China’s Central Asian Power and Problems

China’s northwest province of Xinjiang and Central Asia in general have been on the periphery of Chinese foreign policy discussions in recent years as Beijing’s assertive proclamations and actions have focused attention on China’s coast. Global apprehension ran high over Hong Kong’s transition to Chinese rule, Chinese naval and air exercises near Taiwan, and China’s claims to the much-contended Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. Beijing’s December 1996 agreement with Moscow to purchase two Sovremenny-class destroyers and possibly fifty Su-30MK fighter aircraft only heightened these concerns.

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