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Central Asia: Can Chinese Cash Glue the Region Together?

Border security is key to China’s investment in Central Asia. (Photo: David Trilling)

China is striving to forge Central Asia into a streamlined conduit for its regional trade and energy ambitions. But Beijing is finding that domestic insecurity and fractious bilateral relations among the region’s five former-Soviet republics have created a web of obstacles.

Despite what may seem like daunting challenges, regional analysts say Beijing remains confident there is no problem that its deep pockets can’t solve. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent tour of the region reinforced Chinese confidence by underscoring one fact: the five Central Asian governments may not cooperate well with each other, but they all share a passion for Chinese investment and grand infrastructure projects.

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Chris Rickleton is a Bishkek-based journalist.

Central Asia: Can Chinese Cash Glue the Region Together?

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