Remembering Alex and a New Direction

Group Photo Samarkand 01

Since the sad passing of our co-founder Alexandros Petersen, the China in Central Asia site has taken a respectful and bereaved pause. Alex’s loss was devastating to us as well as to the wider community whom he encountered – something we are all too aware of thanks to the many kind messages we received in the wake of the sad news.

However, we are certain that Alex would have wanted us to continue the work in the spirit that he had imagined it.

Alex was a great lover of Eurasia and was particularly fascinated by China’s growth in the region. Together we had travelled much of the region, published numerous articles, captured endless photographs of China’s rising power in the region, and had an amazing time as we did it.

And it is in the spirit of curious and positive investigation that we plan to continue this project, dedicating the site and its work to his memory.

As a next step, we hope to expand the scope and nature of the site, something that Alex was always keen for. When we first established the project site, our objective was to showcase our work on this topic, part of a book project we are still working towards. But the longer-term vision was to transform this site into a hub for research and writing on China in broader Central Asia. In this vein, we hope to begin accepting submissions of original research and writing on this topic, as well as deepen our links to other excellent sources of research and writing on wider Central Asia.

We are working to implement this new direction for the site and would welcome suggestions about how to make this happen. Feel free to contact us via the site or at chinaincentralasia [at] In the meantime we plan to continue our work and to offer up a glimpse into what we consider one of the most under-explored geostrategic shifts of our time – China’s growing influence across its western borders.

A final note about our dear Alex.

Numerous articles have been written about his academic brilliance, erudition, charm, punk rock skills and more. But we would also like to highlight his humorous and sunny disposition that made him such a pleasurable travel and work companion.

Without him here, we will sadly never be able to properly do his wonderful character justice, but we hope that these pictures drawn from our travels will offer people a view into this side of him that is amongst the things we will miss the most.

Thanks again for all your wishes.

Raffaello and Sue Anne


One thought on “Remembering Alex and a New Direction

  1. akyt2

    judging by the “peace” signs Alex does in so many photos he obviously spent too much time around Chinese people


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