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Talking Point: Central Asia Crossroads, with Samantha Custer & Indian Ambassador Asoke Mukerji

December 17, 2021

On "Talking Point," StratNews Global Associate Editor Amitabh P. Revi. discussed the interplay of interests in Central Asia with Samantha Custer, AidData's Director of Policy Analysis and co-author of a new report, Corridors of Power: How Beijing uses economic, social, and network ties to extert influence along the Silk Road. Ambassador Asoke Mukerji, India's Former Permanent Representative to the UN and Ex-Envoy to Kazakhstan, who opened India’s first Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan Embassies in 1992, joined the discussion.

The panelists explored a variety of timely topics, including an extensive new study from AidData on Chinese public diplomacy efforts, from financing and education to culture and social media, in the Central Asia region; how Beijing has used this broad and diverse toolkit to cultivate economic and soft power influence; a series of recent Indian foreign policy engagements, including reported plans to invite the Presidents of all five Central Asian countries for Republic Day in 2022; the Foreign Minister's meeting in Delhi for the 3rd India-Central Asia Dialogue from December 18-20; the National Security Advisors from C-5 countries attending a regional meet hosted by India in November on the situation in Afghanistan; and the fluid interplay between the interests of China, Russia, India, the U.S., Turkey and Iran in the region.

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