Central Asia in Transition: Dilemmas of Political and by Boris Z. Rumer

By Boris Z. Rumer

The commercial, political and geopolitical way forward for significant Asia has been topic to hypothesis because the area emerged from less than the Soviet banner. With contributions from valuable Asian, Russian, US and jap specialists, this publication supplies an research of the problems and offerings dealing with the zone.

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3 The publications of Chinese historians seeking to justify China's historical claims to territories of the former Soviet Union in the Far East only reinforce apocalyptical visions of a coming Page 9 confrontation with Beijing. These publications baldly assert that contemporary China is the historical successor to the medieval Chinese Empire; they claim that all nations having tributary ties to the Han nation were integral parts of a "unified and multinational" Chinese Empire. In this latter category they include the Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and various other ethnic groups residing in Central Asia.

In addition, Russia's dominant role in Eurasia represents a balance to its declining power in Europe or, more precisely, a compensation to offset the Page 11 NATO expansion to the east. On the other hand, the United States and its allies are opposed to any attempt by Russia to strengthen itself through reintegration with Central Asiaboth because they are concerned about the rising influence of aggressive, neo-imperialist forces in Moscow, and because they resent the Kremlin's attempt to keep control over the oil and natural gas resources of Central Asia.

It also has a stormy, dramatic history filled with countless invasions and catastrophes, empires that rose and fell, khanates and emirates that came and went. The geo-economic and geo-strategic significance of the Central Asian region, its location between Europe and South Asia, between the Middle East and western Siberiaall this has, over many centuries, made it a tempting prize for various invaders, who have brought not only death and destruction but also different cultures and, more often, a fusion of ethnic groups, languages, and confessions.

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