"Asia and Africa today"
- is a scientificl monthly journal (in Russian)
of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Included in Russian Science Citation Index on
WoS platform, and EBSCO Publishing.
ISSN 0321-5075
Published since July 1957.

 

 "Asia and Africa today" № 3 2011

 

Azia&Afrika 03 2011-s 

 

 Top Problem

TSUNAMI OF REVOLUTIONS by A.M.Vassiliev, Dr.Sc. (History)
Keywords: revolt, the Arabic world, Egypt, Tunis, Libya, Yemen, Bahrein
Unemployment, especially among the young, rising of food prices, corruption, arbitrariness of despotism of regimes have caused widespread discontent in the Arab world which escalated into a revolution.
The armies of Tunis and Egypt remained neutral thereby contributing to the success of the insurgents. The social network systems "Face Book" and "Twitter" have also played an important role. Tunisian President Ben Ali fled from the country, President Hosni Mubarak has resigned, "Leader" of Libya Gaddafi has found himself under siege. Peoples riots have spread to Yemen, Bahrein and Oman and in some other countries.
If Egypt has a luck, the future system of the country may be somewhat similar to Turkish democracy with a strong Islamist party, developing economies and with the military in the background. But the problem lies in the fact that any revolution leads first to the economic losses, large or small, to the deterioration of the standards of living of the masses.
If it overlaps the massive poverty of not very well- heeled population another unpredictable social explosion may take place. There are a threat to roll back and compromises at the expense of the aspirations of the masses in Tunisia and other countries. The lesson of the Arab revolutions is the following: the masses have got a new weapon - the Internet, and this weapon is quite possibly could be used not only in the developing countries but in the developed countries too.

 

 Policy, Economy

BEIJING’S «SOFT POWER» OPTION «SPEAK SOFTLY ...» by S.I. Mishina
Keywords: China, «soft power», economy, culture, influence
Over the past 30 years, China has made a historic breakthrough on the path from backwardness to a modern developed society. A poor and politically unstable country in the past, China has become a powerful state which can exercise considerable influence not only on regional but also on world politics. China has developed its own alternative theory of international relations based on pragmatism, innovation and ideas of social harmony. New policy initiatives, such as «smiling diplomacy», «public diplomacy» and «good- neighbor diplomacy» play an important role in Beijing’s effort to join the integration processes and to become an informal regional leader. The article shows how the application of theory into practice has helped China to become influential player on the world stage.

“…CARRYING A STICK AND YOU GO FAR” by Y.M.Rusakov, PhD (History)
Keywords: China, the USA, foreign policy, “soft policy”
Peking’s attempts to improve China’s image and attractiveness are a welcome turn both for the nation and her neighbors. But soft power is a delicate instrument with intangible results. Although China achieved undisputable successes in economic and social development, her possibilities in the area of soft power are still limited. Soft power reminds of the credo of US President Theodore Roosevelt who said: Speak softly carrying a stick and you go far. There is a certain gap between words and deeds in Eastern Asia. In 2007 unilaterally incorporated in Chinese province Hainan disputed Paracel (Shisa) and Spratly (Nansha) islands in South Chinese Sea. There is also a widespread feeling in the region that Pyongyang’ rash actions would hardly be possible without Peking’s benevolent neglect of them.
It seems also difficult for PRC to become an example sample for developing nations because Japan’s and new industrial countries’ model of economic and political modernization is more adaptable for them than that of China.

CHINA: ACCESS TO EDUCATION: PROGRESS AND PROBLEMS by M.A. Guleva
Keywords: China, education, gender inequality, minorities
China has committed a significant breakthrough in the field of education and liquidation of illiteracy. If in the early 1950’s more than 80% of citizens were illiterate, today about 95% of the population is involved in primary and secondary education. Nevertheless despite significant achievements in this field the problem of inequality and gender discrimination in education is still relevant. There are even more problems for ethnic minorities.

«BLACK GOLD» OF CHINA by Chen Tzian (China) and L.M.Prokofieva, PhD (History)
Keywords: China, coal mining, coal exports, pollution

The rapid growth of Chinese economy in the last two decades has forced the world to talk about the Chinese
«economic miracle». One can believe or not believe in miracle but the real reason of this success is that: the development of Chinese economy is based primarily on the use of cheap labor and coal as major energy source. The author notes that in the foreseeable future, coal will remain to be an important component of the foundation of the Chinese economy. Nevertheless there is a number of problems in the coal industry of China. The most serious among them are the structural misbalances in production and consumption of coal, low technical and technological level of production and pollution of the environment.

