Speaker: Pantucci, R. (Royal United Services Institute)
Date: 4 December 2018
SMA hosted a speaker session presented by Mr. Raffaello Pantucci (Royal United Services Institute [RUSI]) as a part of its Future of Global Competition & Conflict Speaker Series. To begin his presentation, Mr. Pantucci spoke about Xinjiang, a provincial-level autonomous region of China that is unofficially considered to be a “sixth” Central Asian nation. He then explained that China’s economic interest in Central Asia is driven by its economic interest in Xinjiang, and China is motivated to help develop this region in order to increase Xinjiang’s prosperity. Furthermore, he stated that China is interested in increasing its economic influence in the region. This desire is reflected through both government-owned and private businesses that have investments in the region. Mr. Pantucci also spoke about the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a multinational Eurasian security alliance created after the Cold War between China, Russia, and Central Asian countries. He then discussed China’s security presence in the region, how the nation’s SCO membership allows it to focus more on economics rather than security, and how China acts carefully in order to avoid upsetting Russia. In addition, he spoke about China’s political influence in the region and highlighted how Central Asian nations often view China as a regional counterbalance to Russia. To conclude, Mr. Pantucci spoke about the areas in which Chinese interests have essentially failed in the region, particularly with regards to labor and agriculture, as well as problems that have arisen as a result of Chinese influence in the region.
To access an audio recording of this presentation, please email Ms. Nicole Peterson (email@example.com).