Could Beijing's growing belligerence be a preparation for war?
Beijing believes an epochal struggle for mastery is already underway.
China's aggression appears diplomatically inept, but provoking Western hostility can bring rewards.
Move to nationalise aviation firm interpreted as a sign Kyiv views Washington as a more useful strategic partner than Beijing.
More than 1,000 families returned to Kazakstan in the first six months of this year.
Mass release of detainees stirs hopes that international criticism may be working.
Strategic position and porous borders makes Central Asian state ideal location for trading, and smuggling too.
Leading members Russia and China ultimately have separate interests, especially when it comes to trade and energy deals in Central Asia.
Critics say granting land to China "unconstitutional", but consensus view is that diplomats secured best possible deal.
Cautious optimism that Saparmurat Niazov’s heirs will slowly begin moving forward towards reforms.