China Rising, U.S. Fatigued, and Central Asia Waiting on New Alignments
This concluding chapter summarizes the book's main arguments and makes generalizations about the future of U.S.-China relations in Central Asia. Central Asia is not expected to become a cohesive, integrated grouping of states. Meanwhile, the planned U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the striking increase in shale gas production in the U.S. means that Central Asia will become less important to American policy makers in the future in both economic and strategic terms. China, however, is interested in importing hydrocarbons from Central Asia and limiting the spread of Islamic fundamentalism from Central Asia to Muslim areas inside China. Thus, although there is much discussion about a competition between the United States and China in Central Asia, the two countries have different objectives in the region and have little real competition between them.
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