Assessing China’s Influence in Central Asia: A Dominant Regional Power?

Photo source: Gazprom

Citation: Hak Yin Li and Zhengxu Wang, “Assessing China’s influence in Central Asia: A dominant regional power?”, China Briefing Series 53 (2009): 1-14.

Abstract: China has greatly increased its trade and energy investments in Central Asia since the 1990s. Whether China’s influence in the region has increased becomes an important question. The Xinjiang province has figured prominently in China’s Central Asia strategies. Trade between Xinjiang and Central Asian countries increased 130 percent in the first year after the end of the Soviet Union. In 2005, Xinjiang accounted for 40 percent of the total volume of trade between China and the five Central Asian countries-Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Overall, China’s trade with Central Asia remains small relative to its trade with other Asian neighbors, as well as compared to Russia’s trade with Central Asia.