Undermining Western democracy promotion in Central Asia: China’s countervailing influences, powers and impact

Gordon Crawford, Aijan Sharshenova

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    10 Citations (Scopus)
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    Abstract

    This article examines whether and to what extent China’s
    involvement in Central Asian countries undermines the
    democracy promotion efforts of the European Union and the
    United States. Findings confirm that China does indeed challenge
    Western efforts, but in an indirect way. First, Chinese provision of
    substantial and unconditional financial assistance makes Western
    politically conditioned aid appear both ungenerous and an
    infringement of sovereignty. Second, the Shanghai Co-operation
    Organisation, inclusive of China’s leadership role, creates an
    institutional means through which the (semi-)authoritarianism of
    member states is legitimized and challenges Western emphasis on
    democracy and human rights. Finally, by the power of its own
    example, China demonstrates that democracy is not a prerequisite
    for prosperity, the rule of law and social well-being
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)453-472
    Number of pages21
    JournalCentral Asian Survey
    Volume36
    Issue number4
    Early online date29 Sep 2017
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 29 Sep 2017

    Bibliographical note

    This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Central Asian Survey on 29 September 2017, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/02634937.2017.1372364

    Keywords

    • China; Central Asia; democracy promotion; autocracy promotion

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