Over at China's Global Times, I looked at why China still presents Central Asia's best hopes moving forward:
In 2015, Central Asia can expect decreased economic fortunes, growing populations of the discontented and the jobless, and the increasing appeal of those pushing anti-state extremism. However, if there is an over-arching reason for optimism in the region, it comes from Beijing. Central Asia presents the lone stretch of warm relations with China, at least on a governmental level. Territorial concerns are largely non-existent, while the autocrats of Central Asia have been more than willing to take Chinese largesse, which often comes without any of the humanitarian prerequisites the West requires.