Greater Eurasia: From Geopolitical Pole to International Society?
The last few years have seen a radical shift that could change the entire structure of international relations. In general terms, it is the transition from bipolarity to multipolarity. An important aspect of this process is the formation of alternative systems of international governance, especially on the regional level. This allows some scholars to speak about the phenomena of the new, non-Western, regionalism, which tends to alter and compete with the Western and Western-like formats of regional integration and institution-building. Russia and China could be considered as the key drivers of this trend. In the past few years, these two powers have put forward several major initiatives for developing transport and logistics, as well as economic and institutional ties between different parts of the continent, including Russia’s Eurasian Economic Union and China’s Belt and Road Initiative. While some scholars argue that China and Russia have different visions of regionalism and distinct views on how a regional order should be arranged, in the last years these two powers have put a lot of effort into synchronizing their regional projects. In 2015, Russian and Chinese leaders signed a Joint Declaration on cooperation in coordinating the development of the Eurasian Economic Union and the Silk Road Economic Belt, which gave a start to numerous initiatives aiming at strengthening and coordinating regional projects of the two powers.