China’s Rising Predominance in Central Asia
Beijing’s status quo policy exacerbates regional instability
China’s influence in post-Soviet Central Asia has steadily grown for 20 years. Beijing, striving to suppress Uighur separatist movements in and beyond its own Xinjiang province as well as to tap into Central Asian development projects, has backed the neighboring region’s largely unpopular authoritarian regimes. As a result, the populations’ receptiveness to Islamic forms of social and political organization has been growing, and with it, the region’s potential for insecurity in the long run.