the new Great Game in Central Asia

Dear friends and colleagues,


We are pleased to announce the publication of the latest edition of China Analysis by Asia Centre and the European Council on Foreign Relations.

China has set its sights on Central Asia, triggering a new Great Game for power in a region where Europe, Russia and the US have all long sought influence.

As the five Central Asian states become increasingly important as a source of oil and gas, a market for consumer goods and as the core of the strategically-important Shanghai Cooperation Organization,
China is now “clearly confident it can reorient Central Asia towards Beijing” and away from the world’s other major powers.

China Analysis: The new Great Game in Central Asia, explores these issues by analysing the evolving debates among experts within China itself.
The authors argue that the EU should closely watch Chinese policy in Central Asia – the region is becoming “almost a laboratory for Chinese foreign policy.”

You can download the latest edition of China Analysis, published by Asia Centre and ECFR by clicking on this page: The new Great Game in Central Asia

Key themes that emerge include:

• China increasingly sees the five states of central Asia – Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan – as an important destination for investment and aid that could in turn leverage influence.
It is positioning itself as a “good neighbour” to the region: Hu Jintao has made three trips there since 2009.
• Beijing also sees the region as a source of fuel that could reduce Beijing’s risky dependence on maritime routes. Chinese analysts predict that Central Asia will be central in the “battle for resources” between the major powers.
• The SCO is seen in China as a hedge against Western demands; some analysts hope it will become a quasi-military alliance that could veto a UN-based intervention in the region and carry out its own security actions, including against future terrorist threats.
• China wants the Central Asian states to take a more active part in its fight against Uyghur separatist movements


This issue includes the following articles:

  1. Strengthening the SCO 
  2. Energy cooperation between China and Central Asia
  3. Economic cooperation beyond the energy sector
  4. Addressing instability in Kyrgyzstan


We hope that you will find the paper interesting and stimulating. Comments can be addressed to the authors directly at:


Best regards,



The China Analysis team 



Archives online:

Find more on our websites:,

7-IX-11, Asia Centre