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Russia’s backyard: China and Central Asia after the invasion of Ukraine

Mendez, Alvaro ORCID: 0000-0002-0919-5081 (2023) Russia’s backyard: China and Central Asia after the invasion of Ukraine. In: Farhadi, Adib, Grzegorzewski, Mark and Masys, Anthony J., (eds.) The Great Power Competition Volume 5: The Russian Invasion of Ukraine and Implications for the Central Region. Springer Nature Switzerland, Cham, Switzerland, 199 – 216. ISBN 9783031404504

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Identification Number: 10.1007/978-3-031-40451-1_10


This chapter explores the complex geopolitical transformations occurring in Central Asia against the backdrop of Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine. It critically assesses Moscow’s declining influence juxtaposed with the growing clout of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in the region. The intricate balancing act of Central Asian states is examined through the concept of multi-vectorism, a strategy used by these nations to diversify foreign alliances and resist domination by any single power. The key argument is that the crisis in Ukraine presents a unique window for Beijing to reinforce its position in Central Asia, a claim supported by the region’s reticence to endorse Russia’s intervention and its progressive alignment with the Chinese leadership. The broader implications of these power shifts on the global stage, including potential challenges to the US and its allies, are also scrutinized. The chapter is structured to provide an overview of China’s evolving relations with Central Asia post-1991, a detailed appraisal of each Central Asian republic’s ties with the PRC, an exploration of the consequent US national security and foreign policy challenges, and concludes with strategic recommendations for the US and its allies in navigating this shifting geopolitical landscape.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
Divisions: International Relations
Subjects: J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2023 13:33
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2023 16:45

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