By Najia Badykova
June 27, 2017, the CACI Analyst
In May, Beijing hosted a summit of global leaders on its One Belt and One Road (OBOR) initiative, a most ambitious project aimed to recreate the ancient Silk Road, connecting China’s industrial heartland to Europe via Central Asia and the Middle East. Given the gigantic scale of the scheme, the geostrategic and economic impact on Central Asian trade and development will be significant. Yet it is unlikely to benefit everyone equally. The less developed and poorer countries along the proposed routes, including those in Central Asia, will face serious challenges if they assume that this initiative alone can fix their economic problems, and use it as an excuse to further delay needed market reforms while coping with the effects of the massive Chinese initiative.
By Stephen Blank
January 16th, 2017, The CACI Analyst
Recent evidence shows a gradual increase in Chinese military activity in Central Asia, particularly with Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, although China has for years denied any military interest in the region. In October, PLA and Tajik forces jointly participated in counterterrorism exercises in Tajikistan near the border with Afghanistan, following earlier activity in 2016. Whereas Tajikistan was then silent, this time it publicized the exercises, which aroused a visible anxiety in the Russian media although the Russian government has hitherto been unwilling to comment on this issue. China’s initiative could imply a major new development in Chinese policy and in Central Asia’s overall security, with lasting implications for the region.
The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst is a biweekly publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center affiliated with the American Foreign Policy Council, Washington DC., and the Institute for Security and Development Policy, Stockholm. For 15 years, the Analyst has brought cutting edge analysis of the region geared toward a practitioner audience.