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Evolving regional values and mobilities in global contexts

The emergence of new (Eur-)Asian regions and dialogues with Europe

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Edited By Pierre Chabal, Yann Alix and Kuralay Baizakova

This book analyses the gradual fusion of Europe and Asia into a Eurasian dynamic combining institutional and identity aspects. The seventh in a series of Europe–Asia conferences covering regime dynamics, cooperation policies, regional competition, the limits of regions, mutual understanding and cross-border exchanges, it shows that Eurasian continental developments are outgrowing sub-region designations such as Western Europe, Southeast Asia, East Asia and Central Asia.

Ten years ago, before the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), regional dynamics seemed clearly delineated, especially with inter-state groupings mapping out space – the EU, the ASEAN, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) – and organisations overseeing pan-continental competition such as the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-building in Asia (CICA), the Eurasian Economic Union, etc. Today, the less institutional and more macro-economic scheme of an infrastructure and transport network coined as "China’s BRI" changes the research environment.

Gathering about thirty scholars from a dozen Eurasian countries, this book contains views from East Asia (Mongolia, China), Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan), Western Europe (France, Belgium), Eastern Europe (Poland, Romania, Hungary, Turkey) and the Caucasus (Azerbaijan). Asia and Europe can no longer be understood except as Eurasian sub-entities. Multi-dimensionally, the book draws from history, international economic relations, politics, geography, economics, cultural studies, public and private law, business studies, peace and conflict studies, public administration, and even literary criticism to tackle the question: what is Eurasia?

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Russia- and China-led organisations in CA, whose interests do they serve? The case of Kyrgyzstan: Jildiz Nicharapova

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JILDIZ NICHARAPOVA

This chapter focuses on and generalises from the case of the Kyrgyz Republic while probing into one simple fact. Regional powers use international organisations to forward their politics in world regions. This is clearly the case in Central Asia, where Russia created and leads various organisations in multiple spheres and where China created the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Thus, the question is whether such organisations that serve the interests of these regional powers are equally beneficial for Central Asian states.

Central Asia has long been viewed as a crucible of geopolitics where rival great powers compete for influence. A shifting balance of power, both globally and within the region, is changing the external dynamics and bringing new opportunities – but also new pressures. China’s economic expansion westwards is one such dynamic. Russia’s attempt to reassert its paramount role in the former Soviet territories is another1. Three reasons account for the fact that interests in Central Asia stemming from outside the region are on the rise: (i) Central Asia’s energy resources are of great importance to Europe and Asia; (ii) the geopolitical location of Central Asia is important for great players; (iii) insecurity in Central Asia A can affect the security in other regions.

Are the organisations created by Russia and China acting in Central Asia serving great powers’ interests? Or are they important for Central Asian states also? It seems that the former applies: these organisations...

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