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On September 10, 2014, Russian International Affairs Council held roundtable "Russia's Image in Asia-Pacific: Assessment and Improvement" with participation of Russian orientalists, soft power specialists, journalists, businessmen and government officials. The discussion was focused on RIAC's Working Paper "Proposals for Improvement of Russia's Image in China" by Larissa Smirnova, RIAC expert and professor at Xiamen University, who has analyzed differences in the Chinese population approaches to Russia from political statements of Chinese government leaders, attractiveness of Russians and Russian lifestyle, account of national specifics for bettering Russian image in various Chinese social groups, as well as other issues.

On September 10, 2014, Russian International Affairs Council held roundtable "Russia's Image in Asia-Pacific: Assessment and Improvement" with participation of Russian orientalists, soft power specialists, journalists, businessmen and government officials.   

The discussion was focused on RIAC's Working Paper "Proposals for Improvement of Russia's Image in China" by Larissa Smirnova, RIAC expert and professor at Xiamen University, who has analyzed differences in the Chinese population approaches to Russia from political statements of Chinese government leaders, attractiveness of Russians and Russian lifestyle, account of national specifics for bettering Russian image in various Chinese social groups, as well as other issues.  

The presentation was followed by a discussion of Russian soft power tools in China and Asia-Pacific, interest to Russian culture and language, Russian education, and practical proposals for making an unbiased image of Russia in Asia moderated by RIAC Program Director Ivan Timofeyev.  

Dr. Vladimir Petrovsky, Academic Secretary for Public Relations at RAS Institute for Far Eastern Studies, stressed that the Ukraine situation seriously affects perception of Russia in China. Despite overall Beijing's support of Russia on the Ukraine matters, Chinese media prefer covering the events basing on Western rather than on Russian-language sources. Hence, it seems viable to expand cooperation between Russian and Chinese media through direct working contacts, "in order to familiarize the Chinese society with the attitudes of the Russian press."  

Professor Yuri Dubinin of MGIMO-University emphasized the need to augment perfection of the Russian image in China by upgrading the Chinese image in Russia, which appears a reliable way to promote the intergovernmental relationship. "Russia and China have many political approaches in common, while close views on significant international issues are sure to help settling many problems," he said.

Dr. Dmitry Mosyakov, Head of Center for Southeast Asia, Australia and Oceania Studies at RAS Institute for Oriental Studies, offered a different view proceeding from the ASEAN example, suggesting that rapprochement is often based on mythologyzation of history, when the countries are willing to build friendly relations and single out positive aspects for a constructive program.   

Representative of Rossotrudnichestvo Andrey Kashin shared some of the agency's plans for promoting Russia's image in China in 2015, saying that China is a priority and the suggested initiatives and proposals would be of help to enhance the process. 

In conclusion, Dr. Timofeyev underlined that improvement of Russia's image in China should be maintained at tactical, operative and strategic levels: "There is a lot to be done, changing national culture included. At the same time, this is a matter of decades not years, with tectonic shifts to come. While we tend to view the future several years in advance, China works in terms of decades. A similar strategic perspective seems something Russia really needs."

Roundtable "Russia's Image in Asia-Pacific: Assessment and Improvement"

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Poll conducted

  1. In your opinion, what are the US long-term goals for Russia?
    U.S. wants to establish partnership relations with Russia on condition that it meets the U.S. requirements  
     33 (31%)
    U.S. wants to deter Russia’s military and political activity  
     30 (28%)
    U.S. wants to dissolve Russia  
     24 (22%)
    U.S. wants to establish alliance relations with Russia under the US conditions to rival China  
     21 (19%)
 
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