"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 2019

 

 

Aziaafrika 06 2019

 

 TOP PROBLEM

BREAKDOWN OF INF TREATY: CHINA`S FACTOR

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750005158-5

 Sergei V. UYANAEV, PhD (History), Head, «Russia - China» Center; Deputy Director, Institute of Far Eastern Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

    The article examines the influence of China’s factor on the situation around the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), which de facto ceased its operation in early 2019. The prospects for this Treaty remain extremely uncertain. Will the US and Russia be able to conclude a new Treaty? Is it possible for China to join? Trying to make an answer, the author analyzes the main provisions of the current military policy of the PRC, the specifics of its nuclear missile programs, approaches to issues of international nuclear and missile control regimes, including in the area affected by the INF. Separately, there are arguments related to China, which the United States has put forward in support of the exit from the INF. Today, the PRC is solving the ambitious tasks aimed atr realizing the Chinese Dream of achieving the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, including the goal of creation the world-class armed forces with modern missile and nuclear weapons. Till now China lags far behind the United States and Russia in the total number of missiles, but it has an advantage in medium and shorter range missiles, which Moscow and Washington lack according to the1987 bilateral INF Treaty. In the context of its military development and confrontation with the United States in the western Pacific, China does not want to lose such a local advantage. In this regard, the conclusion is made about the disinterest of the PRC in the multilateral nature of the INF and about the need to establish a Russian-Chinese dialogue on this topic.

Keywords: treaty, medium and shorter range missiles, China, USA, Russia

 

 POLITICS, ECONOMY 

BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE: A LITERATURE REVIEW

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750005159-6

Andrey V. BELOV, Dr.Sc. (Economics), Professor, Fukui Prefectural University, Japan; Chief Research Fellow, Saint-Petersburg State University, Russia ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

    In the dynamics of East Asia international tiers, the Pacific vector prevailed, until a series of recent setbacks shifted the attention to Eurasia. The most important milestone in this regard was the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) announced by China in 2013. Scientific literature analysis shows that the issues of BRI are attracting growing attention in academia. The search of Econlit and Web of Sciences databases returns more than 500 hits on this topic. About 95% of the works are published in the period after 2016 in English. A semantic search in this pool of literature allows us to determine the following most common lines of research: the relationship between BRI and development, the economic aspects of the BRI’s implementation, the role of government policies, and the issues of international trade, finances and labour migration. A qualitative and quantitative review shows that BRI is generally positively perceived in the academic community. The reason for this is considered to be that an appropriate balance of opportunities and risks is emerging in the method of implementing the initiated projects. Chinese scientists are mostly optimistic about BRI's prospects, while researchers from other countries tend to give a comprehensive assessment of both positive and negative factors. Economic consequences, as a rule, are evaluated positively, but ecological, geographical and ethnographic issues are considered growing problems. The analysis allows promising areas for future research to be defined regarding Russia's participation in Asian integration. Such areas include infrastructure provision in the framework of major regional development initiatives, factors relating to mobility of commodities, capital and labour in the vast Eurasian economic space, and the multilateral and bilateral collaboration within a large circle of interested countries.

Keywords: Belt and Road Initiative, integration, China, Russia, Eurasia

 

THE SUCCESSION CRISIS IN ALGERIA

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750005160-8

Natalia A. ZHERLITSYNA,  PhD (History),  Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences;  Associated Professor, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University) ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

    The article analyzes the internal situation in the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria on the eve of the presidential elections scheduled for April 18, 2019.  After the long fluctuations of the ruling elite, the candidacy of the 93-year-old President Abdelaziz Bouteflika was nominated for the fifth time. This decision demonstrates the insurmountable political conflicts in the Algerian elites resulting from the failure to decide who has the right to decide on a successor. The succession crisis cannot be resolved without the approval of the two institutions that form the Algerian state: the presidential environment and the army. The power struggle between the two groups goes beyond the old political system created half a century ago. In light of the difficult situation faced by Algeria in the economic and political spheres and in terms of regional security, the extension of the reign of Bouteflika for a fifth term will serve as a likely catalyst of much greater instability than the one faced by his regime at the present time. The future of the country urgently requires rejuvenation of elites, modernization and diversification of the economy, openness in the political sphere. Most institutionalized political parties tacitly supported  fifth term of Bouteflika, while some opposition groups protested. Another five years under the rule of seriously ill President, surrounded by a mysterious circle of decision makers, is not an acceptable scenario for many in the North African state. The natural result was the resignation of President Bouteflika on April 4, 2019 and the refusal to participate in the elections under the pressure of the people. But Bouteflika leaves Algeria on the threshold of new uncertainties.

