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China is engaging with Central Asia like never before

Central Asian leaders recently convened in Xi’an to announce an unprecedented number of agreements with China. Deepening ties with Beijing come as other international actors have failed to deliver on investment in the region on the same scale as China. 

From the perspective of many Central Asian officials, geography and history are destiny. Sandwiched between sanctioned Russia, the mountains of unstable Afghanistan, and China to the east, it is understandable that the landlocked countries of Central Asia would seek close ties with Beijing.

After all, the Silk Road that brought centuries of prosperity to Central Asia ran between Europe and China.

If globalisation ran through Central Asia historically, why should now be any different?


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