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Great power competition returns to Central Asia

The Russian-Chinese duopoly retains strong clout in Central Asia. Western overtures to Central Asian nations, however, are still worrisome to Beijing and Moscow, which treat the region as their own backyard. Even though the United States is unlikely to replace Russian or Chinese influence in Central Asia, Washington can offer a geopolitical counterweight and expand its ties with the region, where a western presence is limited.

In early February this year US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, paid a rare visit to Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. The visit was yet another signal that Washington, under Donald Trump’s presidency, wants to strengthen ties with Central Asian nations and challenge Sino-Russian domination in the region. Pompeo's visit was part of Donald Trump's administration broad effort to reinvigorate ties with Central Asian nations which has come ahead of the unveiling of the United States Strategy for Central Asia 2019-2025 in February this year.
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July 7, 2020 - Natalia Konarzewska - AnalysisIssue 4 2020Magazine

U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo meets with Kazakhstan Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tileuberdi in February 2020. Photo US State Department (CC) https://www.flickr.com/photos/statephotos/49475879388/in/album-72157712901160913/

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