"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" № 7 2018

 

 

Aziaafrika 07 2018

 

 TOP PROBLEM

HAVE THE LEAST DEVELOPED COUNTRIES STEPPED ON A PATH OF FAST AND INCLUSIVE GROWTH?* by Vitalii A. MELIANTSEV, Dr.Sc. (Economics) Professor, Chair, International Economic Relations of Asian and African Countries, Institute of Asian and African Studies, M.V.Lomonosov Moscow State University; member, Editorial Board, “Aziya i Afrika segodnya” journal ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750000091-2

    This paper, which is based on a series of author’s calculations and models, analyses major trends, proportions and economic and social determinants and consequences of Least Developed Countries’ (LDCs’) economic growth during the last three to four decades. It is argued that despite gargantuan problems that LDCs are facing, a few dozens of them have recently started to progress on the path of rather fast and more or less sustained economic growth.

    Although LDCs are still grappling with severe forms of multidimensional poverty, substantial dearth of human capital and modern infrastructure, adequate economic, social, political and legal institutions, and encounter considerable foreign economic and climatic shocks, they on average during the last decade and a half managed to have markedly increased their rates of growth of per capita GDP and human development index.

    It should be underscored that LDCs having benefitted from significant improvement of barter terms of foreign trade, some upgrade in government effectiveness and implementation of a series of pragmatic economic reforms, have succeeded in expanding rates of growth of agricultural and manufacturing production and exports. The level of their gross capital formation has by and large considerably risen due to significant enlargement of the share of domestic savings related to GDP, FDI inflows and workers’ remittances. The author’s calculations show that much faster growth of GDP was achieved in LDCs with moderate level of income inequality and the rising level of the indicator of the rule of law.

    It would be incorrect to overemphasize the progress made by approximately three dozen LDCs (as the basis of their growth remains shaky), but, nevertheless, they have demonstrated noticeable improvement in dynamics of their investment efficiency and productivity growth.

 Keywords: least developed countries, inclusive growth, models, total factor productivity, augmented human development index, Gini coefficient, quality of institutions

* This article is based on materials of the author’s report presented during the 20th session of the UN Committee for Development Policy (New York, March 2018).

  

POLICY, ECONOMY

LOOKING FROM CAIRO: EGYPTIAN-AMERICAN RELATIONS (based on the Egyptian mass media) by Sergey A. ALEKSANDROV, PhD (History) ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ), and Elena M. SAVICHEVA, PhD (History), Associated Professor, Peoples' Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University) ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750000092-3  

    The paper explores the peculiarities of the bilateral Egyptian-American relations in recent period, when a change of the highest political leadership in both states took place. Egypt as one of the most influential countries of the Middle East and North Africa occupies an important place in the Middle East policy of the United States. The new US administration has been developing a new strategy in the Middle East, including the ARE, trying to find new approaches to conducting its foreign policy course in the region.

    In the context of high-level diplomacy carried out by Washington and Cairo, the authors assess the level of these relationships as well as the steps taken by Egypt in the international arena, aimed at ensuring its own national interests, maintaining stability and security in the region. The factors influencing the level of bilateral cooperation, based on long-standing ties in the trade-economic and military-technical fields are also analyzed. The paper highlights the reasons for the observed "cooling" in Egyptian-American relations. As the Egyptian press notes, Washington is putting pressure on the Egyptian leadership, using issues related to democratization and human rights. The problem of Cairo's choice of strategic partners is also considered. This process occurs in the context of the increasing complexity of the regional situation as well as the global one, characterized by dynamism and sometimes unpredictability. Particular attention is paid to the assessment of bilateral Egyptian-American relations at the present stage contained in the Egyptian mass media.

 Keywords: Egypt, the United States, bilateral relations, diplomacy, strategy, factors of influence

  

TRUMP VS KIM: INTIMIDATION TACTICS by Alina I. SHARAFETDINOVA, PhD (History), Research Fellow, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750000093-4

    The author analyses Korean policy of the Trump Administration, who announced the end of the era of "strategic patience" of his predecessor B. Obama and a firm intention to resolve the North Korean problem by any means. On the one hand, despite the initial US plans after 1945 to reduce the contingent of its troops in the South of the Korean peninsula, in fact the US has been maintaining a military presence in South Korea. The policy of the new US administration regarding North Korea become strongly militaristic in nature. On the other hand, the DPRK has been proceeding with a nuclear development program in order to answer to possible the American military aggression against them.

