By: Jianli Yang – Sep 30, 2022

China’s president and the Chinese Communist Party’s general secretary, Xi Jinping, commenced his first foreign trip in over two years with a visit to Kazakhstan, returning to the birthplace of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) nine years after it was first announced in 2013.

His return to the foreign policy stage in this fashion, for the 22nd Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Uzbekistan, draws attention to a rejuvenated effort to advance a regional security architecture in China’s immediate neighborhood. A three-day visit to Central Asia one month before the 20th National Party Congress (NPC), where he is likely to be reappointed general secretary of the party for an unprecedented third term, highlights the importance of developing China-led security and economic architecture in its neighborhood.

Beijing’s diplomacy in Central Asia is driven by its security and economic interests, advanced through the SCO, a China-led institutional mechanism with the potential to evolve into a NATO-style coalition in Asia. The SCO is a framework to manage relations between… [Continue Reading]