Analysis of the independence of Central Asia
This document aims to position Central Asia in its geographical environment. Several designs exist in the region. For this study, we will consider a map according to which Central Asia comprises five countries: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. This area of 3,555,110 sq. km has more than 60 million people. Bordered by Russia to the north, China to the east, Afghanistan and Iran to the south, this area has long been an area of trade and passage. The presence of the Caspian Sea as a gateway to the west could reinforce this idea.
Since 1991 after the fall of the Soviet empire, this region is seeking to forge an identity for itself, despite the cultural, political and economic influences still present in these territories. While much of the world looks to the region of Central Asia, China, Russia and Iran's influence is becoming even more remarkable as neighboring countries. How can Central Asia manages its autonomy from the influences of the giants that surround it? In an attempt to address this issue, we present the region throughout its history and cultural identity. Then we will present the political influences conducted by its neighbors with an objective to stabilize the region, before considering whether the issue would not be a safe excuse to access the energy resources of the area.
Cultural identity of Central Asia: the result of various influences To better understand the current cultural identity resulting from many influences, it is important first to understand its history of land crossing and then its current cultural diversity. The birth of Central Asia: Before the arrival of Islam, Central Asia was strongly marked by a contrast between two populations: sedentary people and nomads. The latter lived with their animals in the steppe vegetation typical of the region.
The dynasties of sedentary peoples, such as the Achaemenid, a Persian dynasty, several Greek dynasties (the Seleucids), a kingdom, etc. fought against Iran's attempts to expand from 540 BC. Central Asia is at the time part of the Achaemenid Persian Empire, even if the Khorezm region (south of the Aral Sea) was freed soon after. It adjoins the steppe dominated by the Scythians, a nomadic Iranian group. Shortly after 330 BC, the conqueror Alexander the Great takes the mythical city of Samarkand and conquered Bactria and Sogdiana.
Then came the Seleucid dynasty, the Greeks, based in Syria and Mesopotamia, which held power in Central Asia. The region of Turkmenistan, fifty years later, witnessed the dynasty of the Parthians, Iranian nomads, while Sogdiana and Bactria remained in the hands of the Greeks for a hundred years. It was around 130 BC that China became interested in the region, the Silk Route was created, which becomes a link with the Roman Empire. The area is then divided between nomadic and Greek influences. We see also see a Christian presence in Central Asia around 300 AD. Multiple invasions of the Huns have changed the region but also allowed the economic development of Sogdiana by the deviation of the Silk Road.
Tags: Silk Route, Central Asian geopolitics, Achaemenid Persian Empire