Reviews

The present book is based on the idea that energy strategies can no longer be studied outside of their global geopolitical context, and therefore that economy cannot be thought without taking into account its causes and strategic consequences. Buoyed by this analysis, the author sets out to tackle Chinese policy in Central Asia. He begins by presenting Chinese approaches to issues of international policy (avoiding head-on conflicts and promoting economic cooperation in order to defuse political tensions), and the way that are applied by Beijing in Central Asia. In the second chapter, he reviews the Chinese energy projects in the region, i.e., the oil projects in Kazakhstan and gas projects in Turkmenistan. He then goes on to look at the SCO as a key element of Chinese energy security strategies. By promoting the ‘Shanghai spirit’, China hopes to spread its security obsession to the Central Asian states. However, the Organisation also enables China to test new alliances, in particular with Iran, in its bid to open up new routes to the Mediterranean. The author then investigates the subtle balancing game underway between Russia, China, and the usa in Central Asia, as well as the question of whether great powers will be able to ensure regional stability by developing alliances instead of rivalries, not to mention a possible Sino-Iranian alliance which would run counter to American interests. The last chapter is wholly devoted to China, and places Chinese strategies in Central Asia in a broader context: Worried by its weak control of the Straits and American maritime domination, Beijing has opted for a continental vision on the issue of new supply routes.

Sébastien Peyrouse, John Hopkins University, Washington, DC
CER: II-7.4.A-628