The Great Game’s new player: China’s Belt and Road strategy for Central Asia

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2018-01-01
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Carter, Darrell
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Jonathan Hassid
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Political Science
The Department of Political Science has been a separate department in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (formerly the College of Sciences and Humanities) since 1969 and offers an undergraduate degree (B.A.) in political science, a graduate degree (M.A.) in political science, a joint J.D./M.A. degree with Drake University, an interdisciplinary degree in cyber security, and a graduate Certificate of Public Management (CPM). In addition, it provides an array of service courses for students in other majors and other colleges to satisfy general education requirements in the area of the social sciences.
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Under the leadership of President Xi Jinping China is taking ambitious strides towards greater economic and political influence globally, seeking to establish itself as great power by all definitions. Recently, one policy pushing towards that goal is the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) initiative which will expand on trade routes and resource pipelines over land and sea reaching to Africa, the Middle East, and even Europe. The land leg of BRI is the Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) which passes through Central Asia before reaching the desired destinations, making the region critical to China’s goals for BRI. Through an analytical review of China’s past behavior in similar developing regions I will identify a pattern which indicates how China will develop Central Asia for its Belt and Road Initiative. Additionally, I will explore the connection between trade, FDI, and political influence using a statistical test of UN voting behavior. I will also discuss how BRI presents China with the opportunity for growth of political influence in the region on top of the economic benefits, but that new costs and challenges, potentially increased by Russian efforts, will limit China’s political gains.

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Wed Aug 01 00:00:00 UTC 2018