Keywords: Algeria, presidential election, Bouteflika, the succession crisis, the threat of destabilization, the ruling elite

 

THE CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: CONFLICT DYNAMICS

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750005161-9

Tatyana S. DENISOVA, PhD (History), Leading Research Fellow, Institute for African Studies, RAS ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Sergey V. KOSTELYANETS, PhD (Political Science), Senior Research Fellow, Institute for African Studies, RAS; Senior Research Fellow, National Research University Higher School of Economics; Associate Professor, Peoples' Friendship University of Russia ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

    The article analyzes the dynamics of the conflict that started in the Central African Republic (CAR) in 2012 and continues to this day, and the motives and interests of its main participants – the rebel coalitions Seleka and Antibalaka. The authors investigate the significance of the political, socio-economic and religious factors of the evolution of behavior and strategies of these two groups. Special attention is paid to the “economy of war”, which developed rapidly amid the political crisis in the CAR. The article notes that even though the ascent of President F.-A. Touadera to power in 2016 marked a new, less violent phase of the conflict, political instability in the country persists and interfaith tensions continue to be acute. A high level of impunity remains a serious problem, while the lack of responsibility for the committed crimes still breeds popular distrust of the government.

    The article emphasizes that in the African context conflicts often begin at the highest level – between groups of political elites – and only later involve the general population. At the same time, the political environment favors the use of violence as a means to achieve and maintain power. When armed groups get involved in political processes, conflicts are transplanted from the military-political sphere to the civilian environment – local communities, where they are easily interpreted as problems of interethnic and inter-religious differences. Individuals and groups may identify themselves as belonging to a certain identity not because they were born with it, but because of the desire to get related advantages. Conflicts arise when different groups of the population – in this case, in the Central African Republic – perceive political exclusion, economic marginalization and jealousy.

KeywordsCentral African Republic, conflict, F.Bozize, M.Djotodia, F.-A.Touadera, economy of war, interfaith contradictions, political development

 

CROSS-BORDER E-COMMERCE TRADE IN CHINA: OPPORTUNITIES FOR RUSSIAN EXPORTERS

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750005162-0

Adelina E. ISHMURATOVA, Master (Oriental Studies), National Research University Higher School of Economics (St. Petersburg) ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

    The paper is focused on studying the development of the platforms for cross-border electronic commerce in China and its potential to become a new model that Russian exporting companies could use for entering the Chinese market. The improvement of non-primary exports from Russia is one of the strategic directions of the development of Russian economy. At the state level, measures are being taken to stimulate and support those companies that are planning to enter foreign markets. Russian exporters are looking for ways to expand their markets. Due to its large market size, high consumer buying power, positive attitude to the «made in Russia» goods China now is one of the priority directions for the export activity for Russian exporters. However most of the Russian products are sold in the China’s northern cities, and badly known in other parts of China. Despite the fact that manufactures put efforts to use Chinese online channels (like Taobao, WeChat) for selling and promoting products, their attempts seem to be chaotic, rather than strategically adjusted. At the same time, the author of this article supposes that with a proper analysis and planning the instruments of electronic commerce, and in particular, the mechanism of cross-border e-commerce trade can help the Russian exporter to enter the Chinese market. The paper discusses the factors that influenced the emergence of cross-border e-commerce in China, the features of consumer behavior and preferences of Chinese customers who use the cross-border e-commerce platforms for purchasing of foreign goods, and the procedure of opening a shop on Tmall Global platform.

Keywords: export; cross-border commerce; CBEC; Sino-Russian business cooperation

 

RUSSIA AND THE EAST

ATTITUDE OF RUSSIANS TOWARDS THE DPRK AND THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750005163-1

Anna I. EFIMOVA, PhD (Political science), Invited Lecturer, School of Political Science, National Research University Higher School of Economics ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Denis O. STREBKOV, PhD (Sociology), Associate Professor, School of Sociology; Senior research fellow, Laboratory for Studies in Economic sociology, National Research University Higher School of Economics ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

    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.

Keywords: Korea, Russia, public opinion, foreign policy

 

 FOREIGN EXPERT VIEW

USE OF INFORMATION INFLUENCE TOOLS ON ARABIC-SPEAKING AUDIENCE IN THE FOREIGN POLICY OF RUSSIA

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750005165-3

Ziad SHAHOUD (Syria), Post-graduate student, Faculty of International Relations, Saint Petersburg State University ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

    Russia has always had a strong presence in the Arab world since Soviet times, and this interest in the region is only increasing in latest years. Arabic language is spoken by over 300 million people and major world powers have localized their political information tools (TV, websites, social networks etc.) into this language to be able to make a greater impact in the Middle East and North Africa.

    The article attempts to analyze the tools of information influence used on the Arabic speaking audience of the Middle East and North Africa in the arsenal of Russia’s foreign policy, focusing on the information activities of the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Russia Today media group in Arabic. It outlines the need to expand the Arabic presence on main internet sites of the foreign ministry to post relevant information and to successfully convey the country's stance to a larger audience in the Arab world. The Article points out that Russia’s use of information technology in the Arab world is still lagging behind and unable to reach the same level as Russia’s actual presence in the region and its interests and ambitions.

