Monday 08 Aug 2022 | 10:26 | SYDNEY
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Central Asia

Russia’s effort to escape diplomatic isolation

As a consequence of its actions, Russia faces potentially stifling isolation. Russia will want to show the limits of this isolation through regional frameworks that also enable the Russian military to act as the dominant power. The Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) offers Russia this

Mongolia suffers under China’s zero Covid policy

Food shortages, inflation, hundreds of thousands of people without an income, and thousands of shipping containers stuck on the border, not to mention rising Covid-19 cases, job losses, closed businesses, a crippled export sector, and a decimated tourism industry: this has been the situation in

Fear, loathing and infighting in Kazakhstan

Over the course of barely a week, the normally placid Kazakhstan, best known in the West for being the unwilling object of humour in the Borat films (and perhaps also for being home to approximately 15 per cent of all Bitcoin mining), has endured a maelstrom. Events began on 2 January with

China’s education diplomacy in Central Asia

Once upon a time, parents in Central Asia sent their children to Moscow or St Petersburg for higher education. Now, some of them are opting for China instead. China has become an increasingly popular destination for many Central Asian students after Russia – meaning Chinese-educated Kazak and

With US Afghan exit, Russia eyes Central Asian security

Three months have passed since the United States and the Taliban signed an “Agreement for bringing peace to Afghanistan”. For the Americans, it aims to put an end to the US military intervention in Afghanistan, which has lasted more than 18 years. The provisions of the agreement stipulate a

SCO-style economic cooperation: Treading slowly

Over its 18-year existence, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation has mostly been in the spotlight as a forum for security cooperation, starting with the 2001 Convention that branded crimes of extremism, separatism, and terrorism as extraditable offences. The region is still facing significant security

Two cheers for the new Caspian convention

Demarcation of the Caspian Sea has been one of the longest lasting casualties of the disintegration of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The Soviet collapse invalidated the 1940 Irano-Soviet treaty that had demarcated the rights of both countries regarding the Caspian Sea. Thus, after 1991

Kazakhstan steps into the sun

Central Asia rarely appears in Western media. So many observers have missed Kazakhstan’s steady consolidation of a leading and independent regional role. Kazakhstan is deploying its convening, economic, cultural, and diplomatic power to forge a leading role in Central Asia. The country’s step

Tajikistan and Uzbekistan: a welcome but fragile thaw

A rare summit held at the strategic crossroads of Russia and China last month signalled a welcome thaw between two regional rivals in Central Asia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, who has been in power since 1992, will likely use this reconciliation with his Uzbek

Central Asian connectivity: Going beyond China

Central Asia is experiencing a connectivity boom, with China’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ the most dominant vision for the region. Yet this dominance has started to worry Central Asian powers, leading to the emergence of a new narrative – that of diversification. With China becoming the