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TikTok Stops Working in Kyrgyzstan After Ban Proposals

Kyrgyzstan appears to have blocked TikTok after the Central Asian country's security services called to restrict the social media app to "protect children". When AFP journalists in the country tried to access TikTok on Thursday, a message read: "Unable to load, ...

Pivot to Asia: Why the Near Abroad is Now China’s Top Priority

For much of the past 20 years, China sought to radically expand its presence beyond its traditional spheres of influence to new regions in Africa, the Americas, and the Middle East. China lent billions to countries in these regions and devoted ...

Chart of the Day: Why Are China’s Exports to Central Asia Growing So Rapidly?

China's trade with its Central Asian neighbors is booming. While countries like Kazakhstan export a lot of oil to China, Chinese exports to the region have jumped significantly.  China's exports to Central Asia stand at $16.6 billion this year, up 62% from ...

Central Asian Leaders Arrive for China Summit That Could Erode Russian Influence

The leaders of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan have arrived in the ancient Silk Road city of Xi’an for one-on-one meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping ahead of the first in-person China-Central Asia summit on Friday. Xi is reportedly scheduled to deliver ...

Central Asian Leaders Arrive in Northwestern China For First-Ever Summit With Xi Jinping

Final preparations are underway in the northwestern Chinese city of Xi'an for a high-profile two-day Central Asian summit that gets underway on Thursday hosted by President Xi Jinping and his counterparts from Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan. The gathering, known as the ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Zimbabwe Agreement Could Signal China’s Return to African Rail

TransTech, a subsidiary of China Railway Group, reportedly signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the state-owned National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) that could lead to a recapitalization of the country’s railway network.
Bloomberg reports that the agreement is currently limited to studying the project and producing a feasibility report by the end of June. Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said: “It is our expectation that in the upcoming Forum for China and Africa taking place ...

China-Central Asia Summit Confirmed for May 18 and 19

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that President Xi Jinping will chair a summit between China and Central Asian states in the northern city of Xi’an on May 18 and 19. The so-called C+C5 summit will include leaders from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, ...

Wang Yi Makes Unannounced Visit to Uzbekistan on His Way to Europe

China's top foreign policy official, Wang Yi, made an unannounced stopover in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent to meet with acting foreign minister Bakhtiyor Saidov. After the meeting, Wang then traveled to Paris, where he met with French President ...

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

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 ...

Beijing’s “Wait and See” Approach in Kazakhstan

By Lukas Fiala and Hugo Jones, China Foresight LSE IDEAS Over the two weeks, we closely followed Kazakh people take to the streets to protest against increasing fuel prices after a government decision to lift a price cap. As the protests ...