The war in Syria, security in Afghanistan, and the future of nuclear talks with Iran were at the top of the agenda at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan today. China's rising prominence in the region was on full display during the talks, suggesting shifting influences in what has long been seen as Russia's backyard. The summit comes on the heels of Armenia's recent decision to join the Russian-dominated Customs Union, a decision that signals a redrawing of political, trade, and economic alliances among countries once associated with the Soviet Union.
# RFE/RL's liveblog
of the summit provided play-by-play of the day’s events, including top tweets and comments from world leaders in attendance.
# Moscow Correspondent Tom Balmforth looks at how China is wooing Russia’s client states
in Central Asia with huge credit lines and massive energy investments.
# Iran had an opportunity to court Russia and China at the summit and shore up support for its position in future nuclear talks
. Senior Correspondent Charles Recknagel breaks down the likely outcome of this lobbying.
# Interest in Chinese language and culture is booming in Uzbekistan
, where students see opportunity in the strengthening of traditional ties between Beijing and Tashkent. Correspondents Farangis Najibullah and Khurmat Babajanov report.
# The impending NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan figured prominently at the summit. But while the SCO has ambitions to become the regional security watchdog, there are doubts that it is up to the task
. Correspondent Abubakar Siddique has more.
# Correspondent Ron Synovitz interviews James Reardon-Anderson
, professor of Chinese studies and senior associate dean at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in Washington, on the geopolitical implications for Central Asia of NATO’s withdrawal from Afghanistan.
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