Summit shows China’s expansive ambitions in Central Asia

Summit shows China's expansive ambitions in Central Asia
The Associated Press

KHORGOS, Kazakhstan (AP) — China will seek to further promote its economic links with Central Asia during this weekend’s summit of the China and Russia-dominated Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

The Beijing-based group was originally conceived as a platform for resolving border issues, fighting terrorism and — more implicitly — to counter American influence. In recent years, its economic component has grown more prominent with China’s trillion-dollar infrastructure drive known as the Belt and Road Initiative.

As host, China is eager for outcomes that refer to President Xi Jinping’s infrastructure initiative. But according to Jonathan Hillman, an expert on Asia, India’s skepticism means such a resolution would not be unanimously supported. The group operates on the basis on consensus, making it difficult to adopt new initiatives.

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