"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" № 6 2014

 

Azia&Afrika 06-2014

 

 Top Problem

DEVELOPING ECONOMIES: GROWTH, EFFICIENCY, CONTRADICTIONS AND PERSPECTIVES by V.A.Meliyantsev, Dr.Sc. (Economics)
Keywords: developing countries, world economy, globalization, comparative and dynamic advantages, models, competitiveness, efficiency
The article, based on a series of calculations and models, contains an analysis of rapid and deep changes in the roles of major actors of the global economy in historical perspective. It demonstrates that despite a number of acute financial, ecological and socio-political problems many developing countries have, on the whole, considerably gained from ongoing globalization, experienced a speed-up in productivity and per capita GDP growth rates and substantially enlarged their positions in global GDP, industrial production, FDI inflows, exports, R&D expenditures. It is shown that it was brought about because, having carried out rather pragmatic macroeconomic and institutional reforms, developing countries in the context of growing interconnectedness of the world economy have managed to apply more or less effectively their comparative as well as dynamic advantages (low though increasing levels of wages, steeply rising rates of educational attainment and investment accumulation, growing demand for their goods and services in the global markets).

 

ENERGY: THE PRESENT AND THE FUTURE

BECOMING AN ENERGY SUPERPOWER: CHINA’S EXPERIENCE by E.N.Petelin (Part 1)
Keywords: China’s foreign policy, energy security, international climate change regime
China’s entry into the world energy system has brought economical as well as political impact of global nature. In
2014 China has become the world’s top oil importer, overtaking the U.S. that used to be dominating in this field since 1970s. However, the highest level of critics faced by China from the international community concerns the fact that this country is now the world’s biggest CO2 emitter,
which is mostly connected with the China’s energy
structure.
How the developing country with shortage in energy resources and technologies should act in international affairs to maintain a stable economic growth and an international image of responsible power? The analysis of geopolitical and geoeconomic aspects of the modern China’s energy policy helps to answer this question.

GLOBAL GAS MARKET: CHALLENGES TO RUSSIAN-CHINESE COOPERATION by V.A.Matveev, PhD (Economics)
Keywords: Russia, China, gas market, Fukushima nuclear power plant accident
Currently the global gas market is experiencing sharp, often unanticipated shifts, leading to strong price volatility in the leading regional gas markets. These shifts are due to both the emergence of new centers of production of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as well as a sharp increase in the production of shale gas in the U.S.
It seems that significant offer of shale gas in the medium term will compete in the global market with LNG and pipeline gas. Ultimately it will have an impact on the volume of inter-country trade as well as on gas prices.

 

 Policy, Economy

NEW CONSTITUTION OF VIETNAM: GROWING EMPHASIS ON HUMAN AND CIVIL RIGHTS by P.Yu.Tsvetov, PhD (History)
Keywords: Vietnam, Constitution, parliament, human & civil rights
The article presents a brief history of the constitutional development in independent Vietnam. The period from 1946 to 1992 witnessed the adoption of four constitutions. The author focuses on the new text of the Constitution adopted by the Vietnamese parliament at the end of November 2013. The new text emphasizes the human and civil rights in accordance with the international law as well as all treaties, signed by Vietnam with the foreign states. Article 4 confirms the leading role of the Communist party in all areas of political, economic and social life. The Constitution determines the national economy type as the market economy with the socialist orientation. The new text of the Constitution was adopted after two years of all nation discussion.

 

ISLAM, ISLAMISM AND EXTREMISM

LIBYA ON ITS WAY FROM JAMAHIRIYA TO DEMOCRACY by E.I.Doroshenko, PhD (Linguistics)
Keywords: Libya, democratic process, transitional period, “state of the masses”, Pan-Arabism
The article considers three main obstacles impeding the process of democratic transformation in present-day Libya, i.e., overwhelming lack of security, slow-paced process of working out and passing of the new Constitution, and separatist tendencies.
Further on, there is a short analysis of historically-based trends defining the type of Libyan state between 1969 and
2011 (Jamahiriya) and from 2011 till the early 2014 (post- Arab Spring).
Relevant factual data are employed to highlight the immediate connection between the issues mentioned and their direct impact, and consequences for the life of the new Libyan society. Moreover, the writer emphasizes representative social peculiarities of the country, such as the multi-national make-up of its population. There is also a review of the official international community’s position on current events in Libya, quoted by the November 2013 Joint Statement by the governments of France, Italy, UK and US, and the World Report 2014 by Human Rights Watch.

