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Qishloq Ovozi

Tajik President Emomali Rahmon (left) greets Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang in Dushanbe late last year.

On February 19, The Washington Post published a report by Gerry Shih about a Chinese base in eastern Tajikistan, near the mountainous border with Afghanistan.

There had been rumors about such a base for several years, made all the more believable by occasional reports about Chinese-Tajik counternarcotics raids from Tajik territory into Afghanistan.

The Washington Post's article on the Chinese base in Tajikistan renewed debate about how far China might extend its security influence in Central Asia.

With this in mind, RFE/RL's media-relations manager, Muhammad Tahir, moderated a discussion on Beijing's security interests in Central Asia and how far they might go.

From Washington D.C., Nadege Rolland, a senior fellow for political and security affairs at the National Bureau of Asian Research and author of the book China's Eurasian Century?: Political And Strategic Implications Of The Belt And Road Initiative, participated in the talk.

Taking part in Majlis session from London was Raffaello Pantucci, director of National Security Studies at the Royal United Services Institute, who has an upcoming work on Chinese interests in Central Asia.

As usual, I had a few things to contribute as well.

Majlis Podcast: China's Security Interests In Central Asia
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Living with disabilities in Central Asia presents many challenges. Tight state budgets and social stigmas make integratingin society tough for many disabled people.

RFE/RL's Media-Relations Manager Muhammad Tahir moderated a discussion on the problem. This week’s guests were all people who are working to improve the situation for disabled people in their home countries in Central Asia.

Participating from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, was Gulnaz Zhazbaeva, an activist for the blind. From the United Kingdom, Tahmina Rees, a citizen of Tajikistan who is working to help children with Down syndrome. And also from the United Kingdom, we were joined by Dimurad Yusupov, an Uzbek journalist who has written about the battles people with disabilities face in his native Uzbekistan and is also a doctoral researcher at the Brighton-based Institute of Development Studies.I had a few things to say too.

Majlis Podcast: The Challenges For Disabled People In Central Asia
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About This Blog

Qishloq Ovozi is a blog by RFE/RL Central Asia specialist Bruce Pannier that aims to look at the events that are shaping Central Asia and its respective countries, connect some of the dots to shed light on why those processes are occurring, and identify the agents of change.

Bruce Pannier
Bruce Pannier

Content draws on the extensive knowledge and contacts of RFE/RL's Central Asian services but also allow scholars in the West, particularly younger scholars who will be tomorrow’s experts on the region, opportunities to share their views on the evolving situation at this Eurasian crossroad.

The name means "Village Voice" in Uzbek. But don't be fooled, Qishloq Ovozi is about all of Central Asia.

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Majlis Podcast: Turkmenistan Singled Out Over Enforced Disappearances
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Majlis Podcast: Turkmenistan Singled Out Over Enforced Disappearances
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