Central Asia was once the hub of global trade. Now we hear little about it, while it is teeming with interesting stories. In this six-part series, the hosts Ruben Terlou, who speaks fluent Chinese, and Jelle Brandt Corstius, who speaks fluent Russian, go searching for them.
Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and Pakistan, These countries once formed the old Silk Road, the trading centre of the world. Most people in the west have different associations about Central Asia nowadays: lots of oil and gas, long-reigning tyrants and violent steppe regions inhabited by uncultivated figures (thanks to Sacha Baron Cohen’s alter ego Borat).
The global powers are once again interested in this region, which some people are already calling: ‘the new centre of the world’.
A high stakes games is going on in which China and Russia are trying to fortify their grip on countries such as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Colossal energy and infrastructure projects are being established and China is pumping billions into the construction of her ‘New Silk Road’ that runs through countries like Kazakhstan and Pakistan. China is rapidly gaining influence, because whoever controls the Silk Road, determines history.
Episode 1: The Sheriff and the Banker - Uzbekistan & Tajikistan
Episode 2: Soldiers and Daughters-In-Law - Uzbekistan & Tajikistan
Episode 3: Regained Freedom - Kyrgyzstan & Kazakhstan
Episode 4: Free People's Land - Kazakhstan
Episode 5: A Ticking Time Bomb - Pakistan & Kyrgyzstan
Episode 6: Resistance For Progress - Pakistan & Uzbekistan
Jelle Brandt Corstius, Nicolette Bloemberg