Russia and China have agreed to join forces in combating terrorism in Central Asia. Russia now insists that al Qaeda, including Chechen terrorists, were involved in the recent unrest in Uzbekistan. The main cause of unrest in Central Asia is the continued rule of Soviet era despots. Most Central Asians are not happy with their rulers. The two main alternatives offered are democracy and Islamic dictatorships. Russia and China want neither, and prefer to back the current strongmen.