East Asia and Pacific // Analysis
17 january 2017
On January 12, 2017, in Moscow Russia’s and China’s representatives agreed to take joint measures against the US missile-defense system in South Korea. Vasily Kashin shares what missile-defense system deployment on the Korean peninsula would mean for regional security and what countermeasures Moscow and Beijing may take.
22 december 2016
On May 30-31, 2016 Russian International Affairs Council held the Second International Conference titled “Russia and China: Taking on a New Quality of Bilateral Relations”. Senior officials, academics, experts on various aspects of bilateral relations, as well as representatives of businesses and media from both Russia and China took part in the Conference. The plenary and expert sessions of the Conference discussed priority areas of Russia–China bilateral and multilateral cooperation. Particular attention was given to coordinating Russia and China’s efforts channeled into developing global governance institutions and ensuring security in Northeast Asia, to the prospects for interaction within the Russia – India – China triangle, to the issues of infrastructure and economic cooperation in Eurasia, to the impact both internal and external factors have on the quality and volume of the Russia-China trade, to the prospects for implementing bilateral projects in education and culture, in the media sphere, and to the joint search for solutions to the current environmental problems.
19 december 2016
On December 15–16, Vladimir Putin visited Japan. The meetings with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held in Nagato (Yamaguchi Prefecture) and Tokyo resulted in several important agreements, indicating the progress in the long-standing dispute settlement. Dmitry Streltsov comments on Vladimir Putin’s visit.
08 november 2016
In the past few years foreign policies of both Russia and the United States have largely shifted towards the East, with China becoming vital partner for both countries. Still, the economic potential of the Russian Far East remains underestimated. Is Russia interested in China’s role intensifying in this part of the country and what are the US interests at this point? Yury Kulintsev shares his thoughts on the topic, providing a review of “Russia’s Far East. New Dynamics in Asia Pacific and Beyond” by Rensselaer Lee and Artyom Lukin.
14 october 2016
In June 2016, experts from the Mercator Institute of Chinese Studies (MERICS) in Berlin presented a collection of analytical essays titled China’s Core Executives: Leadership Styles, Structures and Processes under Xi Jinping. This collection is interesting both as the debut of MERICS’s Papers on China series (it should be kept in mind that the Institute was founded only in 2013) and as an original comprehensive research into the topical issues related to China: the current Chinese leadership’s view of the country’s future, the goals posited, the methods adopted, what the outcome of the process of power centralization initiated by China’s current leader would be, and the significance of all these developments for the rest of the world.
26 september 2016
In order to increase the predictability of Russia–China relations and ensure their progressive and consistent development, it is necessary to convert the high level of mutual political trust into steady and stable work of institutions responsible for international cooperation. For this purpose, it would be advisable to focus on determining the algorithms and mechanisms of strategic planning of Russia–China relations, which could help the parties identify mutually acceptable frameworks and boundaries of strategic partnership not transforming into a military and political alliance.
20 september 2016
Singapore’s policy toward China is largely determined by a set of contradictory, yet ever-present, factors stemming from the demographic situation and the geographical location of the island state. Consequently, Singapore’s government is forced to engage in a permanent and careful balancing act between cooperation with China, which is vital for the island, and constantly distancing itself from it. The dominance of ethnic Chinese among Singapore’s population is by no means a factor that brings Singapore and China together; on the contrary, it is a weighty reason for the above-mentioned distancing.
07 september 2016
Serious changes are taking place in Myanmar. The military regime that had been in power since 1962 was replaced with a civil government. Today, Myanmar essentially has two centres of power: representatives of the former democratic opposition headed by Aung San Suu Kyi and representatives of the former military top brass which have suppressed this opposition for decades. The country’s future hinges on whether the former rivals will be able to unite their efforts to overcome the current challenges: to achieve reconciliation between the centre and the ethnic outlying districts, settle the Muslim question and suppress drug trafficking.
02 september 2016
Russia and South Korea have yet to tap the full potential of their geographical proximity and of the fact that their economies can be mutually complementary. The stumbling block is politics, with South Korea increasingly toeing the American line in the Asia Pacific Region, as witnessed by its consent to host the U.S. missile defence system. However, with its own interests in mind (for example, to avoid becoming a hostage to the contradictions between the United States and China), South Korea is paying close attention to developing relations with Russia, especially regarding economic ties and investments in the Far East. The forthcoming Russia–South Korea summit on the fringes of the Eastern Economic Forum may give impetus to the implementation of these plans. For Russia, it is important that Korea realizes there is no alternative to political and diplomatic methods in settling the Korean issue and that the policy of isolation and pressure is futile.
25 august 2016
On August 7, 2016, the people of Thailand voted in favour of a new constitution that democratically empowers the military junta which came to power after a coup in 2014. Despite the sceptical attitude of the observers and human rights NGOs, it appears that public opinion did indeed arrive at a consensus: over 61 per cent of voters supported the package of reforms to be implemented over the next 20 years, as well as giving the highest ranks of the ruling military the right to appoint the senate and, most likely, the prime minister as well.
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