Editorial: Chinese strategy in Central Asia aims to keep the west out, the Russians down, and everyone else on the margin
18 April 2023
Events of the past year have unleashed a new "Great Game" in Central Asia, writes commonspace.eu in this editorial. "The plan, it seems, builds on China’s “Belt and Road” programme, but there also now appears to be a much stronger political angle to China’s engagement. China is worried that Russia’s increasing weakness is creating a vacuum in Central Asia that others may be tempted to fill. It is determined to get there first. China’s approach seems to be to keep the west out, the Russians down, and everyone else on the margin." There is little doubt that the big loser in this “great game in the new era” is Russia. But the Kremlin at this point has little choice but to try to cut its losses. It desperately needs China’s support - at least economically, politically and diplomatically, if not militarily - as it tries to sort out the mess it created for itself in Ukraine, and resist Western sanctions imposed after its invasion.