Central Asia and the Silk Road Economic Belt
Type: Policy Brief
23 August 2016
The de facto role of China as the main economic and development player in Central Asia goes unrecognised in official and public discourses due to the prevalence of opinion-based policymaking in the region. Although evidence-based policymaking is well established in the developed world, Central Asian states have yet to fully experience the benefits of informed decision-making. Central Asian leaders have to revisit their approach towards China and utilise the opportunities such a neighbourhood offers in a more pragmatic and mutually beneficial way. In this regard, the Beijing-led One Belt, One Road initiative offers an excellent opportunity for the Central Asian leadership to practice evidence-based decision-making and capitalise on Chinese willingness to advance regional integration for the benefit of broader population.