SYRIA: ETHNOCONFESSIONAL ASPECTS OF THE CRISIS by E.I.Ustinov, PhD (History)
Keywords: Syrian crisis, ethnic and confessional structure, socio-political dynamics, the ethno-religious balance destabilization
A detailed examination of the religious structure of this Arab country, the characteristics and the role of the most important elements in the socio-political dynamics, measures taken by the Syrian authorities on settlement of the crisis as well as methods of ethnoconfessional manipulation by outside forces makes it possible to give a more balanced assessment and understanding of the events occurring in the country.
The formation of the internal political situation in Syria is largely influenced by the religious and ethnographic structure of its population.
Among the most pressing ethno-religious problems which permeate the security, economic, social and political life of Syrian society, it is useful to note the Sunni-alawite differences, the Kurdish question, the Palestinian and Druze, eviction from the Christian communities, the concerns of small communities (Armenians, Circassians, etc.), the radicalization of the Islamic community.

NEW TRENDS IN JAPANESE REGIONAL POLICY AND DEVELOPMENT by O.A.Merkusheva
Keywords: regions of Japan, Hokkaido, Tohoku, regional policy and development
The article contains an analysis of administrative and territorial division system and regional policy in Japan. The special attention is paid to the current “multipolar” concept, which is being realized in regional planning. The comprehensive development plan called “Grand Design of the
21st century”, which is based on sustainable and postindustrial development concepts, is analyzed in detail. The author points out the shift from hierarchical policymaking system to the combination of two approaches, including the growing role of local population in decision- making processes. She also analyzes cases of Hokkaido and Tohoku regions, particularly the plans and measures for Tohoku recovery after Great East Japan earthquake in March 2011, and further perspectives of this region.

GEORGES CHIKOTI: «ANGOLA AND RUSSIA HAVE A HUGE POTENTIAL OF COOPERATION» by O.I.Teterin, PhD (History)
A working visit to Moscow was paid in April 2014 by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Angola Georges Rebelo Chikoti. In his interview given to our magazine, Mr. Chicoty noted, that, in his opinion, the prestige and political influence of Russia in the international community has recently increased. Russia has a strong and clear position on a number of key global and regional problems, for example, the situation in Ukraine, the crisis in Syria, the situation in Libya, in some other regions of Africa.
Speaking about the state of the Angolan-Russian relations, the Minister highlighted the significance of “The Memorandum on political consultations on a regular bases on the international agenda” signed during his visit by the Russian and Angola Ministries of Foreign Affairs.

 

 Russia and The East

CHINESE AND VIETNAMESE LABOR MIGRATION IN RUSSIA: COMPARATIVE CHARACTERISTICS by N.G.Kuznetsov, PhD (Economics), S.V.Ryazantsev, Corresponding member of Russian Academy of Sciences
Keywords: China, Vietnam, Russia, labour migration, migration policy
China and Vietnam have huge demographic potential, which is characterized by a significant number of labor resources. In this situation, part of the redundant workers focused on labour migration abroad. The probability of leaving of the labour migrants from Vietnam is also enhanced by such factors as the flooding of coastal areas of the country as a result of possible global warming.
Russian Federation as a country with a high capacity of the national labour market and historical migration ties already has a significant number of Chinese and Vietnamese immigrants adapted in Russian society. And in the future Russia may be one of the states, to which a growing number of labor migrants from China and Vietnam will tend to move.

 

 Post-Graduate Column

MALI: THE BROKEN SHOWCASE OF WEST AFRICAN DEMOCRACY by Eli Talib Dikko
Keywords: Mali, political development, coup, Tuareg
On March 22, 2012 a group of young soldiers, led by Captain Amado Sonogo, carried out a coup d’etat in the Republic of Mali, removing from power of President Amadou Toumani Tourй. The seeming pointlessness of “toy of the coup”, which occurred a month before elections scheduled for April, immediately raised questions about its true purpose and masterminds. All the more that the putschists did not expressed desire to usurp power, but merely sought to unseat the President, who failed to fulfill his duties
The putschists accused the authorities with incapability to cope with the separative movement of the Tuareg and of the collapse of the army.

 

 From Our Staff Correspondent

TURKEY AND RUSSIA ARE GETTING CLOSER by S.A.Khamdokhov, our staff correspondent in Turkey
Keywords: Russia, Turkey, cultural cooperation, Rossotrudnichestvo, RCSC
In Ankara the Russian cultural and scientific center (RCSC) was opened in a new four-storey edifice built in the style of «high-tech». It’s the 61st Russian center abroad. Russian and Turkish high-ranking guests noted that the functioning of the center will play an important role in rapprochement of the peoples of Russia and Turkey.
The study of the Russian language by citizens of Turkey in the Cultural centre will be an object of attention, and yet a virtual branch of the State Russian Museum will be located. This is an international project which will give the Russian compatriots living in Ankara an access to the electronic resources of the Boris Yeltsin Presidential library.
The seminars and round tables on scientific and technical, cultural and humanitarian problems will be held in the Center. The RCSC has a large library, gallery lounge, two study audiences equipped with necessary modern equipment for studying the Russian language.

