One word undermines China's Central Asian ambitions: Uyghur. All Central Asian ethnic groups have been caught in the PRC's genocide of the Uyghurs. Neither do they wish to be reintegrated with Russia, nor do they wish to be incorporated into the PRC. Xi seems to wish to revenge the ancient loss at Talas River. The Central Asians cannot escape their big and powerful neighbors, but they have some hope at neutrality. They have become increasingly skilled at playing the EU, Russia, the US and PRC against each other.