This policy paper by Michal Hudec examines the characteristics of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) project in the Central Asian region, such as geographical factors, specific geopolitical situation of the region arising from contestation between Russia and China, cultural and historical factors and important specifics of the project in the region.
How crucial this region is for the success of the whole initiative is being manifested from the very start. Central Asia is the historic core of silk roads through the time. It is here, where Marco Polo searched for silk routes to Venice and where United Kingdom and Russia contested in the Great Game. As Frederick Starr, one of the world leading experts on this region, argues in his book, Central Asia was much more than “a mere transit station” along the road.