China sees security issues in Central Asia as inextricably tied to its own domestic security concerns, and is rapidly establishing a footprint that will allow it to deal with matters as it sees fit in the region.
Sino-Russian relations may be a marriage of convenience arranged by oil and gas, but arranged marriages have a way of lasting. It is particularly helpful if there is a common enemy, such as an overbearing West.
Hitherto content to work with Central Asia’s incumbent leaders, China is now supporting pro-China politicians: an unprecedented intervention in the region’s affairs that is shaking the foundation of Moscow’s cooperation with Beijing there.
China’s commitment to full carbon neutrality by 2060 means that the country needs to reduce the consumption of all fossil fuels, including natural gas. What does that mean for Russia and Central Asia?
Major Chinese tech companies are actively expanding their presence on the Russian market. They may not have the state support that state-owned development banks or energy giants do, but that isn’t stopping them from successfully incorporating Russia into a digital Pax Sinica.
For all the talk of Beijing’s growing presence in the former Soviet Union, the fruits of Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova’s efforts to deepen cooperation with China have been underwhelming