Shanghai Cooperation Organisation
Tajikistan: A Sino-Russian flashpoint?
The drawdown of American troops in Afghanistan and Chinese persecution of the Muslim Uighur minority in Xinjiang could turn Central Asia into a hotbed of jihadist terrorism. One country that is particularly vulnerable to such a resurgence is Tajikistan. It is also the area where Russian and Chinese security interests could most easily come into conflict.
China’s threat to Russia’s Far East: Real or perceived?
The vulnerability of Russia’s Far Eastern and Siberian regions to Chinese expansion has become a truism. Yet most Russians seem to favor closer ties with China, and bilateral relations may be at their best in history, without a trace of military or political tension. There are also few signs of Chinese economic penetration, at least on a level that exceeds Japan’s or South Korea’s. Migration pressure from China into the underpopulated Russian north may be the hollowest of these popular myths.
Greater Eurasia – a Kremlin pipe dream
The Kremlin’s vision for a “Greater Eurasia” partnership with China is often held up as Russia’s most important geostrategic priority. According to this concept, the two countries would control a powerful bloc of non-Western states to challenge American hegemony. However, the two have vastly different goals, and it is becoming clearer that China would become the dominant member of the initiative.
Russia losing the new Great Game
Chinese leader Xi Jinping's visit to Moscow last month brought a raft of investment deals, suggesting that Russian President Vladimir Putin is successfully executing his version of a pivot toward Asia. But appearances deceive. The Sino-Russian "strategic partnership" is not an agreement between equals, and Russia has lost the upper hand in Central Asia.
Focus on Mongolia: walking the foreign policy tightrope (Part 2)
Over the past 25 years Mongolia has benefited substantially from its ‘multi-pillar’ foreign policy. The country prioritised relations with its two powerful neighbours – Russia and China – creating a geopolitical context that has enhanced its security and economic growth. At the same time, Mongolia developed the concept of ‘third neighbours’ – large, global powers w...
China’s infrastructure initiative, part 2: Investment opportunities and security risks – Beijing’s balancing act
Beijing is bolstering its One Belt, One Road (OBOR) programme through huge foreign direct investments and the creation of new financial institutions to fund its related projects. So far, China has launched the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, played a major role in the development of the New Development Bank and established a Silk Road Fund. But success will r...
China’s infrastructure initiative, part 1: Implications for Eurasia, the US and Europe
China’s One Belt, One Road initiative aims to transform much of its complex network of bilateral relations into a single, regional system. This overarching programme will affect the country’s political and economic ties with some 65 countries and more than 4 billion people. For years to come, it will make Eurasia the central focus of China’s diplomacy and its secur...
Turkey switches foreign focus from EU to Russia and Islam
More than a quarter of a century after its first bid to join European economic society, Turkey is seeking links with other countries and organisations. As well as the European Union, its foreign policy focus includes the predominantly Islamic Middle East and northern Africa, while Russia is playing a growing role. But there appears to be a lack of cohesion, which w...
Putin's return could drive 'Eurasian Union' project of ex-Soviet republics
As Vladimir Putin sweeps back to the Kremlin to reclaim Russia’s presidential seat, he has set, high on his agenda, his plans for a Eurasian Union. His vision is a Moscow-led powerhouse making Russia a major world player alongside the United States, the European Union and Asia. But is this simply political posturing to keep Russia’s neighbours in check, or can Mosc...