints, she emphasizes the need for global solidarity and joint efforts to solve the complex problems facing humanity today. In addition, the presence of such concepts is important against the backdrop of increasing competition between great powers. At the “Central Asia-China” summit on May 19, 2023, the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev noted that Kazakhstan stands for Central Asia to be a space of creation, and Kazakhstan does not accept the region becoming an arena of geopolitical confrontation [3]. The current situation in international politics requires great efforts to build bridges between the competing poles of global politics.


In this context, China proposes to strengthen multilateral engagement and support for international organizations such as the UN to promote peaceful development and economic cooperation, and strengthen global governance for common security and prosperity. The concept also emphasizes the importance of cultural exchange and mutual understanding between peoples to create a more inclusive global community.


Kazakhstan, in its foreign policy concept for 2020-2030, emphasizes the importance of adapting to modern challenges and security threats, such as terrorism, extremism, arms race, climate change and others. The concept also reflects the desire for cooperation in solving global and regional problems, while maintaining a multi-vector and pragmatic approach to international relations. The main focus is on promoting national interests and foreign economic priorities, with an emphasis on ensuring stability and security at the regional and global level [4].


The country’s new foreign policy strategy is notable for its emphasis on contemporary issues, including the crisis of confidence, increasing interstate conflicts, confrontation in the area of sanctions and the deepening problem of terrorism. This approach confirms Kazakhstan’s desire to make an active contribution to maintaining global and regional security and to develop friendly and mutually beneficial ties with various countries. One of the key goals is the desire to maintain neutrality in disagreements between major states [5].


The development of transport links in the Eurasian space is strategically important for Kazakhstan; accordingly, Kazakhstan is interested in maintaining prosperity and security in Eurasia. Thus, at the Central Asia-China summit, Tokayev noted the strategic importance of the Trans-Caspian international transport route [3]. Therefore, understanding the concept of building a community with a common destiny for humanity is important against the background of the crystallization of integration processes in greater Eurasia. The idea of a greater Eurasia was initially promoted by the first President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev [6, p. 45–46]. This concept represented a desire to create broader regional cooperation, including the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, ASEAN and others [7].


This cooperation could cover various aspects, ranging from economics to security. The idea of a greater Eurasia in the context of Nazarbayev’s statements was based on the idea of Eurasia as a bridge between Europe and Asia, with an emphasis on economic cooperation, ensuring stability and strengthening regional ties. Kazakhstan has always actively supported various Eurasian integration projects, including the creation of the Eurasian Economic Union. Kazakhstan’s first leadership’s vision of a greater Eurasia was part of a desire to make Kazakhstan an important regional player and deepen multilateral cooperation on the continent.


President of the Republic of Kazakhstan K.K. Tokayev, in turn, continues to support this idea and actively brings it to life within the framework of the above-mentioned associations. In general, this strategy is typical for the countries of Central Asia. As researchers Aliya Tskhai and Filippo Costa Buranelli note, understanding both formal and informal regional associations is extremely important, since establishing dialogue on a regional basis, even informal, is a way for states to realize that they belong to a certain region, where certain norms and rules are supported behavior, codes of conduct, identity and interests [8, p. 1040]. Kazakhstan’s active use of this strategy can be examined using the example of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia.


The importance of the organization can be characterized by a quote from the address to the participants of the Summit by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres: “CICA has become a vital platform for dialogue between Asian countries” [9]. In the context of existing conflicts and the likelihood of their transition to a hotter phase, the CICA has a growing potential for their resolution and prevention. CICA is the only platform that would include such a number of members from Asia and is not limited to uniting countries only from a certain region such as ASEAN, the Arab League, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, etc. This is also important to take into account with the fact that that conflicts in the region occur not only between partners within these associations, but also between states from different organizations. In addition, decisions were made to establish cooperation between the CICA and the Eurasian Economic Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) [10].


According to data from The Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, there has been a noticeable growth trend in intra- state conflicts since 1993, and recently there has been a noticeable growth trend in inter-state conflicts [11, p. 27]. If we consider the regions of Asia separately, then this trend is typical only for the countries of South and Southeast Asia. It is important to add that according to The Uppsala Conflict Data Program, the number of conflicts from 2015 to 2022. less than from 1989 to 1993 [12]. This suggests that there is a negative trend in the world toward an increase in intra- and interstate conflicts, and this is now typical not only for such “well-known” conflict zones as Eastern Europe, the Middle East or Africa. The Council on Foreign Relations identifies the following current conflicts on the Asian continent: the war in Afghanistan, territorial disputes in the South China Sea, tensions in the East China Sea, the crisis on the Korean Peninsula, instability in Pakistan, instability in Myanmar, protests in Iran, etc. d [13]. One can also add to the list the palette of conflicts in the Middle East. The transition of these conflicts into hotter phases will cause further negative consequences for the global economy and food security, when the world is already experiencing a crisis due to the Russian-Ukrainian armed conflict.


During the 6th Summit of the Interaction Council on Confidence Building Measures in Asia, a declaration was adopted, which states that the organization’s participants agreed to launch a negotiation process on a gradual, stage-by-stage, based transformation of the CICA into a full-fledged regional international organization [14]. As President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev noted in his speech, the CICA Catalog of Confidence Building Measures was revised in 2021, which includes new priority areas of cooperation, such as epidemiological safety, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, and security of information and communication technologies [10]. This suggests that the Council’s activities are expanding and will make it possible to prevent and respond to conflicts not only of a political nature. Asia has become a recognized world economic leader in terms of nominal GDP and purchasing power parity. Therefore, its further sustainable development depends on the availability of common platforms for discussing current problems and development opportunities.


Thus, the concept of building a global community and Kazakhstan’s foreign policy strategies demonstrate a commitment to international cooperation and security. Kazakhstan emphasizes the need for international solidarity, emphasizing economic priorities and regional stability. Kazakhstan’s strategic interests in Eurasian integration and transport networks highlight its role in strengthening regional cooperation and stability. The vision for Greater Eurasia includes a broad economic and stability-oriented partnership. Through initiatives such as the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, Kazakhstan advocates dialogue and conflict resolution, emphasizing the importance of multifaceted cooperation for sustainable development and security. This strategy embodies an integrated approach to solving global and regional problems, emphasizing the interconnection of prosperity and peace.



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The China studies Centre, Astana.