What Drives Chinese Arms Sales in Central Asia?

image credit: Russian Presidential Press and Information Service

By Yau Tsz Yan
September 11, 2019

Chinese military assertiveness in Asia has often been viewed as an effort to strike balance, either with the United States, India, or other powers across the region. But for decades, Chinese military might was not built on strictly Chinese technological prowess. Since coming to power, Chinese President Xi Jinping has engaged in various military reforms, including allowing civilian companies to invest and modernize the military technology industry. Together with a grand national strategy to create a hyper tech-based society, the Chinese military technology industry is becoming a serious leader, especially in the field of military-use telecommunication. 

One region that features prominently in this development is Central Asia. In Russia’s backyard, but increasingly a Chinese security interest, Central Asia provides a critical glance at the expansion of Beijing’s military assertiveness. 

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