    At the same time, the beginning of 2018 year was marked by a sharp turn from confrontation to de-escalation of tension on the Korean peninsula. The efforts of the two Korean states created prerequisites for holding an inter-Korean summit, and a meeting of the heads of the United States and the DPRK is on the agenda now. Since, according to the official version of Washington, the need to build up the US military presence on the Korean Peninsula arose to help deter potential aggression from DPRK, now, when the tension between the ROK and the DPRK is essentially breaking, this argument is becoming less credible to the experts. The author examines the basic direction of possible development in the USA-DPRK relations, including how the parties will be able to make mutual concessions.

Keywords: Trump, Kim Jong Un, North Korea, denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, military policy

  

IRAN. ECONOMIC REASONS FOR THE "NEW YEAR'S UNREST" by Nina M. MAMEDOVA, PhD (Economics) Leading Research Fellow, Center of Near and Middle Eastern Studies; Head, Department of Iranian Studies, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Science; Associate Professor, Department of Global Economy, MGIMO-University, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750000094-5

    At the end of December 2017 mass demonstrations began in a number of cities in Iran, which ended in the first week of 2018. These protests became the most powerful after the defeat of the "Green Movement" in 2009. The demands of the demonstrators were political and economic. This article analyses the most relevant directions of the economic policy of the government of Hasan Rouhani and the state of the Iranian economy that was economical cause of protest demonstrations. Particular attention is paid to employment issues, labor remuneration and fight against inflation. At the same time, in 2017 the Iranian economy grew, new enterprises entered service, economic ties with foreign countries expanded. But due to low oil prices the budget became scarce. Therefore, the government of H.Rouhani tried to reduce benefits for some structures, including Islamic funds (boniads), companies of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. It is no coincidence that the protests began in Mashhad, one of the largest religious centers. It is there that the largest wakf in the East, Astana Kods, headed by Ibrahim Riyasi, the main rival of H.Ruhani at the presidential elections that took place in 2017. But protests did not lead to the fall of the government of H.Rouhani, who generally adheres to the pro-reform course. The changes in economic policy, which were carried out under the influence of the protest movement, are considered. Much attention is paid to changes in the budget plan for 2018/19, privatization of state property. The author believes that protest demonstrations have become a certain incentive for accelerating the liberalization of the Iranian economy.

 Keywords: Iran, demonstrations, Iranian economy, inflation, unemployment, budget

  

POLITICAL CRISIS IN PAKISTAN 2017-2018: SHARIF’S SHINE AND POVERTY by Natalia A. ZAMARAEVA, PhD (History), Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750000095-6

    The disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif by the Supreme Court is the SC’s verdict of the corruption case in the wake of the Panama Leaks trial. He lost twice: the federal cabinet and the president’s position of his ruling Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML N). Within 2017-2018 Sharif' family, his government and his party struggled against state and its institutions, forcing the judicial system to reconsider its decision. He failed again and again, blaming the political opposition and generals, who is he said, used the judges for his third dismissal from power. As the result Pakistan "entered in a period of aimless drift ... and stagnation". It had hurt the appointed in August 2017 new prime-minister Shahid Khaqan Abbas, member of PML N, and his government (2017-2018). At the same time Pakistan faces the stronger challenges - the threat of terror, regional isolation, endless misunderstanding with USA and slow progress of the main investment project China-Pakistan economic corridor. But the real challenge for Sharif"s family and the ruling PMLN is the general elections in 2018. Sharif"s PML N lost the control in Senat, the Upper house of the parliament in March 2018. It means that the Sharifs will use all efforts to reach the long-waiting victory for PML N and returning back N.Sharif for the seat of prime-minister for the forth time in the history of Pakistan. The reason - de jure disqualified prime-minister is still leading de facto the federal administration and PML N.

