The first of a three-volume series on the interaction of the US and China in different regions of the world, China, the United States, and the Future of Central Asia explores the delicate balance of competing foreign interests in this resource-rich and politically tumultuous region. Editor David Denoon and his internationally renowned set of contributors assess the different objectives and strategies the U.S. and China deploy in the region and examine how the two world powers are indirectly competitive with one another for influence in Central Asia. While the US is focused on maintaining and supporting its military forces in neighboring states, China has its sights on procuring natural resources for its fast-growing economy and preventing the expansion of fundamentalist Islam inside its borders.
This book covers important issues such as the creation of international gas pipelines, the challenges of building crucial transcontinental roadways that must pass through countries facing insurgencies, the efforts of the US and China to encourage and provide better security in the region, and how the Central Asian countries themselves view their role in international politics and the global economy. The book also covers key outside powers with influence in the region; Russia, with its historical ties to the many Central Asian countries that used to belong to the USSR, is perhaps the biggest international presence in the area, and other countries on the region’s periphery like Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, and India have a stake in the fortunes and future of Central Asia as well. A comprehensive, original, and up-to-date collection, this book is a wide-ranging look from noted scholars at a vital part of the world which is likely to receive more attention and face greater instability as NATO forces withdraw from Afghanistan.
Introduction 1. Alternative Views of Central Asia’s Future 3 David B. H. Denoon 2. Walls and Windmills: Economic Development in Central Asia 20 Nazgul Jenish 3. Factoring the Foreign Policy Goals of the Central Asian States 75 Marlene Laruelle The Outside Powers 4. Both Epicenter and Periphery: U.S. Interests in Central Asia 101 Andrew Kuchins and Shalini Sharan 5. Chinese and Russian Economic Interests in Central Asia: Comparative Analysis 130 Li Xin and Xin Daleng 6. The Strategic Interests of China and Russia in Central Asia 154 Xing Guangcheng 7. Life after Divorce: Russia, Central Asia, and Two Decades of Tumultuous Relations 173 Alisher Khamidov 8. Europe in Central Asia: Political Idealism and Economic Pragmatism 209 Sebastien Peyrouse 9. Japan and Korea in Central Asia: Economic Observations 237 Edward J. Lincoln
“In a time of increasing geopolitical
uncertainty and intensifying Sino-US interactions in so-called ‘third areas,’
this timely collection of high quality essays breaks from outmoded ways of academic
and policy thinking to identify a host of emerging governance, security and
economic challenges that Central Asia poses for both Washington and Beijing.
This volume offers valuable lessons about each of these external power's ‘tools
of influence,’ their co-existence in practice, and the extent to which they can
actually shape regional developments according to their respective strategic
priorities.”-Alexander Cooley,author of Great Games, Local Rules: The New Great Power Contest in Central Asia
“Until the collapse of the USSR, China's western
border was seen as the Beijing's ‘back door.’ This collection documents its
emergence as a new front door, and analyzes its implications for US-China relations.
Readers of this well-crafted volume will inadvertently be led to ask whether,
and how, Central Asian countries can take charge of their own security, or at
least shape it.”-S. Frederick Starr,author of Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia's Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane