Multi-ethnic, multi-religious country of Malaysia is passing through the times of troubles as trying to figure out how to get over acute challenges that stem from the discrepancy between the aspirations of predominantly Muslim Malay ruling elite and the realities of the society. Recently there have been several salient issues which Malaysian media offered to discuss publicly.
The U.S. withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) project in January 2017
effectively marked the end (at least—for some time) of the period of active competition
between so-called “mega-regional agreements” in the Asia-Pacific region. A flagship of
the Obama administration’s initiatives in Asia, the TPP spurred China to intensify work
on an alternative project—its Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)—
and sparked an unusual wave of competition among APR institutions. Significantly,
Russia joined this “partnership race” in 2016, putting forward an initiative to build a
Greater Eurasian Partnership. It became something of a given that any power aspiring to
regional leadership must have its own “partnership plan” to promote. At the same time,
the formation and development of mega-regional partnerships is an important stage in
the regionalization of the world economy and global politics and a key element of the
new phenomenon of regionalization. This article examines the TPP and RCEP initiatives
as attempts to form a regional international order holding some degree of autonomy
from the global set of rules for the functioning of regional international systems—in this
case, that of the APR.
A U.S.-Russian dialogue on the Asia Pacific could have become a vital pillar of cooperation and helped sustain the bilateral relations through their deterioration in 2011 and especially since 2014. This is due to the importance of the Asia Pacific to both Russia and the United States, the lower incidence of serious contradictions between them in this region compared to Europe and the Post-Soviet space, as well as the existence of common interests. However, this opportunity was missed as the Asia Pacific became instead another theater of U.S.-Russian new systemic confrontation. Nonetheless, the two sides might still benefit if they succeed in separating their relations in the Asia Pacific from the general bilateral confrontation. Russia can create a favorable environment to continue the role of independent power center, help reduce polarization in the region, and prevent unnecessary tensions between the United States and its Asian allies and partners.
While Russia’s policy in Southeast Asia encounters serious deficiencies, in 2016 plans to raise Russia-ASEAN relationship to the level of strategic partnership were announced at the top level. The puzzle, therefore, is why cooperation between Russia and ASEAN in Eurasia will lay the foundation for Russia-ASEAN strategic partnership. The article gives insights in Russia’s policy in Southeast Asia through the prism of ASEAN prospective plans, traces the increase in bilateral cooperation in Eurasia, assesses the potential of the format ASEAN-SCO-EAEU and its implications for Russia’s policy in Southeast Asia. The authors argue that Russia-ASEAN strategic partnership will be premised upon their cooperation in the Greater Eurasia, which will give a strong impetus to Russia’s policy in Southeast Asia. The findings include the identification of reasons behind premising the planned Russia-ASEAN strategic partnership, the obstacles the parties will have to overcome, and the impact of this cooperation upon Russia-ASEAN connectivity.
Asia-Pacific is a region of Russia’s vital national interests. It enjoys priority for the historical experience and traditions as well as the wealth of economic and cultural ties. One should also note that as a part of Eurasian continent the country does not detach itself from Asia that accounts for almost 80% of the Russian territory and nearly fifth of the Russian population. It is in the Asian part of Russia, where the lion’s share of its national wealth centers, ranging from timber, fresh water, and nonferrous and rare metals to oil, gas, coal, and diamonds, which also constitute a substantial portion of world heritage.
In the late first decade of this century changes in the Russian foreign policy priorities to Asia became even more visible. For instance, 2010 marked Asia as one of the foreign policy resources in modernizing the country, whereas earlier the EU and the US were the only subjects on the agenda.
In the meantime, until recently the Russian elite was mostly Europe-centric. Nevertheless, dramatic changes in the Russian public opinion (2014-2016 showed a three-times increase in negative attitude towards the European Union – to two-thirds of the interviewed) force the elite to review its approaches. Amid a worsening of the Russia-US and Russia-Europe relations, it became evident that in its confrontation with the West Moscow can only rely on the biggest non-Western countries, the principle ones being, of course, the Asian ones. After the Ukrainian crisis began, Western politics literally threw Russia in China’s arms.
India is a natural and objective ally of the Russian Federation, though their joint activities in the Indo-Pacific are somewhat limited primarily due to different approaches towards relations with the PRC.
The international community still does not recognize India’s status as a global power. Yet the Asian giant seems to have already become a global center of influence, but its realpolitik is still poor and the country is still generally following its balancing strategy, which has been typical for the bipolar period, too.
