Alessandro Arduino

Principal Research Fellow, Middle East Institute, National University of Singapore

Alessandro Arduino is the principal research fellow at the Middle East Institute of the National University of Singapore. He is also the co-director of the Security & Crisis Management International Centre at the Shanghai Academy of Social Science and an associate at the Lau China Institute of King’s College London. His two decades of experience in China have focused on security analysis and crisis management. His main research interests are sovereign wealth funds, private military/security companies and China’s security and foreign policy primarily in the regions of China, Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. Arduino is also the author of several books including China’s Private Army: Protecting the New Silk Road (2018) and he has published articles in various journals in Italian, English and Chinese.

China's President Xi Jinping and Uzbekistan's President Shavkat Mirziyoyev pose for a picture during their meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, 15 September 2022. (Press service of the President of Uzbekistan/Handout via Reuters)

Can China be both economic and security guarantor in Central Asia?

Central Asia is a linchpin between Eurasia and Southeast Asia and a strategic node in China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Chinese President Xi Jinping notably visited Central Asia in his first foreign visit in over two years. But while China’s economic engagement is welcome in the region, it is currently not a confident security provider. Could things change in the near future?