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New strategies for an old rivalry? China–Russia relations in Central Asia after the energy boom

Originally published in The Pacific Review.


China and Russia both have interests in bordering Central Asia. China's thirst for energy has seen its footprint expand rapidly in the region relative to that of Russia, Central Asia's historical hegemon. With the two powerful neighbors’ history of competition and conflict, the shift in relative influence between them risks a resurgence of bilateral rivalry. Referencing the scholarly literature on strategic rivalry, this article examines how energy relations have helped shaped the trajectory of China-Russian relations in Central Asia,

particularly after the shock that came with the collapse of oil and gas prices in 2008–2009.

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