In order to be recognized in the new status and to strengthen its position of a regional leader, India is pursuing an active policy in the Greater East Asia. For almost a quarter of a century, the Republic is seeking to reinforce cooperation with the East Asian countries, with participation in regional organizations being the main instrument. It is not the economy (the Asian giant has little interest in economic integration processes), but politics that is the priority. That said the majority of the region sympathies with India considering it as a sort of balance to China’s influence. The South Asian country is also quite attractive from cultural and civilizational perspective.
One cannot consider the Asian giant as the main actor in East Asia so far, but its influence is increasingly growing, while its potential forecasts the process to continue.
This article examines the 2014–2015 crisis in Australia‐Russia relations that occurred after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014, from the point of view of both Moscow and of Canberra. It finds that the Kremlin did not take into account a number of factors that negatively affected Canberra’s stance towards the Kremlin even before 2014, and which greatly contributed to the crisis. These include the very limited involvement of Australia in commercial exchanges with Russia, Canberra’s growing suspicions about Moscow’s foreign policy intentions and view of Russia as a revisionist power (especially after the 2008 Russia‐Georgia war), a strong sense of solidarity with the West among Australia’s political elites, and Russia’s increasingly worsening public image in Australia, Prospects and contemporary challenges in the relations are also discussed.
The authors argue that Russian-Chinese rapprochement is a fundamental feature of the current changing system of international relations. The two countries are effectively enabling each other to conduct independent foreign policies often in direct opposition to the West. There is a degree of complimentarity between the two sides with Russia having comparative advantage in the military, intelligence, and diplomatic fields and China being an economic superpower. The region of Central Asia has in reality become the cradle of the two countries’ cooperation which is now affecting a wide range of international issues. The Korean peninsula is another important area of coordination between Moscow and Beijing in the Asia-Pacific. Russia and China have also been working on increasing interoperability of their military forces in the region since mid- 2000s. Technically they have already done much in preparing the ground for a military alliance. However, politically they do not appear to be ready for that yet.
The pivot to the Asia-Pacific region is Russia’s strategic response to existential challenges such as the threat of losing great power status, and the need to maintain territorial integrity and independence. This strategy should not be viewed as meant only to ameliorate the economic and demographic situation in the Russian Far East and Eastern Siberia. Instead, it should be interpreted as an opportunity for Russia to break out of the economic, security, and geographic traps she finds herself in within the Western-dominated international order. The emerging Asia-Pacific regional order may develop into a new international order that will be more competitive; it will not be dominated by a single power or ideology but will instead rest on multiple centers of power. This order will be more favorable to Russia than the unipolar Atlantic one, helping Russia utilize her comparative advantages in the territory, resources, hard power, political organization, and ability to mobilize resources for strategic goals
The purpose of the article is to analyze current Russian policy toward Southeast Asian countries and to examine prospects for the future development of Russia-(ASEAN) relations. This article is structured around three issues, discussed in three parts. The first part examines the evolution of Russia-ASEAN political relations from the establishment of the “dialogue partnership” to the present time and Russia’s participation in the multilateral cooperation structures under the ASEAN umbrella. The second part concentrates on the achievements and the problems of economic and technical cooperation between the countries. Special attention is paid to the recent initiatives of the Russian government to foster the economic development of Far East territories. The third part is devoted to the analysis of Russia-ASEAN relations from the point of view of cultural interaction. It argues that despite optimistic official rhetoric, Russian policy in the Asian dimension is not balanced and there is no clear strategy to improve Russia’s place in the region.
После казалось бы беспросветного тупика в урегулировании ядерного кризиса на Корейском полуострове там появились признаки изменений подходов Пхеньяна и Вашингтона к разблокированию северокорейской ядерной проблемы. Неожиданно как для экспертов, так и для всего мирового сообщества КНДР, США и Южная Корея объявили о резком изменении политического курса от тотальной конфронтации к переговорам, поиску компромисса по ядерной проблеме КНДР.
The article focuses on the main factors underlying the structural transformation of China’s economic model under Xi Jinping and its implications for Sino-Russian economic cooperation and Russian merchandise exports. Russian exports to China are analyzed in the context of major changes in the volume and structure of China's aggregate demand. The results show that the rebalancing of the Chinese economy would bring some risks to Russia in the short and medium terms through putting downward pressure on its exports of natural resources (except for natural gas). At the same time it would open new opportunities for industries producing resource-intensive consumer goods and, therefore, gives Russia an opportunity for diversification of its economy in the longer term. In order to derive benefits from China’s transformation, Russia should shift the focus of its export policy from negotiating politically driven large projects towards more intensive promotion of consumer goods exports.