Interpreting Sinophobia and Sinophilia in Central Asia

March 9, 2010 - 17:00 - 18:30
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CEU contact person: 
Stela Garaz
Interpreting Sinophobia and Sinophilia in Central Asia

Since 2000, China has significantly gained in its importance in Central Asia in all sectors – energy, commerce, strategy, and culture. Existing publications on the topic of China-Central Asian relations are generally limited to discussing energy issues (collaboration on hydrocarbons) and security questions (the collective management of so-called terrorist threats), and mostly only present Russian and Chinese viewpoints. The objective of this presentation is to go beyond this first level of analysis by giving a voice to those most concerned by these issues, namely the Central Asians, paying special attention to their views of the “Chinese question”. The issue of China’s increasing influence in Central Asia is sensitive and no one has an unequivocal response to it. The discourse that has been developed by Central Asian expertise on China’s role in the region is a complex one. The majority of experts tend to advance both pro- and anti-Chinese arguments, a twofold argumentative structure that can be explained by the variety of issues involved. China is more highly rated in relation to geopolitical and economic issues, for example, than it is in relation to questions of identity and culture.


Sebastien Peyrouse, Ph.D., is a Senior Research Fellow at the Central Asia and Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program Joint Center (SAIS, Johns Hopkins University, Washington DC - the Institute for Security and Development Policy, Stockholm). He was a doctoral and postdoctoral Fellow at the French Institute for Central Asian Studies in Tashkent (1998-2000 and 2002-2005), a Research Fellow at the Slavic Research Center, Hokkaido University in Sapporo (2006), and a Research Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington (2006-2007). In Paris, he is an Associated Fellow at the Institute for International and Strategic Relations (IRIS). His main areas of expertise are political systems in Central Asia, security and non-traditional threats issues, Islam and religious minorities, and Central Asia’s geopolitical positioning toward China, and India.