Research Fellow, University of Central Asia
Jun 26 , 2019
Since its inception, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has been criticized for lacking direction and enforcement power. Yet, the SCO still has a place as a discussion forum for top leadership in the region. We must reevaluate our expectations for the SCO and recognize that the creation of a discussion forum is a success in its own right.
Feb 22 , 2019
China’s Belt and Road Initiative has come under fire for its white elephant projects – ‘never-to-be-recovered’ infrastructure projects that provide little value to recipient states. Rather, infrastructure investments have to be focused on quality and impact rather than mere quantity and volume – otherwise, the impacts of such investments will be marginal.
Oct 11 , 2018
Can China overcome its legacy of corruption in its Belt and Road project?
Jun 26 , 2018
Although the leaders of the SCO member-states emphasised that the Qingdao summit will be a new departure point for the organisation and agreed in principle that there is a need for a roadmap of actions, it still remains unclear what the SCO can really offer.
Jan 11 , 2018
Beijing has long refrained from engaging militarily beyond its borders. However, as some recent reports suggest, this situation may soon change. Ferghana News reported that China will build a military base in the northern province of Afghanistan.
Dec 01 , 2017
The Chinese government hopes to create “a sincerity culture” and raise “honest mentality and credit levels of the entire society” through the Social Credit System. However, this system may evolve into a large-scale political tool. The system can be used to ensure citizens, private companies, public officials, and state institutions abide by the rules.
Oct 04 , 2017
Despite the uncharacteristic competitiveness of the upcoming Kyrgyz presidential election, both candidates have similar foreign policy goals: rapprochement with Russia and deepening financial ties to China.
Apr 27 , 2017
It has been four years since One Belt, One Road (OBOR) was first announced, but the prospects of OBOR’s impact on Central Asia remain unclear, while the commitment of Beijing to invest $40 billion into Central Asia’s poor and deteriorating infrastructure have not materialized.The diversity of views on OBOR demonstrate that OBOR is far from being a complete product. It is an evolving concept, which is yet to be finalized. Accordingly, in the context of Central Asia, it remains unclear what form OBOR will take. Is OBOR a qualitatively new endeavour to be implemented in the region? Or, is it simply a rebranded form of Chinese pre-existing infrastructure projects, unified under the aegis of the Silk Road discourses?
Jan 27 , 2017
Despite the benevolent ambitions of building a “community of common destiny,” the question remains open to what extent it is an attainable goal or rather a utopian objective. China shares border with 14 states all of which are very different: in geographic size, economic development, socio-political cohesion and degree of influence in the international arena.
Oct 03 , 2016
Skeptics of land reforms throughout the world fear that land redistribution in developing states may further victimize those who are already more disadvantaged and marginalized. And recent unrests in Kazakhstan due to Chinese investors demonstrate such concerns, highlighting land reform to be a complicated process with the potential of igniting social movements and mass mobilizations.