China in Making Major Moves in This Critical Region

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China is making a major influence push into Central Asia, the Wall Street Journal reports. As the war in Ukraine continues to drag on, China has been making a bid as a power broker, supplies arms and materiel to Russia while simultaneously working to end the conflict. Its closer ties to Central Asian countries also serve as a symbolic role in gathering more nations against the attempted isolation by the United States.

China has long maintained influence in Central Asia. During later Imperial China, Russia pushed into Northern Manchuria, where it still holds land, and Central Asia at the expense of a weakened China. In a reversal of fortune, Russia began to lose its grip on Central Asia following the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. Its full focus on the war in Ukraine has also meant a withdrawal from its “Near Abroad”, mainly the Caucasus and Central Asia.

Concurrently, America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan has also allowed for China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” in Central Asia to progress. The foreign military interventions by America, Europe, and now Russia in the last 20 years has weakened all these parties, all the while China continues to spread its economic influence without committing to direct military force, so far.


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