 

 Our Interview

PATRICK LOZES TALKS ABOUT RACISM AND DISCRIMINATION by E.B. Demintseva, PhD (History)
In an interview with Patrick Lozes, the President of the Representative Council of Associations of «black people» of France (Conseil reprйsentatif des associations noires de France - CRAN), covers the problem of discrimination and racism against «black people» in France.

 

 Russia and The East

RABINDRANATH TAGORE IN THE SOVIET UNION by M.S.Kalandarova
Keywords: Tagore, the Soviet Union, an exhibition, «Letters from Russia»
The article tells about the visit of the great Indian poet, writer and public figure Rabindranath Tagore in the Soviet Union in 1930. The author reminds of his enormous popularity and respect he enjoyed in the USSR. In 1926 the Soviet government decided to publish collected works of Tagore. M. Kalandarova quotes from Tagore’s memories of his visit to our country, known as «Letters from Russia». It is worth noting that, for political reasons - Tagore was critical of some aspects of Soviet life - «Letters from Russia» have been translated into Russian only in 1956 and published in abridged form.

 

 Post-Graduate Column

TRANSNATIONAL BANKS IN AFRICA by S.A. Matsenko
Keywords: Africa, transnational banks, finance, economic crisis
The article deals with the significance of Western multinational banks in the economic development of Africa. The author traces the gradual decline of that role particularly of those which represent the former colonial powers. At the same time he stresses the increasing role of new players in the market for banking services, such as the banks of South Africa, Nigeria, the countries of the Persian Gulf and South Asia.

 

 Our Reference

WHAT KIND OF SMALL ARMS IS USED FOR FIGHTING IN AFRICA? by G.V. Shubin, PhD (History)
Keywords: Africa, guns, political conflicts
The article provides an information about the small arms used in African countries. Lately China is actively penetrating into the African arms market. For all that the Chinese smalls arms are mostly «clones» of the Soviet light weapons, including the famous Kalashnikov assault rifle. There is an obvious interdependency between the provision of China’s economic assistance in many billions of dollars and the volume of the Chinese arms purchased by African countries.

 

 Culture, Literature, Art

AESTHETICS OF MINIMALISM: THE ARCHITECTURE OF TADAO ANDO by N.A. Konovalova, PhD (Art criticism)
Keywords: Tadao Ando, Japanese architecture, interior design, landscape
The article tells about creativity and aesthetics of one of the most famous and recognized architects in the world - Tadao Ando. A self-taught Japanese architect believes that the concrete material is the best which meets all the requirements of his art. Another source of Tadao Ando’s inspiration is daylight. Each time finding new ways of getting natural light into the building, the architect can build a «live» and «respond» to the impact of constantly changing its intensity and direction of sunlight.

PROSE AND POETRY OF INDONESIAN MIGRANTS IN HONG KONG by Yu.I.Noskov
Keywords: Indonesia, Hong Kong, female migration, the literature of Indonesian migrants
The author analyzes an interesting social and cultural phenomenon - the literature created by Indonesian women-migrants living in Hong Kong. For the first time readers of our magazine are introduced to the fragments from their literary production in Yuri Noskov’s translation.

BOTH THIS AND THAT by M. Bey (Algeria)
Keywords: Algeria, the literature
Our magazine publishes an essay of the well known Algerian writer M. Bey in  translation of S.V.Prozhogina, Dr.Sc (Philology).

 

 Book Review

THEIR «TSARSKOE SELO» IN THE MOKHOVAYA STREET by N.I.Petrov
The review of the fifth release of the almanac  «Under the Sky of My Africa» (published by Institute  for Asian and African Studies of the Moscow State  University in 2010) which is entirely devoted to  African studies and specialists in those studies who at  various times studied in the Institute.

THE CHILDREN OF HIROSHIMA TESTIFY by V.P.Nikolaev, PhD (History)
The Review of the book «Children of Hiroshima: the Appeal of Boys and Girls of Hiroshima» (translated from Japanese by M.A.Kirichenko, 2010, 336 pp.) devoted to the 65th anniversary of the nuclear bombardment of the Japanese cities.
For the first time this book has been published in Japan under the name “The Children of Nuclear Bomb” in 1951. Since then it has been translated into many languages (Norwegian, Danish, German, English, Finnish, Chinese, Swedish, Korean, and Vietnamese) and published in many countries. Now this startling document about the tragedy which the Japanese children have gone through is accessible to the Russian readers.

 

Summary