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Democracy in Central AsiaCompeting Perspectives and Alternative Strategies$
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Mariya Y. Omelicheva

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780813160689

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813160689.001.0001

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Models of Governance Promoted by Russia and China

Models of Governance Promoted by Russia and China

(p.57) 4 Models of Governance Promoted by Russia and China
Democracy in Central Asia

Mariya Y. Omelicheva

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter examines alternative democracy promotion frames advocated by Russia and China through their foreign policies toward the Central Asian states, including through regional organizations such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). By the early 2000s, Central Asia had become the prize in a geopolitical race for influence and control of its vast energy resources, with Russia and China being key competitors. They have not, however, promoted their views on governance as actively as the US and EU have. Neither Russia nor China has openly stated an ambition to impose its practices on other states. In their foreign policy statements and internal security documents, both Russia and China have affirmed their adherence to the principle of noninterference in the domestic affairs of other nations. This chapter outlines the competing ideas and strategies for political development and economic modernization proposed by Russia and China for Central Asia, as well as the attractive models they have presented for maintaining stability and generating prosperity in the region without meaningful democratization. Both powers have disbursed growing amounts of bilateral aid to the Central Asian governments for a mix of humanitarian, economic, and political aims.

Keywords:   Russia, China, Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Central Asia, democratization, democracy promotion

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