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China's rise is changing the world. Much attention has been given to how China's geo-economic vision is playing out in the global economy, or how its technology is reshaping the planet, yet it is over its western borders, in Central Asia, that China's influence has been quietly expanding in a more
pervasive way. It is here that you can find the first strand of Xi Jinping's grand Belt and Road Initiative, China's new Silk Road to the West. It is to the Eurasian heartland that we can look for an understanding of China's new foreign policy vision and its consequences.
In Sinostan, two acclaimed foreign policy experts recount their travels across Central Asia to keep their finger on the pulse and tell the story of China's growing influence. They interview Chinese traders in latter day Silk Road bazaars; climb remote mountain passes threatened by construction;
commiserate with Afghan archaeologists charged with saving centuries-old Buddhist ruins before they are swept away by mining projects; meet with eager young Central Asians learning Mandarin; and sit with officials in all five Central Asian capitals, bearing witness to a region increasingly
transformed by Beijing's presence. Their stories and experiences illustrate how China's foreign policy initiative has expressed itself on the ground, and what it means for those living both within and beyond the boundaries of its 'inadvertent empire'.
Rafaello Pantucci, Director of International Security Studies, Royal United Services Institute,Alexandros Petersen, formerly an academic, writer, geopolitical energy specialist,
Rafaello Pantucci is an internationally acclaimed foreign and security policy expert. He is a Senior Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) in Singapore and a Senior Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in London. He has worked at influential
strategic studies think tanks in London, Washington, and Shanghai, providing advice to governments, international organizations, and companies alike. He is a regular contributor to the Financial Times, New York Times, and Foreign Policy.
Alexandros Petersen was an American academic, writer, geopolitical energy specialist, and author of The World Island: Eurasian Geopolitics and The Fate of the West (Praeger, 2011). Petersen addressed the implications of the West withdrawing its engagement from the Caucasus and Central Asia, the
expansion of Chinese influence, and Russia's strategic interests. He taught at the American Universities of Afghanistan and Central Asia, having lived and travelled extensively across Eurasia. He was killed in a Kabul restaurant bombing and shooting attack.
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