Why Central Asia? The Strategic Rationale of Indian and Chinese Involvement in the Region
Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the rediscovery of Central Asia by the international community has placed this region in a specific intellectual context, one marked by a return of geopolitical theories and debates around the “end of history” and the “clash of civilizations.” The revival of geopolitical theory, especially Sir Halford Mackinder’s idea that one who controls the Heartland controls the world, has profoundly shaped the new frameworks applied to the post-Soviet states of Central Asia and to Afghanistan. In contrast to the geographical and economic isolation of the region, theories about the revival of the Silk Road flourished in the West and in Asia. The United States and the European Union have used them to promote the release of Central Asia from the Russian sphere of influence by opening toward the south. Turkey, Iran, Japan, South Korea, China, India, and Pakistan have made references to their historical ties with the region, beyond the years of the Iron Curtain.
KeywordsSilk Road Iron Curtain Chinese Authority Shanghai Cooperation Organization Strategic Rationale
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