China's Rise and Reconfiguration of Central Asia's Geopolitics: A Case for U.S. 'Pivot' to Eurasia   [open pdf - 5MB]

"Just as in the Asia-Pacific, it is the rise of China and its perceived efforts at domination in Central Asia that are driving the reconfiguration of the region's geopolitics and are challenging the U.S. global supremacy, requiring Washington to advance creative economic and military solutions in the heart of Eurasia. To stay relevant globally and regionally, the United States has to pursue a robust, direct, and long-term strategy of engagement in Central Asia. As it seeks to do so, Washington cannot premise its cooperation with other powers in Central Asia on the isolation of China--a global force calling for engagement where beneficial and containment where necessary. Washington should boost military engagement in the region, upgrade its New Silk Road Strategy (NSRS), advance cooperation with key partners, and shape China's global ascendance by leveraging its position in Central Asia. It should consider joining multilateral institutions involving the regional countries and China, or seek the creation of new ones to shape China's regional activities. It should link its NSRS with China's 'belt' strategy where it benefits the region's development while ensuring multidirectional contours of regional geo-economic forces. It should also start pondering how to leverage its potential strategic relationship with Iran, which links the Middle East with Central and South Asia, and shares growing economic ties with China. Finally, it should develop platforms of cooperation with China in economic and security spheres pertaining to both global and regional affairs. None of these tasks are easy to accomplish. This policy monograph, written in March 2015, sheds light on the crucial forces at work, assesses the possibility and implications of China's hegemony in Central Asia, and highlights the need for Washington to play real politics at the table rather than from across the high seas."

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