82. Still in Asia…
“It is impossible [in the Central Asia] to go ahead in a passionate impulse - this path will not lead to the goal here. You need to move forward slowly, patiently and faithfully, be always ready to deal with new and new difficulties.”
«Ходы прямые роет упрямый глупый крот; нормальные герои всегда идут в обход»
song from an old movie 
«На дурака не нужен нож, ему с три короба наврешь, и делай с ним что хош»
song from another old movie
The last deed of the Peter’s reign, acceptance of Dzungar submission as a Russian vassal, was committed and now it was up to a new ruler to deal with its immediate and long-term consequences. Below is a map of the 1710s showing the Dzungar Khanate 
And this is OTL regional map (“China” on the right is Dzungar Khanate IITL) to get a better idea of a broader regional situation.
So here are the main “issues” and opportunities:
- Acknowledgement of a vassal status by the Dzungars was fine but a lot of work will be needed for developing this formal acknowledgement into the effective Russian control of the Khanate. The schema, for achieving that goal was already in action in the Kalmyk Khanate and in the Junior Zhuz but this was a long-term and not a straightforward process starting with the “domestication” of the local ruling class, gradual increase of the Russian presence (including construction of the fortifications), establishment of a pro-Russian ruler and, eventually, after his death, replacing the local rule with the Russian administration while leaving, for a while, a considerable power in the hands of the tribal leaders. Rushing the process, as happened with the Bashkirs, could led to the uprisings. Of course, crushing these revolts was accelerating the process but it was also consuming the resources because the unhappy regions needed a permanent military presence and fleecing the unhappy “natives” was less productive then the happy ones. So, the first thing needed was strengthening the pro-Russian sentiments of the current Dzungar ruler and making sure that his successor is going to be even more loyal. He was already on his way to Moscow and the intention was to give him a very good reception.
- The whole schema so far did not trigger any objections from the Qing but it was not officially acknowledged either, leaving the present Emperor or his successor with a free hand if he decides to attack the Dzungar Khanate, which, taking into an account the traditional Chinese imperial claims, was a distinct possibility. Which meant that Russian government will have to strengthen its defenses by building a new fortified line on the Dzungar-Chinese border to keep the Dzungars in (thus preventing the provocations against China) and Qing out. A vital part if the schema was a need to keep the Dzungar military force strong enough to be useful both for defense against China and for contributing to the Russian plans regarding the CA khanates while maintaining that strength below the level which may make a Khong Tayiji too independent.
- The agreement made the Great and Middle Kazakh Zhuzes pretty much surrounded on the West (Junior Zhuz), North (Russia) and East (Dzungars) which made their acceptance of the Russian rule a matter of a very short time (“work” on their nobility was already going on and a formal application was expected to be a matter of few months, with an alternative being the Russian-Dzungar invasion). The problem was in a separation of these two Zhuzes from the Dzungars who considered them their tributaries (with the resulting Kazakh resistance). As the first step, this status was going to be preserved but under the Russian supervision to prevent the excesses and stop the fighting. A separating line of the forts has to be created, the yasak (tribute) was going to be collected by the Russian authorities and a part of it given to the Dzungars.
- As soon as the remaining two Zhuzes will submit, the next step was going to be a two-prong attack on Kokand and Bukhara. Khiva was of a lower priority both logistically and economically but Bukhara, ruled by Astrakhanids, was too rich to let it to remain independent and a newly-created (in 1709) Khanate of Kokand, besides other considerations (like controlling the fertile Fergana Valley), was vital for a secure control of Bukhara.
All of the above required a continually increasing Russian presence in the region stretching from the Yaik River and all the way to the East of the Baykal Lake. Which, in turn, required a limited distraction by the European affairs, especially by those outside of the Baltic region. OTOH, an ability to dedicate more resources to the East required a greater positive balance of the Russian exports to the Western trade partners and growth of the domestic manufacturing, especially in the areas which may be relevant for maintaining the Eastward move, which meant production of a wide nomenclature of items from the weapons and all the way to the things used in the CA barter trade (fabrics, household utensils, grains, etc.).
The experience already demonstrated that for the increasing profitability of the western trade at least some part of it has to be conducted by the Russian merchants all the way to the ports of a destination even if this was not exactly a British or Dutch idea of a happy life. Which, in turn, meant that, besides encouragement of the Russian naval trade, the Empire has to spend considerable amounts of money on maintaining a meaningful navy, which, in conjunction with the Danish and Swedish fleets, can prevent the Brits from being excessively pushy.
In other words, Alexey had to run in more than one direction simultaneously. One of the first steps taken was to change the existing relations with Britain. By the Navigation Act of 1660 goods from Russia and specially named goods from Europe (enumerated articles), such as firewood, salt, tobacco, potash, olive oil, flax, bread, sugar, wine, vinegar, etc., can be imported only to England and only on English ships.
