(South China Morning Post) China is upstaging Russia as the most influential player in Central Asia, but the mainland's huge trade and investment in the resource-rich region faces challenges in terms of suspicion, lower oil prices and its anti-graft crackdown back home.
"Concerning this landlocked region, China seems destined to play the same major role in the 21st century that Russia played in the 19th and 20th centuries," said Sebastien Peyrouse, professor of international affairs at George Washington University in the US, at a recent hearing of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission in Washington DC. USCC is a US government agency that advises US Congress on Sino-US relations.
Russia's rouble crisis had spotlighted China's crucial role as a regional economic stabiliser in Central Asia, said Alexander Cooley, professor of political science at Columbia University. […]
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