The China-Russia Contest for Central Asia: Uzbekistan

October 10, 2017

Emil Avdaliani

Uzbekflag, cc Nicolas Raymond,, Flickr, modified,



As Russia and China vie for economic and political influence in Central Asia, Uzbekistan has become ground zero in their competition. Yet despite Uzbekistan’s pivotal role in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and deep Russian-Uzbek economic, security and military engagement, Tashkent will try not to side with China and will abstain from joining the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and CSTO. Instead Uzbekistan will continue its official non-alignment policy, seeking ever closer relations with other regional leaders such as Turkey and possibly the United States.

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  • Fred Yuldashev

    not sure about these statements. I know the present president is heavily pro russian.

  • Xi-K

    Turkey is more and more pivoting towards Russia. If Uzbekistan is following Turkey, then it’s pivoting towards Russia. The US is losing influence in the region, and Uzbekistan has new, properly elected leadership that is pro Russian. Ever since then, Uzkek-Russian cooperation and interaction has skyrocketed. Uzbekistan may play the US, and China even more so, but at the end of the day, Uzbekistan isn’t staying neutral now.

    • Hector Susman

      Pretty good assessment but hope you are wrong on the last sentence of your screed.


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