Working with my Chinese tutor here in Bishkek has given me some new perspectives on the way that trade functions on the other side of the border. Although my tutor is working primarily as a language instructor, he is also involved in other import/export business. Sometimes our lessons veer away from Chinese grammar (and the frustrations I have with keeping characters straight in my mind), and end up revolving around the topic of intra-China trade logistics or the details of cross-border contracts and economic alliances.
Luckily, though him I am already making some contacts in Kashgar with whom I should be able to work. I hope to spend my time there as a helper in export firms and (maybe/hopefully) even making deliveries for such firms to the Kyrgyz border.
In light of these developments, this article in RFE/RL caught my attention. It outlines how the PRC government supports Central Asian regimes (and their human rights abuses) in order maintain the flow of hard currency and fossil fuels into China. It’s an interesting read, and the comments are also worth a gander as a reflection of US reactions to China’s increased global influence as they span the gamut from reasonable critique to insane anti-China xenophobia.