- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy
Tajikistan has agreed to give up a chunk of its territory to neighboring China:
Parliament voted Wednesday in favor of giving up around 1,000 square kilometers of land in the Central Asian nation’s sparsely populated Pamir Mountains region. There was no immediate information on how many people live in the territory to be ceded.
Opposition leader Mukhiddin Kabiri said the land transfer is unconstitutional and represents a defeat for Tajik diplomacy. But Foreign Minister Khamrokon Zarifi portrayed it as a victory, saying China had initially claimed more than 11,000 square miles (28,000 square kilometers).
The dispute dates to the 19th Century, when Tajikistan was part of Czarist Russia.
It seems a little bit petty of China to be engaging in a land dispute with a country that could fit inside it 67 times, but every little bit helps I suppose. The Pamirs are in quite an interesting spot geopolitically, running from eastern Afghanistan and straddling the Tajikistan-Pakistan border all the way to China.
This has been a week of expansionism for China, which was accused by India of sending troops into a disputed region of Kashmir earlier this week, although Beijing denies it.