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Majlis Podcast: Is China's Base In Tajikistan A Sign Of Creeping Penetration?


Next to an old Soviet outpost, is this a collection of strategically located buildings and lookout towers in Tajikistan controlled by Chinese troops part of Beijing's nascent but growing hard-power footprint in the region?

A recent report from RFE/RL's Tajik Service, known locally as Ozodi, showed that a Chinese base in the far eastern corner of Tajikistan, near the area where Tajikistan, China, and Afghanistan meet, has been expanded and new buildings added to the complex.

Questions have arisen as to whether this new construction at the base is a response to the recent changes in the situation in Afghanistan or if it is a sign of creeping Chinese penetration into Central Asia.

On this week's Majlis podcast, RFE/RL's media-relations manager, Muhammad Tahir, moderates a discussion on what has been going on at the base and what the changes there might mean.

This week's guests are: from. Washington DC, Nadege Rolland, senior fellow at the National Bureau of Asian Research; from Prague, RFE/RL correspondent Reid Standish, who is the author of the China in Eurasia briefing; also from Prague, Sirojiddin Tolibov, managing editor at Ozodi; and Bruce Pannier, the author of the Qishloq Ovozi blog.

Is China's Base In Tajikistan A Sign Of Creeping Penetration?
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Listen to the podcast above or subscribe to the Majlis on iTunes or on Google Podcasts.

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 the dots to shed light on why those processes are occurring, and identify the agents of change.

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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