DKI APCSS Professor Dr. Jeffrey Reeves had an article entitled “China’s Silk Road Economic Belt Initiative: Network and Influence Formation in Central Asia” published on Taylor & Francis Online’s website.
This article demonstrates that, rather than constituting a new model for Central Asian international relations, the SREB’s real strategic value for China is as an organizational concept and as an influence multiplier. In recasting its Central Asian bilateral relations as part of the SREB engagement model, Beijing has overlaid a strategic-level concept to its otherwise disparate patterns of engagement. In so doing, the Xi administration has consolidated its multiple lines of efforts and the diverse Chinese-based actors—both state and private—into a grand narrative: one that serves the strategic purpose of integration. The Xi administration has used (and is using) this integration to expand its influence throughout the Central Asian region, both through its bilateral relations and through a SREB-resulting network of Central Asian states. In particular, one sees regular instances within China’s SREB engagement where the Xi administration uses the initiative to reconstitute regional states’ development priorities, interests and relations in ways that benefit China’s overall strategic interests.
Here’s a link to the article: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10670564.2018.1433480
Dr. Reeves is a professor at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies and his areas of expertise are China, Mongolia, and East Asia Security.
The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Daniel K. Inouye Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.