What's China up to in Central Asia?
With #China's rapid rise as a global economic power, it's become increasingly fashionable to talk about reviving the Old Silk Road - the interlocking series of routes, dating back to pre-Christian times, along which merchants, pilgrims...and soldiers travelled from East to West. The latest person to talk romantically about the smells and sights of that period was President Xi Jinping, during his tour last month of neighbouring Central Asian states. It was the Chinese leader's first visit to those ex-Soviet republics, which have historically come under #Moscow's influence - but which are increasingly seen as strategically important for #Beijing. What's in it for the Chinese and what will it mean for the balance of power in the region and beyond? Our correspondent - James Coomarasamy - has been travelling in Central Asia and sent this report.... #CentralAsia #Kyrgyzstan #Tajikistan