Group Photo Samarkand 01

Raffaello Pantucci is a Senior Research Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), London. A widely published author, his writing on China, Central Asia, terrorism and more can be found at: raffaellopantucci.com. He is the author of the forthcoming We Love Death As You Love Life: Britain’s Suburban Mujahedeen (Hurst/Columbia University Press). You can also follow him on Twitter @raffpantucci.

Dr. Alexandros Petersen was the co-founder of this site and the author of The World Island: Eurasian Geopolitics and the Fate of the West (Praeger: 2011). A brilliant scholar of grand strategy and energy geopolitics, he obtained his PhD from the London School of Economics and had worked at think tanks and Universities in London, Washington, Tblisi, and Bishkek, most recently serving as an Advisor to the European Energy Security Initiative at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. He was also an accomplished punk rock singer and one of the foundational members of the Young Professionals in Foreign Policy network.

Alex was working as an Assistant Professor in political science at the American University campus in Afghanistan when he was killed in January 2014 in an attack on a restaurant in Kabul. The site and its work is dedicated in his honor. To contribute and celebrate his memory, please visit the Alexandros Petersen Fellowship for Eurasia http://www.alexpetersenfellowship.org/

Sue Anne Tay is a photographer and author of the widely-read blog ShanghaiStreetStories.com which focuses on documenting urbanization trends and heritage architecture in Shanghai. Her work has been widely exhibited and published in Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, amongst others. She is also a Senior Vice President at a foreign bank in Shanghai, China.

We can be reached at chinaincentralasia[at]gmail.com or contact us via our Contact Page.


  1. Refan

    West, west, west, West, west, west, dccreoamy, dccreoamy, freedom of expression; Come on guys stop jumping on the China hate bandwagon! Do you want them to become insular again? And bring the world closer to nuclear war? Because by constantly demeaning Chinese achievements, which are progressing at a rapid rate, you are making an enemy out of a country we can ill afford to fight. Alot of people have to visit China in order to change their perception and educate themselves about modern so called tyranical’ China.

    • AN

      Refan: are you seriously arguing that people be less critical of China to avoid angering it? Doesn’t anything about that strike you as ridiculous? And what does that have to do with visiting China–do you believe that everyone who visits China will have the same perception? This last comment of yours is (hopefully unconsciously) an appropriation of the Party line: only those who don’t understand China will be critical of it.

  2. haimana

    Dear Refan,
    Greetings! I love China and its people.
    Yes, China is clearly a growing economic influence and will likely become the world’s economic first in about 20 years. This are all recent developments. In 2010 it became the second world economy when it overtook Japan and experts say in another 20 years it will likely surpass the US economically.
    In Africa and Latin America their ecnomic influence has been growing dramatically since the year 2000.
    However, they have a lot of maturing to do, because their economic approach is totally pragmatical based on mutual interest. And that could be a problem on occasion from the moral standpoint. Sudan is a good example, but there are others.
    at present they cannot, will not, and should not be able to challenge the USA as the world leader even though economic influence certainly buys political influence as well.
    Just some food for thought!

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