New Trends in Central Asian Connectivity
The main aim of this article is to evaluate the impact of the China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and of Uzbekistan's proactive regional policy to promote regional interconnectivity and to develop an “endogenous” cooperation mainly focused on the strategic interests of Central Asian countries. Within the BRI, Central Asia holds a strategic relevance, because this region is crossed by two of the six main BRI corridor projects – the China-Central Asia-West Asia Economic Corridor and the Eurasian land bridge – which will contribute to improve regional cooperation and connections among these countries. For Central Asian republics, BRI represents an attractive project benefiting of Chinese huge investments aimed to boost infrastructures and to develop national economies. Under Mirziyoyev's leadership, Uzbekistan has undertaken a proactive and constructive regional diplomacy in Central Asia, based on the improvement of relations and cooperation with other Central Asian republics, which has become a key priority of Tashkent's foreign policy.