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The Final Piece of China’s Central Asian BRI Puzzle Is In Place

File image of Chinese President Xi Jinping meeting with the leaders of all five countries in Central Asia on January 25, 2022. Image via the Kyrgz presidential administration.

A recent MoU between China and Turkmenistan means that the whole of Central Asia is now part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. This point was made during a briefing by Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin. The symbolism of completing the Central Asian portion of the BRI is key, considering that it was first announced in Kazakhstan in 2013.

WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT?: The consolidation of the BRI arguably shows that China is slowly displacing Russia as the key partner to the region.

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