You Need to know about China’s neighbours: Friends, foes and frenemies

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NEW DELHI: China has sharp differences with almost all its neighbours. But their resistance to Beijing’s aggressive claims is increasingly weakening as its investments grow in the region. Mongolia, Vietnam and India are among a handful critical of its strong-arm tactics, along with Japan and Taiwan. A recent Asean meeting where the bloc was expected to push for a non-aggression pact with China saw a tepid response to the proposal. As Japan backs India on the Doklam standoff, here’s a look at how China is gaming the region with mega deals and Beijing’s relations with its neighbours. .
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KYRGYZSTAN | NEUTRAL | Common border: 858km.
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Next to China’s restive Xinjiang province. China initially claimed most parts of the country .
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Kyrgyzstan has both a US and a Russian military base .
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Beijing-Bishkek relationship status remains ‘complicated’The Kyrgyz are one of 56 ethnic groups recognised in ChinaBeijing is wary of Kyrgyz migrants coming in, and the arms smuggling into Xinjiang .
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DEAL: Under Almazbek Atambaev, China has overtaken Russia as largest trade partner. .
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KAZAKHSTAN | FRIEND | 1,783km.
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Most of China’s claims satisfied in various border agreements .
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Moscow’s close ally has 3% (30bn barrels) of world’s oil reserves and is is gung-ho about OBOR .
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DEAL: Beijing has invested in a free trade zone at the border, making the Khorgos Gateway at their border the world’s largest dry port. .
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MONGOLIA | CRITIC | 4,677 km .
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China claims all of Mongolia citing the Yuan dynasty rule (1271-1368) .
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New president Khaltmaagiin Battulga, a vocal China critic, is eager to reduce dependence on Beijing, which accounts for 90% of its exports, 30% of imports .
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Ulanbaatar has also sought deeper ties with New Delhi .
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DEAL: Beijing is set to invest $30bn in the next few years for a route across the Gobi desert to Russia via Mongolia .

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