China's Great Game in Central Asia: Implications to U.S. Policy in the Region
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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Over the last decade China has actively pursued its interests in Central Asia. With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the present countries of Central Asia established independent rule. With Soviet control removed, social and international problems that were hidden and suppressed began to show themselves throughout the region. Seeing the power vacuum, the negative effects of smuggling, separatism, and terrorism associated with Islamic fundamentalism, and the effect these issues could have on China, Beijing decided to take steps to help address these concerns in Central Asia. Currently, the United States is spearheading a war on terrorism that is focused on countries close to Central Asia, such as Afghanistan and Iraq. If the United States plans on staying in the region, it must take into account the forces shaping Chinese foreign policy in the area. Possibilities exist for cooperation, but if the situation is misinterpreted or handled incorrectly, there also is a possibility for conflict. This thesis examines Chinese interests in Central Asia, comparing and contrasting them with U.S. interests in the region. It then recommends policy options the United States could implement to enable the United States and China to move towards common goals in the region.
- Government and Political Science
- Humanities and History