chapter  9
Perspectives and limits on Sino–US competition
The Kazakhstan case study
WithPeyrouse Sébastien
Pages 16

The main strategic and economic drivers in Kazakhstan comprise a menage a trois involving Russia, China, and Kazakhstan. Russia sees a Sino-American rapprochement and growing economic and financial interdependency between the two as shaping a Sino-American twenty-first century in which Moscow becomes a second-rate actor. Russia remains a dominant economic actor if energy is taken into account, and is a significant player in heavy industry and infrastructure, both of which are old Soviet specializations. Russia occupies a privileged place in Kazakh uranium for historical reasons that leading world producer, sector being promoted during the Soviet period. In terms of energy geopolitics, the US has succeeded in limiting Russian influence over the exploitation of deposits and is not unduly worried about the weight carried by China, which has not managed to gain access to the main sites. Whereas Central Asia in general and Kazakhstan in particular are often viewed as a locus of geopolitical competition between Russia and the US.