Understanding China in Central Asia

Understanding China in Central Asia

The OSCE Academy have consistently provided a regional and international public forum for professionals and students in the spirit of co-operation in the fields of international relations, comprehensive security, democratization, the rule of law and human rights. Across the region, the arrival of Chinese influence in these areas are being increasingly discussed but are faced with the problem of lack of information and experts.

As a regional centre for post-graduate education, capacity building, research and regional dialogue, the OSCE Academy is implementing several projects to boost research capacity and research output on China affairs in Central Asia.

In 2021, the OSCE Academy begun a 2-year research study titled "Chinese Information Operation in the Kyrgyz Republic”. In 2022, the OSCE Academy opened two research fellowships dedicated to China affairs in Central Asia.



Отчет №1: Управление настроениями на западной переферии:китайские информационные операции в Кыргызской Республике

Нива Яу 

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Report #1: Managing Sentiments in the Western Periphery: Chinese Information Operations in the Kyrgyz Republic 

Niva Yau 

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Research Fellows 

Niva Yau is a Senior Researcher at the OSCE Academy in Bishkek and Fellow at the Eurasia Program of the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia. At the OSCE Academy, she leads strategic planning, project implementation, grant search and donor relations for China-related projects. Her research interests follows Global China affairs with a particular focus on China’s foreign policy, trade and security in its western neighbourhood, including Central Asia and Afghanistan. She has conducted a number of commissioned research and briefed officials on Global China affairs and China affairs in Central Asia, concerning security engagement, private security companies, governance export, influence campaigns, and more. In May 2022, Ms Yau testified in Washington DC for the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. Ms Yau is quoted by news agencies globally, such as BBC, The Independent, Nikkei Asia, The Economist, VICE, Le Monde, Deutsche Welle, Al Jazeera and others. Ms Yau was awarded the Albert Otto Hirschman prize for best political economy writing in 2020 by The Washington Post for her work on the latest development of Chinese policy banks in Central Asia. Originally from Hong Kong, Ms Yau has been based in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan since 2018, she is a native speaker of Cantonese, Mandarin, English and learner of Russian.


Asylgul Kanatbekova is a Junior Research Assistant at the OSCE Academy in Bishkek. She specializes in data analysis in research, applying this to interests in Central Asian migration and poverty issues. Asylgul received a Bachelor’s degree in Management of State Property from the Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Kyrgyz Republic and a Master’s degree in Demography and Population Studies from the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, the Russian Federation. Previously, she worked as a consultant for the International Organization for Migration (IOM).




Anton Bugayenko is formerly Head Expert of the Chinese and Asian studies program at Institute of World Economics and Politics (IWEP) under Foundation of the First president in Kazakhstan. He holds degrees in international policy from Fudan University and is an alumnus of Peking University’s Dongfang Program. At the OSCE Academy, Mr Bugayenko will work on examining labour conflicts, relations and management skills of Chinese companies in Kazakhstan, and to what extend they contributed to the rise of anti-China sentiment in the country.




Temur Umarov is a fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. His research is focused on the domestic and foreign policies of the Central Asian republics, as well as trilateral relations between Central Asia, the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China. A native of Uzbekistan, Umarov possesses degrees in China Studies and International Relations from the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, and the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO). He holds a Master's degree in World Economics from the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing. He is also an alumnus of the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center’s Young Ambassadors and the Carnegie Endowment’s Central Asian Futures programs.










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