Since gaining independence in 1991, Turkmenistan has typically attracted only sporadic international attention both because of its constitutionally mandated policy of strict neutrality and the extreme isolation Ashgabat has pursued with an authoritarianism so severe that it rivals that of North Korea. But the country’s enormous natural gas reserves and its strategic location, next to an unstable Afghanistan and astride a major east-west trade route, has changed that over the past several years. Various countries, ranging from Russia and Turkey to the European Union member states and United States, have begun to devote more attention to a country they had generally ignored until now. But none has done more and achieved more success than China (see EDM July 29, 2021; December 15, 2022). And China cemented its role as the dominant outside power in Turkmenistan at a recent summit meeting between the presidents of both countries. As such, Beijing’s new status not only gives it expanded opportunities to gain access to Turkmenistani gas and transportation routes but also to use Turkmenistan to help expand Chinese influence across Central Asia. Indeed, that is likely to be the central consequence of this meeting.