Energy Cooperation between China and Central Asian countries is underpinned by strong economic rationale and institutional foundations. China should promote the establishment of a China-Central Asia energy community, particularly an energy transit community, in light of China’s recent advocacy of the "One Belt One Road" scheme. Due to the complexity of energy transit cooperation in the multistakeholder, multi-level and multi-policy dimensions, legal issues in energy transit regulation are intertwined with political, economic and social issues at both the inter- and intra-national level.
The proposed China-Central Asia Energy Transit Community (CCAETC) should be oriented by energy security policy, combining both legal and political principles and supporting open and inclusive regionalism. This paper proposes several approaches to achieve this: the CCAETC could be promoted by using an existing framework, such as the multilateral transit framework established under the Energy Charter Treaty; or, with the establishment of a new framework, a Silk Road Energy Belt covering the whole of Eurasia could be incrementally constructed based on Energy Charter principles.
The Occasional Paper is available in English.