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The Silk Road Economic Belt: Central-Asian Perspective

Student: Artur Gromov

Supervisor: Sergey Luzyanin

Faculty: Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs

Educational Programme: International Relations: European and Asian Studies (Master)

Year of Graduation: 2016

This paper explores to what extent China's plans to implement the Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) correspond to the interests of the five Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan), which will host the main trade corridors and infrastructure objects of the PRC's largest foreign economic project. The author examines in detail the economic and political factors, that motivate the Chinese-Central Asia rapprochement, and analyses the risks, that they may face while increasing cooperation on the SREB initiative. The paper argues, that the Chinese-Central Asia cooperation on the Silk Road Economic Belt is beneficial to Central Asian countries' interests in terms of trade and investment, cultural cooperation and strengthening of human contacts, but participation in the SREB will likely make Central-Asian countries politically and economically dependent on China and does not guarantee to enhance their position and leverage in the international arena. At the end of the paper, the author gives his views on the prospects of Central Asian participation in the Silk Road initiative, and on the further development of relations in the "Central Asia - China - Russia" triangle.

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