For World Politics Review, I took a broader look at China's most recent pipeline snafu in Central Asia - and what Line D's cancellation means for the region:
Given the prior suspensions, the overall cancellation should have been foreseen, especially since China’s domestic gas consumption has notably slowed, so much so that even planned pipelines from Russia have been called into question. Still, Line D’s cancellation is a blow to a region with an outsized track record of integration failures to its name. Not only will Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan now forego the transit fees they desperately needed, but Central Asia just watched its best chance for region-wide coordination wilt.
And over at The Diplomat, the #Calexit movement - seeking to break California off as a separate nation-state, and relying on a Kremlin-funded group for support - has just imploded:
Now, though, it appears Marinelli’s ties to California secession have been severed. In a lengthy, rambling statement issued on Monday — one in which he referred to the Golden State as “occupied California” — Marinelli says he has “found in Russia a new happiness, a life without the albatross of frustration and resentment towards ones’ [sic] homeland, and a future detached from the partisan divisions and animosity that has thus far engulfed my entire adult life.” (Living in an autocracy is certainly one way to escape “partisan divisions.”) As such, Marinelli announced he would be moving to Russia on a permanent basis “as the representative of the Republic of California to Russia.”
Also with The Diplomat, Uzbekistan's thaw may - may - be extending to regional resource control:
Viewed in a vacuum, the language is anodyne, little more than diplomatic boilerplate expressing perfunctory positions. However, for Uzbekistan, which under late President Islam Karimov had threatened war over water resources, such phrasing is more notable. Taken against Uzbekistan’s prior statements — as well as in conjunction with recent moves out of Tashkent — Komilov’s statement may point toward something of a shift in how Uzbekistan’s leadership views its neighborly relations.