China's Long March Into Central Asia

Apr 27, 2016 | 09:30 GMT

China's military will increasingly take part in exercises with Central Asian states both within and, more important, outside the framework of the Russia-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization.


Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, an unexplored frontier opened up for China to its west. Central Asia offered Beijing a new source of raw materials and markets as well as a major transit zone for Chinese exports. But China did not have the military means to buttress its economic position, nor did it want to unnerve Russia, a power wary of rising Chinese influence, especially in its former Soviet periphery. With this in mind, Beijing carefully shaped a military and economic strategy for Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan....

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