An Invasion of China to Central Asia? The Chances and Limits of Mutual Relations
AbstractThe Central Asian region is often interpreted in European discourse as an arena of clashes between the “West” and Russia, particularly over energy resources. The significance of China in the region remains an underrated subject of research. At the same time China is expanding its influence in the region through “soft diplomacy” at the expense of Russia and (above all) other powers interested in local resources. The article analyses the Chinese presence in the region since 1991, emphasizing the first decade of the 21st century. The relations between Central Asia and China are researched from the Central Asian point of view and with a focus on on the politicial, economical (stressing energy factors) and institutional (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) level. In sum, it seems that the growing Chinese influence over the region has its limits as well and that the “Chinese expansion” is overestimated to a large extent.
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