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China's Security Interests In Central Asia

Tajik President Emomali Rahmon (left) greets Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang in Dushanbe late last year.

On February 19, The Washington Post published a report by Gerry Shih about a Chinese base in eastern Tajikistan, near the mountainous border with Afghanistan.

There had been rumors about such a base for several years, made all the more believable by occasional reports about Chinese-Tajik counternarcotics raids from Tajik territory into Afghanistan.

The Washington Post's article on the Chinese base in Tajikistan renewed debate about how far China might extend its security influence in Central Asia.

With this in mind, RFE/RL's media-relations manager, Muhammad Tahir, moderated a discussion on Beijing's security interests in Central Asia and how far they might go.

From Washington D.C., Nadege Rolland, a senior fellow for political and security affairs at the National Bureau of Asian Research and author of the book China's Eurasian Century?: Political And Strategic Implications Of The Belt And Road Initiative, participated in the talk.

Taking part in Majlis session from London was Raffaello Pantucci, director of National Security Studies at the Royal United Services Institute, who has an upcoming work on Chinese interests in Central Asia.

As usual, I had a few things to contribute as well.

Majlis Podcast: China's Security Interests In Central Asia
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About Majlis

Each week, hosts Bruce Pannier and Muhammad Tahir welcome a panel of expert guests to discuss significant political developments and pressing social issues affecting the nations of Central Asia.

Click here to check out the latest Majlis podcast, or visit ITunes.