This provision now became unacceptable because it was preventing development of the Russian own maritime trade, hurting the Danish and Swedish trade interests, and because nomenclature of the Russian exports dramatically changed since 1660. Of course, the Brits were not eager to make the changes but, OTOH, the Baltic Mafia pretty much monopolized exports of the strategic materials and this made the British position rather difficult. A squadron dispatched to the Baltic Sea with the usual intimidation mission did not risk to force its way through the Straits with the Swedish-Danish-Russian squadron positioned behind the Sound and the government of Hanover had been informed that in the case of a British hostile action the Electorate is going to be considered a legitimate target for the invasion, which forced newly-crowned George II to cool down his bellicosity and to start advocating a more accommodating approach to the issue. Then, there was a serious possibility that the desired items are going to be sold to the Dutch thus hitting the British dominance in a naval trade. A negotiation followed ending in 1728 with a modification of the Act of 1660: the item regarding the Russian goods was removed as well as the list of enumerated items; they were permitted if carried by the ships of a country where they had been produced or, to accommodate the Baltic Alliance, the ships of the nations with which country of origin is in a common trade alliance
. As a compensation, Russia agreed to review some items of the protectionist tariff established by Peter in 1724.
Tariff of 1724:
Goods that were manufactured in Russia in sufficient quantities were subject to a duty of 75%. Among them were tablecloths, napkins, canvas, silk brocade, taffeta, ribbons, caps, peeled wax, starch, potash, sulfate, turpentine oil, iron "not in products", needles, parchment and others.
A patronage fee of 50% of the price was imposed on Dutch canvases, velvet, drawn and spinned silver, cards, silk brocade.
Moderately - patronage fee of 25% - on all woolen fabrics, except for cloths, semi-silk fabrics, bike, made leather, stockings, fringe, mittens, paper goods, iron weapons, glass bottles.
The taxation of other goods was for fiscal purposes: 20% duty was levied on the finished women's dress, mirrors, toys; on porcelain, faience, copper and tin dishes - 10%.
Precious metal products, garden seeds, animals, except horses, many building materials, some food products were allowed for duty-free import: oranges, lemons, oysters, etc.
Goods that were not produced in Russia were completely exempt from import duty: silk goods, various varieties of kitties, wallpaper, mathematical and surgical instruments, glasses, etc.
The export duty was left in the same amount - 3% of the price. Only some Russian goods, such as not processed moose, deer, saiga and goat leather, linen yarn, badyan, under the pretext of their use as raw materials in Russian factories and manufactories, were essentially subject to a prohibitive 75% duty or prohibited for export.
The top bracket was lowered from 75 to 50%. Russia already became exporter of the iron and was producing enough of the needles not to fear competition of the imports. Potash was a tricky issue because on one hand a lot of it had been produced domestically while OTOH, Peter I established a monopoly on the production of potash in 1721 to prevent a deforestation: "Nowhere to do or sell potash to anyone on pain of exiles to eternal hard labor" - in order to save the forest, as he introduced the technology for the production of potash from "bad barrels, kets and other scraps". So there was no logical reason for not importing a foreign potash, which would be most probably more expensive (with the tax and transportation cost) than a domestic one. More or less the same applied to the rest of the category.
In the 25% bracket the woolen fabrics and paper goods were taxed at 20%.
As a separate agreement, the Russian officers were permitted to serve in the British Navy and Russia got an official permission to hire the British sailors of all ranks providing that they are not in an active service and that their contract explicitly excludes an obligation to serve against the Britain in the case of war.
Taking into an account that by this time the Franco-British alliance already was losing its popularity on both sides of the Channel, Russia, in a secret item of an agreement, promised not to make a military alliance
with France in the next 10 years (which it was not planning to do, anyway).
There was one domestic development, which initially looked unimportant but actually had the fundamental impact upon the further development. A traditional reward system of giving a person estate with the serfs (out of the state-owned pool) changed to the “arenda”
system under which a beneficiary was getting, for a certain number of years, a profit
(income minus the expenses including taxes) from a state-owned and state-run estate. This could come either in a form of a fixed income or in a form of an income from a specific estate but in both cases a beneficiary did not own the estate and the state retained ownership of its peasants. As a result, a pool of the serfs was not growing and a number of the “state peasants” was not shrinking.
A person could be awarded a land out of the “empty lands” pool and either move his own serfs into it or to allow the free peasants to rent it but purchasing of the serfs without a land was forbidden.
This had little to do with a charity or not yet existing “emancipation” ideas: (a) a state peasant had been paying a higher head tax than a serf (who had also to pay his owner in money, goods or labor), (b) it was easier to get the state peasants for various duties, like maintaining the roads or military service, because an intermediary, the estate owner, was absent .
 “the stubborn stupid mole digs straight tunnels; normal heroes always go around”.
 “you don’t need a knife for a fool, you’ll lie to him and then do with him whatever you like.”
 In OTL it was composed by a Swedish officer who, with many others, ended up on the Russian service in Siberia after being captured at Poltava.
 And in the case of a military service estate owner was tempted to provide the worst serfs in the terms of health and character.