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Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Each of these states had been conquered by Imperial Russia and, subsequently, was tightly controlled by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
The process of establishing themselves as truly autonomous states has been the central enterprise for these five countries in the last twenty-two years. The demise of the U. Most of the Western commentary on these developments focused on the reduced military threat and the independence of Byelorussia, Ukraine, and the states in the Caucuses.
Few Westerners knew much about Central Asia CA and even fewer followed the halting steps of the CA states toward greater economic and political autonomy. Only after September 11,when the United States began to use CA as a transit route to Afghanistan, did greater numbers of Americans learn about air bases and truck routes in CA.
Roughly simultaneously with the rise of Islamist groups came the rise of China. These two seemingly unrelated historical developments combined together and provided a new platform for the interplay of the U.
Though the decade of the s was relatively tranquil in military terms, the first decade of the 21st Century was a veritable cauldron of turmoil, as the world adjusted to surging Islamist and Chinese capabilities. First, China is the only state that has the potential to directly challenge American global leadership.
Second, militant Islamist movements are the only non-state groups that can and are openly confronting American and Western institutions and they thrive in CA.
Finally, Central Asia is important in its own right because it is the vital fulcrum between the dynamism of East Asia and the wealth and technology in Western Europe. What we do, below, is briefly survey the literature on bilateral relations between the U. The rise of China has led to a massive outpouring of commentary and analysis.
In the past two years alone, there have been at least six major studies dealing with the bilateral relations between the United States and China.
Some have emphasised the historical interaction between China and the West, noting that the 19th and early 20th centuries were periods when China was on the defensive and under pressure from outsiders.
Yet, what is notable about Central Asia, in the past two decades, is that China and the United States, despite their problems elsewhere, have pursued different objectives in the region and not had any significant clash of interests.
Some of the most significant problems in CA have been developmental ones for the five states. Moving away from centrally-planned economies has been resisted by the political elites who were all trained in Soviet-style management.
Private sector business in CA has been mostly small firms or an occasional quasi-public company where a well-connected person got control of a former state enterprise. Since the political elite has little incentive to privatise the remaining large companies, there has been an ongoing stand-off between outside donors and advisors who favour privatisation and most of the current elite.
Russia has waxed and waned in its interest in Central Asia since These long-standing frictions are now exacerbated by the rise of militant Islam and have led to outbreaks of violence and government crack-downs in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan. The major concerns of the Chinese are economic and relate mostly to ensuring access to oil and gas supplies in Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.
In this latter regard, American and Chinese are aligned in the desire to limit the spread of militant Islam. If there is any power which is competing with the U. Since it is unclear if the U.
India, Pakistan, Iran and Turkey each have some ambitions in CA and are maneuvering to test out what roles they can play. Thus, we are in a waiting period where the CA states themselves are pursuing their respective policies to ensure their autonomy, while the outside powers are calculating how to position themselves for the changing strategic environment in Central Asia.
We will return to each of these themes in the balance of this Chapter and in the body of this volume as different authors examine Central Asian developments in depth. Petersburg and London saw this as part of a global balancing effort.
Thus, we see major strategic choices of the period playing themselves out in CA or its periphery. Although the Nazi-Soviet Pact of briefly gave Germany potential access to oil in the Caucuses, once Hitler and Stalin were at war, the Eurasian Heartland became a key objective for German attacks.
The tenacity of the U.
Each realised that the injection of American power into Eurasia would preclude his ambitions regarding global domination.
Nevertheless, CA is the linchpin between Asia and Europe. Thus, keeping CA autonomous is vital to preventing any one power gaining dominance in Eurasia. Kazakhstan has 30 billion barrels of oil reserves.Network & establish strategic business relations with key stakeholders, decision makers and heads of institutions for 2 full days Address areas of high business impact to a focused group of + delegates.
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Department of Education International Strategy – November Introduction. of Chief State School Officers and the Asia Society.