Переломный год: предварительные итоги. Шанс для кардинального обновления
The article considers the essence and peculiarities of realizing of human security in the EU external policy in general and specifically in Africa. The article reveals the principles of the EU interest in Africa as a focus of their humanitarian policy: phantoms of the collective memory of the political class of Western European countries, huge potential of resources and markets, migration and terrorist threat. It is argued that this policy is considered by the EU as its strategic foreign policy narrative, in the course of which the Union, while ensuring the security of the African continent, primarily realizes its own interests. Specific features of the interpretation of this narrative in official documents of Germany as a key member of the EU are specified. It is revealed that Germany aims to play a major role in shaping European policy towards the African continent, and the specificity of its approach is economic-centric, which distinguishes it from the EU’s general approach to Africa. The key question of the article is how is disinterested Germany’s role, despite its permeation with the spirit of liberal values as a supplier of human security to African countries. It is shown that the discrimination of refugees and migrants in migration flows in the EU emphasized the importance of the Union’s activities in ensuring human security in Africa. In accordance with its goal to become the leading actor of the EU policy on the continent, its role as a leader of the liberal world and the peculiarities of the consequences of the migration crisis for the political and party system of the country and the stability of the social state, Germany proposed the German “Marshall Plan” for Africa as a concretization of its humanitarian policy on the continent. The parameters of this Plan, its advantages and implementation difficulties are considered. It is concluded that the Germany’s approach to Africa, on the whole, indisputably contributes to the latter’s development. At the same time, it is to a large extent focused on solving the tasks of ensuring national security of Germany itself, promoting the interests of German business, creating new German “reserves” in Africa through the African partnership. In this bi-directional process there is no obvious contradiction, but the results of this process can become ambivalent.
Sociologists and pollsters became interested in measuring attitudes of Russians towards the DPRK and the Republic of Korea already in the early 1990s. Despite the ideological differences between the two states the majority of the Russian population does not distinguish between them well and has approximately the same feelings according to the data of the Levada-Center collected in 2013. About half of respondents have expressed positive towards both of them, 17% have negative attitudes, and 24% have no opinion (found it difficult to answer). The survey demonstrates only one tenth of Russians as having differently characterized their attitudes towards the two countries. In particular, 9% felt sympathy for South Korea and antipathy towards North Korea, and 2% - vice versa. At the same time, very few Russians consider both North and South Korea to be strategic allies or opponents of the Russian Federation. The survey analysis reveals a pronounced positive attitude towards only North Korea (but not towards South Korea) as typical for the older generation born and grown up in the Soviet Union, that could not adapt and did not achieve great success in the new economic conditions and in many respects remained faithful to the communist ideology. Conversely, a positive attitude towards South Korea is typical predominantly for economically successful young and middle-aged people sharing Western values. The attitudes of Russians depend both on the individual social-economic characteristics and historic and cultural background of the relationship with Korea. Despite the different trajectories of the development of relations after World War II, Russia currently maintains good-neighborly relations with both the DPRK and the Republic of Korea.
The rise of China as well as its unprecedented economic success turned to be one of the most important factors in the world development in the late XX and early XXI centuries and transformed the country into the second most influential player on the international scene. This change caused a heated debate within the country about the prospects of Beijing’s foreign policy and economic course, with two major directions emerging as a result. The first group calls for a more active behaviour of China as a great power on the international arena, taking the example of the United States. It strives to achieve this goal through all available means, including military ones, to ensure China’s economic and political interests abroad, to put forward its own alternative to Western concepts of world development, and to create alternative trade and economic unions and zones. As a result, supporters of this line seek to move away from Deng Xiaoping’s foreign policy of modesty and restraint. The second group of realists believes that it is necessary to follow Deng’s principles, since the country is yet to secure the status of a major world power and can lose its current advantages, which come with a more modest status. They suggest that following the first path will provoke an unfavorable reaction of the international community. Chinese leadership has taken an intermediate position in this debate, holding back the most radical proposals of the activists and adopting some of the moderate ones. The debate, which has been vigorous since the beginning of the XXI century became particularly acute after the start of the trade war initiated by U.S. President Donald Trump. It revealed many of China’s weaknesses as well as its significant dependence on the United States. During the exacerbation, a number of experts criticised certain aspects of domestic and foreign policy of China’s current leadership, including the “belt and road initiative” initiative. Some claim that this initiative, along with a number of other major projects adopted by the Chinese government, for instance, the “Made in China 2025” plan, could have provoked Trump’s tough response, which may put China’s development at stake. Some major Beijing’s partners are also criticising certain forms of realisation of this initiative. The article examines the available sources shedding light on the public and non-public side of the debate, as well as its possible implications for China’s foreign and domestic policy and Sino-Russian relations.