Review of the analytical report prepared by the Kazakhstan Center for the Study of Chinese Modernization and announced within the framework of the «Dialogue of Civilizations of the SCO Countries-2024» Forum.


The topic of the analytical report is «Study of the «Dialogue of Civilizations» between China and the countries of Central Asia.»


The analytical report includes: an analysis of speeches at the summit and its results, a study of China’s cultural cooperation with each country in the region, recommendations based on a comparison of cooperation between China, Turkiye and the United States with Central Asia.


After the China-Central Asia summit in 2023, cultural cooperation has become one of the main areas of development of relations. The leaders of 6 states noted the need to strengthen long-term relations through cultural exchanges, which promotes mutual understanding, respect and trust between peoples. Cultural events, educational programs and knowledge exchanges provide the basis for political, economic and social cooperation.


The following concepts are being promoted in the development of cultural cooperation between China and Central Asia:


  1. Cultural Silk Road;
  2. Community of a common destiny for humanity;
  3. Global Civilization;
  4. Regional identity within the SCO.


In our opinion, it is necessary to build cultural cooperation with an emphasis on the common history of the Silk Road, taking into account the interest of world powers in the transport routes of Central Asia. The report provides an analysis of the tone of media publications in Central Asia in 2017 and 2021–2022. All Central Asian countries have a positive attitude towards the Belt and Road Initiative.


After the China-Central Asia summit, many formats of cooperation were initiated, including the creation of the China-Central Asia Secretariat.


The authors of the report emphasize that without the formation of cultural identity, deepening relations will be difficult. China has proposed a «Cultural Silk Road» project, and it would be interesting to see information about its successful implementation.


In this regard, we propose to develop a joint cultural identity «Cultural Silk Road» and hold a «Central Asia-China» year under its auspices or create an organization under the secretariat to promote this concept.


Priorities and potential areas of cooperation between China and Central Asian countries in the field of culture.


All participants emphasized at the China-Central Asia Summit on May 19, 2023 the importance of cultural and humanitarian cooperation, including education, science, culture, tourism, sports and media. These directions coincide with China’s Global Civilization Initiative, which, according to Chinese President Xi Jinping, aims to promote respect for the diversity of civilizations and promote their prosperity and progress. If we analyze the speeches of the leaders, we can see that in cultural cooperation they emphasized different areas. The TOP 5 areas of cooperation are presented in the report attachment.


In the cultural direction, the interests of the parties at the China-Central Asia summit intersect in several key areas that can be emphasized to further strengthen cooperation. All parties expressed interest in the development of educational programs and academic exchanges. President Xi Jinping proposed increasing the number of Lu Ban Workshops and providing quotas for government scholarships for students from Central Asia, which was also supported by other leaders. Inter-civilization dialogue and cultural exchanges were another important topic: Xi Jinping spoke about the implementation of the «Cultural Silk Road» project and the creation of cultural centers, which resonated with the leaders of the Central Asian countries, who noted the importance of cultural exchanges and the preservation of rich cultural traditions. President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev proposed creating a register of Silk Road tour operators with a visa-free regime for group tours and forming a single tourism cluster. Also, the President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev noted that the introduction of a mutual visa-free regime between Kazakhstan and China meets the goals of developing cultural ties between Kazakhstan and China. The parties are also actively working on opening branches of technical universities in Kazakhstan. The President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Japarov supported the Youth Arts Festival and the Year of Culture and Art of the Peoples of Central Asia and China, which is also supported by other countries as a way to engage young people and strengthen cultural ties.


Traditional medicine and health care have also been an important focus, with Xi Jinping’s proposal to establish traditional medicine centers in Central Asia resonating with other leaders. The development of tourism and the promotion of cultural heritage was noted as an important direction by all participants, who supported the idea of creating tourist routes and holding cultural events.


Further, the report analyzes research on the cultural basis for the development of relations between China, the USA, and Turkiye with the countries of Central Asia. This comparative analysis allows us to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of cultural cooperation between China and Central Asian countries.


Here are a few examples of China’s strengths compared to the US and Turkiye:


  1. Comprehensive economic engagement: China’s Belt and Road Initiative combines cultural cooperation with economic projects, promoting goodwill through infrastructure development and economic investment.
  2. Strategic Scholarships: Providing scholarships and easing visa requirements for Central Asian students wishing to study in China helps strengthen people-to-people ties and promote Chinese culture among future leaders.




  1. Dependency Concerns: Heavy reliance on Chinese investment may raise concerns about economic dependency, which could lead to friction and resistance from local governments.
  2. Cultural differences: The promotion of Chinese culture sometimes conflicts with local traditions and values, potentially limiting the effectiveness of cultural integration efforts.


Further, the Report analyzes the bilateral development of countries.


In general, all parties support the further development of cultural relations between China and the countries of Central Asia; for this purpose, many cultural events are held and cultural centers are opened. An overview of each Central Asian country is provided.


In conclusion, it is worth saying that the development of cultural relations between China and the countries of Central Asia is an emerging area that has significant potential for strengthening mutual understanding and cooperation. Despite existing problems, such as a weak legislative framework and insufficient formats for high-level meetings for cultural and educational leaders, there are many examples of active and productive cultural exchanges.


Kazakhstan and China exemplify active cultural cooperation through the Subcommittee on Cultural and Humanitarian Cooperation and a variety of initiatives, including literature publishing, film co-production, educational exchanges, and joint cultural events. These efforts focus on both intangible heritage and contemporary cultural development, demonstrating an integrated approach to bilateral cultural relations.


Kyrgyzstan and China, although paying more attention to museum activities and historical heritage, also benefit from educational exchanges and active Confucius Institutes.


Uzbekistan and China demonstrate their cultural cooperation through significant linguistic and educational exchanges, as well as joint efforts to preserve and promote the heritage of the Silk Road. Regular cultural events further strengthen their strategic partnership.


Tajikistan’s cultural ties with China, deeply rooted in the history of the Silk Road, are reflected in extensive educational exchanges and joint cultural projects, supported by numerous bilateral agreements and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization framework.


Turkmenistan, although not as extensively cooperating with China in the cultural sphere, shows promising achievements in the field of educational and cultural exchanges. The China-Central Asia format plays an important role in the development of these growing ties.


Overall, although each Central Asian country has its own unique focus and mechanisms for cultural cooperation with China, the common goal remains to deepen mutual understanding and strengthen regional ties through various cultural initiatives. Continued efforts to address existing gaps and expand cooperation will further deepen these vital cultural ties.


In conclusion, Recommendations are given for further expanding the dialogue between China and the countries of Central Asia within the framework of cultural cooperation.


        Thank you for attention!



Center for Chinese Modernization Studies, Kazakhstan