ETHIOPIA: «AFRICAN LION» SETS NEW RECORDS by A.N.Bragin, our staff correspondent in Ethiopia
Keywords: Africa, Ethiopia, fast-growing economies, Mohamed Al-Amoudi
Ethiopia, which the mass media names more and more often «The African lion», topped the list of not only as the fastest growing economy in Africa, but also of the African country with the most quick-growing number of millionaires.
Specialists note that it is a result of a record GDP growth of Ethiopia. During the last six years it increased by 93% (for comparison, Egypt’s GDP growth over the same period was
81%, and Angola - 61%).
It is noteworthy that unlike most other African countries, where economic growth is driven by the development of the mining sector, in Ethiopia «growth drivers» are agriculture, transportation, manufacturing and services. Investing into these sectors, «new Ethiopians» make millionaire fortunes.

 

 History Pages

AFGHANISTAN: UNHEALED WOUNDS OF RUSSIA by A.M.Vasilyev, Academician Russian Academy of Sciences (Part 2)
Keywords: Afghanistan, «April revolution», the Soviet invasion, Nur Muhammad Taraki, Hafizullah Amin, Babrak Karmal
Until today the war in Afghanistan inflicts pain to the historical memory of the Russian people. The author approached this subject in one of the chapters of his book
«Russia in the middle East. From Messiahship to pragmatism», published as early as in 1993.
Over the past two decades a vast literature on Afghanistan - documents, memoirs, and studies - have come into being. This helped to clarify many of the facts and a number of estimates related to those events. The author’s interpretation of the Afghan tragedy and the role of USSR/Russia basically remains the same, but new materials help to give a more balanced and comprehensive picture.

 

 Travels, Meetings, Impressions

THE MANY FACES OF KOLKATA by V.A.Pogadaev, PhD (History)
Keywords: India, Kolkata, Santiniketan, the university «Visva Bharati», Rabindranath Tagore
The author shares his impressions of the trip to India for a conference on the study of folklore which was held at the University of Visva Bharati in Santiniketan, near Calcutta. The author describes the main attractions of Calcutta (Victoria Memorial, Indian Museum, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Temple of the Goddess Kali «Kalighat», Howrah Railway Station, Calcutta metro) and the daily life of the city. Article also contains live sketches of the train journey from Calcutta to Santiniketan and the student’s life at the University founded by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore.

 

 Culture, Literature, Art

INDONESIA: WRITERS AGAINST SMOKING by Yu.I.Noskov
Keywords: Indonesia, writers, smoking, prose, poetry
Smoking is very topical problem for Indonesia. According to international research in the field of tobacco production, the country heads the statistics list on the prevalence of smoking among the population. Cigarette production is increasing in Indonesia.
Indonesian writers dedicate their literary writings to smoking, among them the popular poet Taufiq Ismail as well as other contemporary poets and writers. Their literary writings calls to break this habit, and as well as warn about the danger of smoking to human health.

 

 Book Review

«JAPAN AND THE RUSSIAN PRIMORSKY REGION: PEOPLE AND FATES» by E.A.Ikonnikova, Dr.Sc. (Philology). Sakhalin State University
The book «Japan and the Russian Primorsky region: people and fates» by N.G.Miz has been published by the Sakhalin State University publishing house.
In the history of Japan and the Primorsky region there are a lot of Russian writers, actors, researchers, sailors who brightly express themselves in culture, art, and science. Some of them lived or worked in Vladivostok, others lived in the city for some time and later emigrated to Japan. But anyway, owing to them, the people of art, culture and science, the bonds of connection extended between continental Russian Vladivostok and insular Japan.

«THE HISTORY OF DAILY LIFE» IN BLACK AND WHITE SHADES by N.L.Krylova, Dr.Sc. (History)
The book «Black and White in the World History» (Yaroslavl, 2014) is a collection of conference materials. The conference was held in Yaroslavl State University named after P.G.Demidov on January 20, 2014. The book includes
18 articles. They can be roughly divided into two parts. The first section is devoted to the history and culture of Africa and the Diaspora, the second is closely connected with the visualization of black and white. Authors: scholars and students - consider the dichotomy of black and white across the history and culture of Africa, Europe and Russia.

 

* Summary