Keywords: Pakistan, PML N, N.Sharif, opposition parties, judicial system, generals, disqualification

 

“WHITE” PORTRAITS IN THE AFRICAN POLITICAL GALLERY. Part 1 by Liubov Ya. PROKOPENKO, PhD (History), Senior Research Fellow, Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750000096-7

    The article contains a gallery of portraits of white political and government figures in African countries. Particular attention is paid to the white presidents of South Africa (Frederik Willem de Klerk), Republic of Seychelles (France-Albert Rene) and Zambia (Guy Scott). Racial tolerance in the poly-ethnic Zambian society is illustrated through G.Scott?s successful political career.

    The fate of white fighters against the apartheid regime in South Africa (including emigrants from the Russian Empire and their descendants) who were appointed to important state posts in the new democratic South Africa after 1994 is shown. The contribution of white politicians to the political and socio-economic development of South Africa is stated.

    One of the features of the formation and development of a new political elite in these countries is the Afrikanization of the political apparatus. However, it does not take extreme forms.

    According to the idea of the «African renaissance» (harmonious development of the African continent), put forward by South Africa’s President Thabo Mbeki at the turn of the 21st century, Afrikaners, like other ethnic groups in the country, are Africans. However, this idea did not take root in the minds of the broad masses, whites often being blamed for economic difficulties.

Keywords: Africa, Afrikaners, white presidents, South Africa, fighters against apartheid, the principle of «non-racialism», Afrikanization, «African renaissance»

 

CHINA AND ISRAEL: 25 YEARS OF ECONOMIC COOPERATION SUCCESS by Dmitry A. MARYASIS, PhD (Economics), Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750000097-8

    The paper examines the dynamics and current situation in the field of Sino-Israeli business and scientific and technological cooperation. Thanks to the use of a large number of diverse sources, it was possible to identify some interesting tools developed by the leadership of both countries for the development of bilateral cooperation. The author also analyzed the prospects and consequences of China's significant interest in the scientific, technical and logistical complex of Israel. The study showed, that in recent years there has been an intensive activation of Sino-Israeli cooperation in several areas. If the commodity-raw material economy is connected with the countries of the Muslim East of the PRC, then with Israel - scientific and technical. Today, China is making considerable efforts to form an innovative warehouse economy. This is taking place against the backdrop of a general increase in China's trade and economic expansion. And here the geographical position of the Jewish state makes it attractive to the Asian giant. Israelis today generally view positively China's increased interest in itself. However, in the future this may lead to too serious dependence, including political, on this country. While there is no certainty that Israel's political and economic elite is fully aware of this.

Keywords: China, Israel, innovation, foreign investment, financial protocol, military-technical cooperation

  

MANDATES IN THE SUCCESS OF A PEACEKEEPING MISSIONS: A CASE STUDY OF LIBERIA by Svetlana A.BOKERIYA, PhD (Law), Associate Professor, Department of History and Theory of International Relations, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University) (bokeria_sa@rudn.university), and Ahmed Tijjani MANSUR (Nigeria), Post-graduate student, Department of History and Theory of International Relations, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University) ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750000098-9

    This article focuses primarily on the peacekeeping efforts in West Africa by sub-regional and international organizations such as Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the United Nations (UN). Particular emphasis was made on the peacekeeping activities of UN and ECOWAS in resolving the perennial Liberian conflict. The article analyzes the positions of researchers and scholars on the question of peacekeeping in Liberia with the aim of determining the significance of sub- regional peacekeeping missions during an armed conflicts in West African sub-region on one hand and the pivotal role of UN peacekeeping activities in Liberia on the other hand. Quite a lot of materials on the Liberian Civil War and the role played by ECOWAS in bringing the crisis to an end have been written. However, none of these works has critically examined the initial mandate of the ECOMOG mission in Liberia and why the mandate was later changed. Mandate is central to the success or otherwise of a peacekeeping mission.

    This research work will attempt to fill this missing gap in the existing literature on the Liberian crisis and ECOMOG intervention. The article is aimed at examining some Peacekeeping Missions in Africa and their Mandates particularly the ECOMOG Mandate in Liberia during the Liberian Civil War and to see how it led to the success or otherwise of the Mission.

