In the first fifteen years following the USSR dissolution, the process of hegemonic transition in post-Soviet Central Asia was defined by a deep dichotomy between opening efforts to cooperation with the West and Russia’s constant interference in the economic, strategic and cultural affairs of the region.
In this context, the People’s Republic of China progressive penetration in Central Asia, which originated in the mid-2000s, has radically changed the dynamics of regional cooperation.
By offering to the five Central Asian Republics new grounds for cooperation as well as a relevant economic, political and cultural partner, China radically broke the East-West dichotomy that was taking the regional actors’ foreign policies hostages.
By analysing Chinese penetration in Central Asia, this study aims at offering a new reading of the dynamics of cooperation in the region, trying at the same time to overcome the old Russian/American-centered perspective of analysis.
Furthermore, the study wants to provide an insightful analysis of the guidelines and the strategic and economic instruments behind China’s foreign policy choices.
These issues are discussed in A. Berkofsky and C. Frappi analysis, drawing on A. Ferrari’s introduction to the region.
A. Soto and A. Pisarev draw a comparison between China’s regional policy and Russian-European Union intervention in the region.
In the end, F. Vielmini’s contribution offers an insight on regional cooperation in the light of the process of transition opened in Afghanistan.
Read: China in Central Asia