A virtual event hosted by the Central Asia Program at George Washington University on December 3, 2021.
China is expanding its security footprint in Central Asia through strategic military bases located in the remote eastern corner of Tajikistan. A recent report by RFE/RL shed new light on the base populated by Chinese security personnel and a separate military base that the Tajik government has recently allowed Beijing to finance. It’s Beijing’s first military presence in Central Asia and is apparently reflects a broader response from China to the newly emerging security situation following the Taliban’s takeover of neighboring Afghanistan and the U.S. military’s withdrawal from that country. Meanwhile, there are also suggestions, whether it is a sign of creeping Chinese penetration into Central Asia. Please join us for a discussion on China’s growing security interests in Tajikistan and its implications of the region.
Reid Standish is a correspondent in RFE/RL’s Central Newsroom in Prague and the author of the China In Eurasia briefing, a monthly newsletter tracking China’s growing footprint from Eastern Europe to Central Asia. Prior to joining RFE/RL, Reid worked as an editor at Foreign Policy magazine in Washington and as the magazine’s correspondent in Moscow. Reid has worked as a journalist across Europe and Central Asia and conducted exclusive interviews with leaders, officials, and policymakers. He focuses on Chinese influence and foreign policy and has reported on major China stories, such as the Belt and Road Initiative projects and the internment camps in Xinjiang, on the ground.
Salimjon Aioubov is the Director of RFE/RL’s Tajik Service. Previously, he was a senior broadcaster with RFE/RL’s Tajik Service, and also Project Director for RFE/RL’s Central Asian Newswire, a platform that aggregates original RFE/RL reporting and other information for Central Asian media seeking independent news. Aioubov has worked for numerous Tajik print, radio, and television outlets over the course of two decades, covering wide range of issues involving his native country, Tajikistan. He has produced two short documentaries on Tajik issues, “Mi, Pereselentsi” (1986) and “Perpetual Returning” (1989), and published several books, most recently, “A Hundred Colors: Tajiks in the 20th Century” (Amsterdam, 2004).
Erica Marat is an Associate Professor at the College of International Security Affairs at the National Defence University. Dr.Marat’s research focuses on violence, mobilization and security institutions in Eurasia, India, and Mexico. Her recent book, The Politics of Police Reform: Society against the State in Post-Soviet Countries (Oxford University Press 2018), explores conditions in which police reform projects succeed and why they fail in countries with a recent authoritarian past.
Parviz Mullojonov, Ph.D., is a Political Analyst, Orientalist and freelance researcher from Tajikistan. He has earned doctoral degree in Islamic studies at the University of Basel (Switzerland). A graduate of the department of Oriental studies of TGNU, Arabic department. He is a member of inter-Tajik dialogue – an international peace-making initiative during the civil war in Tajikistan, a member of the research group of EUCAM (EU-Central Asia monitoring project). He has worked with various international organisations and agencies such as Human Rights Watch/Helsinki, UNCHR, UNDP and ADB. He is the author of over 40 research articles and publications.
Sebastien Peyrouse, PhD, is a Research Professor at the Central Asia Program in the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (George Washington University) and a Senior Fellow with the George H. W. Bush Foundation for U.S.-China relations. His main areas of expertise are political systems in Central Asia, economic and social issues, Islam and religious minorities, and Central Asia’s geopolitical positioning toward China, India and South Asia.