China, The United States, and the Future of Central Asia

U.S.-China Relations, Volume I

464 pages

20 figures, 3 maps, and 27 tables

July, 2015

ISBN: 9781479841226



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Part of the U.S.-China Relations series


David B. H. Denoon is Professor of Politics and Economics at New York University. He is the author of many books, including Real Reciprocity: Balancing U.S. Economic and Security Policies in the Pacific Basin, and The Economic and Strategic Rise of China and India: Asian Realignments after the 1997 Financial Crisis.

All books by David B.H. Denoon

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.


  • “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

  • “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