Another op-ed for the South China Morning Post, this time written in conjunction with my friend Lifan Li who has been immensely helpful during my time in China. The article is timed to be pegged to the 10th anniversary of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and it is highly likely that this topic in general, China and Central Asia, is going to be a big focus in the near future. It is a fascinating subject that I have looked at before and did my post-graduate work on. At this point, unfortunately, the article is behind the SCMP’s paywall, but if you drop me a note I can probably help out.

Cosying Up

China’s holistic approach in Central Asia is gradually paying off. Ten years after its founding, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation is helping Beijing advance its cause peacefully.

Lifan Li and Raffaello Pantucci

June 15, 2011

Ten years on and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) remains a work in progress. It has achieved much in its short life, but its hesitation in resolving unrest in Kyrgyzstan last year and its ongoing inability to contribute much to improve stability in neighbouring Afghanistan have shown the limits of its power. All of these raises questions about the grouping’s aims and hopes for the next decade.

China is increasingly becoming a force in Central Asia, a predominantly Russo-Turkic region. On the ground, it is still possible to find expressions of tension towards China, but, nevertheless, growing numbers of Central Asian families are electing to send their children to China to study. From Kazakhstan alone, there are some 1,600 students now in Chinese universities; Shanghai has 800 students from Kazakhstan. Meanwhile, numbers electing to go to the West are shrinking.

Find the rest here.

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Comments
  1. nikotev01 says:

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  2. […] related articles, a new op-ed for the South China Morning Post, a newspaper I have written for before on China-Central Asia with the same co-author, my friend Li Lifan. This uses the recent Russian election as a […]

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