    The mandate as an instrument has a dual nature, on the one hand, it’s considered to restore peace, maintain security, strengthen governance and the rule of law, but on the other hand, it has weaknesses, unclear, ambiguous or lacked peacekeeping potential.

Keywords: ECOMOG, African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN) Peacekeeping Missions, ECOWAS, Liberia, AU, UN peacekeeping mission

 

POINT OF VIEW

CONTEMPORARY ASIAN AND AFRICAN NATIONS: A MARXIST PERSPECTIVE by Anton O. ZAKHAROV, Dr.Sc. (History), Leading Research Fellow, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences; Professor, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education; Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Vostok / Oriens journal ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750000099-0

    Current trends in world economy are globalization, automation and robotization. Contemporary Asian and African states face various problems. There are many ethnic, religious and territorial conflicts. Growing populations require more resources but the technical progress diminishes the needs of workforce throughout the Globe. The article offers a Marxist analysis of current developments and makes a forecast of the future. The author shows that there is no correlation between religious and/or traditional values, on the one hand, and the economic development, on the other hand. All current conflicts in Asia and Africa are caused by economic factors, such as poverty or struggle for resources, such as land, oil, or control over them. Ousting of people from industrial and even agricultural production makes the individuals marginal. Automation and robotization turn the main tendencies in the developments of Japanese, Chinese and Indian economies. Cutbacks of workplaces are the real challenge to the human beings who face the marginality as their usual lifestyle. The limited resources produce serious battles for the control over them. In Asia and Africa, globalization and marginalization lead to the strengthening of authoritarian regimes that are more progressive in the cases of coming-up developments. The conflicts will multiply and intensify in Asia and Africa. Transnational corporations and transnational capital will further instability to facilitate control over the small political units. The permanent information wars, conflicts and quarrels are the necessary results of current globalizing processes which, in turn, mark the advent of machinery civilization.

Keywords: Asia, globalization, robotization, marginality, Karl Marx, марксизм

 

POST-GRADUATE COLUMN

KYRGYZ REPUBLIC IN THE REALIZATION OF THE CONCEPT «ONE BELT - ONE WAY» by Bakyt А. RAKHIMOV, Post-graduate student, Institute of Philosophy and Political and Legal Studies, National Academy of Sciences of the Kyrgyz Republic ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750000100-2

    Central Asia is a bridge that connects the West and the East. For more than 20 years, the theme of the revival of the Great Silk Road (GSR) has been used by some countries and international organizations in various conceptual variants and has become one of the trends of the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century and related to the search for sustainable forms of integration. There has been a growing scientific and public interest in the projects for the revival of the routs of the GSR over the past few years. This trend has been actively developing after the announcement of the new foreign policy doctrine of the PRC, with the expressive title: «Economic belt of the Silk Road», and has generated strong promotion and discussion of mentioned projects on numerous informational platforms around the world. In particular, in the Kyrgyz Republic a number a scientific conferences and economic forums took place, the purpose of which was to discuss the issue.

    What this concept is about is there any threats and prospects might be caused the realization of this concept for Kyrgyzstan? These and other issues are considered in this research, a brief historical review about the revival of the Great Silk Road (GSR) was made as well, the reasons and prerequisites were for the formation of the Silk Road as a single transport system. 

Keywords: Kyrgyz Republic, Great Silk Road, economic belt of the Silk Road

 

PAGES OF HISTORY

AFRICAN-RUSSIAN FAMILY IN THE MAELSTROM OF CONFLICT. Confession of a countryman by Natalia L. KRYLOVA, Dr.Sc. (History), Professor, Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750000101-3

    Modern Africa is often referred to as a" conflict continent", a" conflict territory". More than half of all armed conflicts in the world occur on this continent, which has provided it with a reputation as the most conflict region of the planet. Here, peace and war go side by side. one of the reasons for the emergence and complexity of conflict resolution is the psychological factor, since African society has formed a specific stereotype of lifestyle in which the military sphere of activity, participation in armed actions, various wars and conflicts turns into a way of existence and habitat. Moving to permanent residence in Africa in the second half of the twentieth century, our women, without knowing it, are in the zone of increased conflict. The half-century - long history of Russian women living permanently with their husbands in the African continent is filled with stories, dramatic conflicts and tragic cases involving vulnerability to insecurity - real and legal-of the woman herself and her children, both at the time of hostilities and at a time of aggravation of the domestic political situation in the country of permanent residence.

