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Sino-Russian relations in Central Asia: Multi-dimensional chess

01 Dec 2020 - 14:07
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Are Sino-Russian relations as robust as they are claimed to be? Is it really a stable ‘strategic partnership’ or might there also be critical underlying tensions at play that could potentially spell “trouble in paradise”?

Globally, there are currently three prominent regions – East Asia, the Arctic and Central Asia, – where Chinese and Russian geopolitical interests intersect, leading to cooperation and the establishment of ‘strategic partnerships’ but also creating the potential for competition and conflict. Of those prominent regions, both actors consider Central Asia to be their strategic backyard. It is relevant to assess the different dimensions of their relationship in the region. Looking at Central Asia could potentially tell us something about the trajectory of the Sino-Russian relationship at a global level. This strategic alert includes key takeaways with suggestions for optimizing future EU involvement.

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Goos Hofstee (Research Fellow, the Clingendael Institute)

Noor Broeders (Intern, the Clingendael Institute)