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China’s Eurasian Dilemmas

Roads and Risks for a Sustainable Global Power

R. J. Ferguson

Providing a timely analysis of China’s engagement with Eurasia, R. James Ferguson focuses on the challenges obstructing China’s path to becoming a sustainable global power. Engagement across Eurasia presents China, its leaders and policymakers with intensified contact with regional and national conflicts, posing environmental, developmental and strategic dilemmas.
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Chapter 2: Dangerous frontiers: beyond the CSTO and SCO

R. J. Ferguson


Eurasia in the 21st century demonstrates a turbulent mix of unfrozen conflicts, great power competition and unresolved transnational conflicts. In spite of the Collective Security Treaty Organization and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, there is insufficient convergence between these two frameworks to provide proactive management of existing and new threats. Even small, underdeveloped territories or frontiers can pose major changes for multilateral cooperation: the unrecognized ‘statelet’ of Transnistria and the underdeveloped Wakhan Corridor show the complexity of multilateral cooperation across problematic borders. Both China and Russia have tried their own ‘pivots’ (to west and east) to stabilize adjacent zones economically and military. The Russian pivot to Asia and the Pacific is important for attaining national economic and security goals but remains underdeveloped. Uneven coordination across regional and security frameworks indicates an ongoing period of competitive multipolarity and limited multilateral integration for Eurasia as a whole.

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