The Chinese Question in Central Asia: Domestic Order, Social Change, and the Chinese Factor

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9781849041799: The Chinese Question in Central Asia: Domestic Order, Social Change, and the Chinese Factor
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Since the start of the 2000s, the People's Republic of China has become an increasingly important player on the Central Asian scene, both diplomatically and strategically, in particular through the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. At the economic level, China has positioned itself among the largest traders and investors in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. This growing Chinese presence has drastically challenged the traditional influence of Russia and weakened that of the United States and Europe. The purpose of this book is to go beyond a geopolitical analysis by articulating an external influential factor, namely China, and changes in the domestic order in neighboring Central Asia. It engages in an analysis of the contemporary transformations that are occurring within the systems and societies of Central Asia. China has become a subject of public debate, academic and expert knowledge. New cultural mediators, petty traders, lobby groups, migrants, and diasporas, have also emerged. China's rise to power has worked as a catalyst compound of the anxieties and phobias associated with the major social transformations that have occurred in Central Asia over the last two decades. Sinophobia and Sinophilia are now closely associated.

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About the Author:


Marlene Laruelle and Sebastien Peyrouse are both Senior Research Fellows with the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program at SAIS, Johns Hopkins University, Washington D.C. They have spent five years in Central Asia and have published numerous articles and policy papers on the growing Chinese presence in Central Asia.

Review:


"Laruelle and Peyrouse have written an outstanding book on a much neglected but critically important subject. Their analysis of China's growing interests and influence in Central Asia combines first-rate scholarship, deep understanding, and lucid writing. This will surely remain the seminal work on the subject for many years to come, indispensable to scholars and policy-makers alike."--Bobo Lo, independent scholar and consultant, author of Axis of Convenience: Moscow, Beijing, and the New Geopolitics


"This is a multifaceted and timely contribution to the literature on the role and influence of China and Chinese in contemporary Central Asia. I strongly recommend this book to scholars interested in social change in Central Asia, and the interrelationships of China and Chinese with this fascinating process."--Colin Mackerras, Emeritus Professor, Griffith Business School


"Laruelle and Peyrouse have written a detailed and multifaceted analysis of the economic, political and societal interactions between China and the five Central Asian states. Thanks to their extensive fieldwork, they document a rich spectrum of views on China within the Central Asian states among students, researchers, business people and ethnic communities. More importantly, they show how the encounters between China and the Central Asian states over the past two decades serve as a prism through which we can assess how these societies grapple with major political, economic and social changes."--Elizabeth Wishnick, Associate Professor of Political Science, Montclair State University, and Senior Research Scholar, Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University


"Laruelle and Peyrouse draw on a lifetime of study of Central Asia to provide a clinical analysis of the many different aspects of China's relationship with the region. The result is a book with an academic's clinically, objective analysis showing the magnitude and game-changing nature of China's investments in the developing world." -- Raffaello Pantucci, RUSI Journal


"The findings of the two authors seem to me vital for any serious discussion of China's future geopolitical role in Asia." -- Ahmed Rashid, New York Review of Books


'In contemporary Central Asia, China looms large in regional political, economic, and cultural landscapes. The multi-faceted extent of this influence today is expertly analysed and presented by Laruelle and Peyrouse in this powerfully compelling and thought-provoking book.' -- Asian Affairs


"This book will probably be the definitive compendium on China-Central Asia relations for some time ... those interested in 'China in Africa', 'China in South America', 'China in Southeast Asia' and so on will also be well served by it." -- Nyíri Pál, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam


"In clear prose and candid style, the two authors explain how China's relationship with its neighbours has evolved both bilaterally and through multi-lateral arrangements established in recent decades ...Scholars may find this book deep in insights and rich in references." -- Najam Abbas, The Muslim World Book Review


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