It was not so long ago that the United States had military bases in the region. But now much depends on whether the advantages would outweigh the inevitable losses that Central Asian countries would sustain as a result of Moscow and Beijing’s displeasure.
The recent escalation did not resemble a local dispute that got out of hand. Dark clouds have been gathering over the region for a long time, and the decision to embark on military action was taken at the highest level.
Like the rest of the world, Central Asian states and societies are being stress-tested by the COVID-19 pandemic. Can they withstand the storm?
Almost 30 years after the collapse of the USSR, Central Asian citizens are growing tired of stagnating economies, rampant corruption, and their governments’ empty promises. In 2019, they made it clear they want improved services, more transparency in decision-making, and better opportunities.
The EU will need to increase its visibility in Central Asia if it wants to have influence in a region facing immense challenges from China and India, but also from Afghanistan and threats of terrorism.
Brighter prospects for Central Asian integration come amid political and economic liberalization in Uzbekistan, hardening authoritarianism elsewhere in the region, widespread economic distress, and China’s growing influence—the five major trends that marked Central Asia in 2018.
The five states of Central Asia — Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan — mark 27 years of independence in 2018.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has become the organizing foreign policy concept of the Xi Jinping era.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization will likely become less functional and coherent as the group gets bigger. Form will start to drive function, and the group will begin to search for a purpose.
Tajikistan faces multiple threats to its stability, and its aging president offers no solutions to these problems. Instead, he is trying to cling to power ever more tightly.