Central Asia is changing rapidly. The five countries in the region have young, growing populations. The old Soviet generation is leaving the scene, giving way to a new post-Soviet generation that came of age in independent countries. This new generation must reckon with Russia and China, both of which shape the region’s politics and economics, and both of which are pushing new integration schemes via the Eurasian Economic Union and the Belt and Road. Central Asia’s next generation must also forge new economies that provide jobs beyond oil and gas. How do Russia, China, and the US see Central Asia? What are their main interests, goals and strategies? How does Central Asia see these great powers? What is the current status of the Belt and Road Initiative in Central Asia? What are the key developments we should expect in Central Asia over the next five years? These are the key questions we will explore in this discussion.
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Maximilian Hess - Maximilian Hess is a Central Asia Fellow in the Eurasia Program at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. Max is the former head of political risk at Hawthorn Advisors and former head of research and intelligence at AKE International. He is a graduate of Franklin & Marshall College and SOAS, University of London. His research focuses on the relationship between trade, debt, international relations and foreign policy, as well the overlap between political and economic networks.
Chris Miller - Chris Miller is the Director in the Foreign Policy Research Institute’s Eurasia Program. He is also Assistant Professor of International History at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.