    The article is based on the memoirs of a Russian woman - wife of a Congolese officer, who was educated in the USSR, about the internal political events in the People's Republic of the Congo in the second half of the1970s. Her husband was an associate of Marian Ngouabi, at that time President of the country, whose bright but short (he had not lived forty years) biography is full of UPS and downs, victories and failures, wise decisions and strategic errors typical for the political career of the leader of the young independent African countries. This is the story "in the first person", because our countryman unwittingly was their not only a direct witness, but also a victim of a political conflict.

Keywords: political conflict, compatriots, «mixed marriage», socialist orientation, army, ethno-tribal ties, coup d'état, political process

 

TRADITIONS, CUSTOMS, MORALS

TUVANS OF XINJIANG AT THE TURN OF THE CENTURY by Marina V. MONGUSH, Dr.Sc. (History), Leading Specialist, State Archive of the Russian Federation ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750000102-4

    The author investigates features of the way of life and culture of the Tuvans living in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China. The majority of Tuvans live in Russia, where they have a recognized position and territory - the Republic Tuva. In the territory of China, Tuvans are national minorities and do not have national-territorial status. However the Chinese Tuvans still keep their native language, ethnic consciousness and traditional lines of the culture. This article focuses on elements ranging from “historical baggage” to the language and cultural situation of this community, to relations with host societies, and to the interaction between these factors.

    In this paper, the author introduced material that was gathered about the Tuvans in China. Her studies are based on the results of her field-work in 1993 and 2012 and the research of Russian scholars.

    The academic value of this paper is that it displays features of historical and cultural communications of the Tuvans with other peoples - Mongols, Kazakhs, Chinese, and representatives of other ethnic groups; illuminates the problem of the influences of surrounding peoples on the economic way of life and culture of the Tuvans; identifies the main tendencies in the functioning of language, ethnic consciousness, ethno-demographic and ethnocultural development of the Chinese Tuvans; discloses the nature of their interaction with the center in China; and reflects on specifics of the adaptation of Tuvans to conditions of Chinese statehood. Consideration of the above-mentioned topics was carried out in a number of specific directions, most of which had not been studied earlier. For example, an attempt was made to reveal problems in the development of patrimonial, ethnic and language identity among Chinese Tuvans.

Keywords: Xinjiang, the Tuvans, national minorities in China, ethnocultural processes, ethnolanguage situation, interethnic relations

  

CULTURE, LITERATURE, ART

BLADE OF IMMORTAL IN THE HANDS OF TAKASHI MIIKE by Elena L. KATASONOVA, Dr.Sc. (History), Center of Japanese Studies, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750000103-5

    The article is devoted to the creativity of the cult Japanese film director Takashi Miike, who has released over hundred films, video and television production since his debut in 1991. His works are usually associated with merciless murders, cruelty, blood, absurdity and unreal dreams. But at the same time even in the toughest of them you can find the touching sentiment moments. «Blade of Immortal» is his 100th and the first full-length English-language film, premiered at Canners last year. At the first glance «Blade of Immortal» can be attributed to the Japanese traditional genre - chyambara - historical films with lots of sword fights. But this is more a stylization of this genre because in the film there are also adventure, drama and much more that doesn’t fit into the familiar framework of the samurai action movie. This is far from the only film in Miike’s filmography, praising samurai heroic and the Japanese Middle Ages. It is necessary to name several works of the director, which can be conditionally attributed to the historical genre - djidaigeki. As usual these are remakes of classic Japanese films: «13 Assassins» (a remake of Eiichi Kudo 1963 film of the same title), «Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai» (a remake of the 1962 classic by Masaki Kobayashi), a well known action-parody of American and Italian westerns (spaghetti western) «Sukiyaki western Django», which are discussed in detail in this article.

Keywords: Tакаshi Miike, ljidaigeki, chyambara, Japanese film, remake, western, samurai, blade of immortal