This report examines the foundation of China's policies toward Russia and the five republics of Central Asia, identifies the combination of issues and environmental conditions likely to shape the policies' evolution, and assesses their potential impact on regional or global U.S. interests. After discussing why China has improved its relations with Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, the report describes the goals of Chinese policies toward these countries, highlighting the wide range of issues and interests involved. The report next examines the prospects for Sino-Russian and Sino-Central Asian relations, and how the development of these relations might affect U.S. interests. China's relationships with the Central Asia Republics pose fewer potential problems for U.S. interests than does its relationship with Russia. There is little threat of China dominating the region in a manner that would restrict U.S. access to energy resources.
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This report examines the foundations of the People's Republic ofChina's policies toward Russia and the former Soviet Republics ofCentral Asia: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, andUzbekistan. In addition, it discusses what factors will determine theevolution of China's relationships with these countries and how theymight affect U.S. regional or global interests. The study was conducted in the Strategy and Doctrine Program of Project AIR FORCE. Comments may be directed to the author or Zalmay Khalilzad, the program director.PROJECT AIR FORCEProject AIR FORCE, a division of RAND, is the Air Force federallyfunded research and development center (FFRDC) for studies andanalyses. It provides the Air Force with independent analyses ofpolicy alternatives affecting the development, employment, combatreadiness, and support of current and future aerospace forces. Researchis performed in three programs: Strategy and Doctrine, ForceModernization and Employment, and Resource Management andSystem Acquisition.About the Author:
Mark Burles (MA, International Relations, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Washington, D.C.) is a senior research assistant at RAND.
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