    By analyzing the tools used by Russia’s foreign policy when dealing with this part of the world, we clearly see that there is a lot still to be done to address the Arab speaking audience, especially with the use of modern tools such as social networks. The analysis shows that the level of “Russia’s digital diplomacy” in the Arab world needs more improvements and requires a clear long-term information strategy aimed particularly at this region.

Keywords: foreign policy, information policy, Russia, digital diplomacy, the Middle East, Arabic

 

 POST-GRADUATE TRIBUNE

 COOPERATION BETWEEN RUSSIA AND THE UAE IN THE FIELD OF HIGH TECHNOLOGY

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750005166-4

Sergey I. RODIN, Post-graduate student, Department of political economy, Peoples' friendship University of Russia ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

    The article analyzes the features, opportunities, problems and prospects of cooperation between the UAE and the Russian Federation in the field of high technology development, especially in the space segment. Both countries are faced with the need to improve their technological level, to find new opportunities in the process of international division of labour and international trade, to enhance and strengthen their regional and/or global role. International cooperation on a bilateral or multilateral basis can help to meet these and other challenges in the long term.

    The article shows that both countries already have a certain, and quite high, level of scientific and technical development, as well as long-term experience of mutual cooperation in various spheres of economic activity. But modernity poses new challenges in the field of scientific and technological progress, the solution of which often depends on the possibility of long-term sustainable development, social progress, economic success. One of these tasks is the development of space technologies for scientific, innovative, medical, technical and other humanitarian and economic purposes. The author emphasizes that Russia and the UAE seek to intensify their cooperation in this direction to ensure mutual benefit and for a possible positive effect for third countries.

    The main purpose of the article is to study the current state and current problems faced by Russia and the UAE in the implementation of cooperation in the field of high technology and to identify its promising areas.

Keywords: UAE, Russian Federation, high technologies, international cooperation, social and economic development

 

INNOVATION AND NIGERIA'S HEGEMONIC POSITION IN AFRICA: PROSPECTS AND CHALLENGES

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750005167-5

Enenimibo-ofori M. BRIGGS, Post-graduate student (Innovation Management), RUDN University, Russia ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Kafilat M. ADEBAYO, Post-graduate student (International Relations), RUDN University, Russia ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

    The end of the Cold War heralded twists and turns in international political systems with a shift from the US-led unipolar system to new world orders emanating from different regions of the global community. The US lackluster zeal and sometimes lack of capacity in tackling major global challenges has reciprocally induced the proliferation of a range of regional actors like China, Brazil, Russia, European Union (EU), Nigeria and South Africa. Expectedly, there is a high level of responsibility to provide the right leadership framework to foster regional and international stability and stimulate growth and development in these regions and the entire international system.

    In view of the above, this article analyzes Nigeria’s hegemonic position in Africa, putting into context Nigeria’s economic size and influence, the immensity of Nigeria’s population, the abundance of mineral deposits, especially crude oil and natural gas reserves, and military capabilities. The study examines the power dynamics of the African continent with insights from Nigeria’s foreign policy. Also included in the study is the critical examination of Nigeria’s perceived hegemonic influence in Africa using hegemonic stability theory influence as a theoretical framework.

    The paper further argues that although Nigeria has great potentials in innovation and science diplomacy, its innovation capabilities lack the necessary components needed for continental hegemonic disposition, considering the fact that there is not enough empirical evidence to indicate that it contextually suits the African continent. Nigeria’s approach towards science and diplomacy is being influenced by its past, present and future projections as well as its local and external environment.

Keywords: Nigeria, hegemonic stability theoryregional hegemonregional power, innovation, foreign policy

 

 PAGES OF HISTORY

“THE CRACKED MIRROW” OF SOUTH ASIA (partition of British India of 1947  in the Collective Memory of Contemporary Indian Society)

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750005168-6

Alexandra L. SAFRONOVA, Dr.Sc. (History), Professor, Head, Department of South Asian History, Institute of Asian and African Studies, Lomonosov Moscow State University (al-safr @ yandex.ru)

    The article is focused on the events of 1947 in South Asia – the decisive year which demonstrated the glorious achievement of self-governance in former British India and at the same time brought disaster, horror and frustration into the lives of millions of people inhabiting subcontinent. It was the Partition of the territories of the colony and the formation of  two dominions – Indian Union and Pakistan, which caused unprecedented migrations to the “Imaginary Homelands” - of Muslims from India to Pakistan and Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan to India. The article is dedicated to the legacy of  the Partition in contemporary Indian society, the reflection of those dramatic events in the collective memory of masses. Their destinies depict the tragedy of the Partition and it’s trauma to future generations. Distorted identities, economic collapse, political crisis, humiliation of millions of people and brutal crash of human rights, unjustified burst of hatred and furious instincts – so was the heavy “burden”of 1947. The Partition uprooted millions who sought safety across a line they hadn’t drawn or desired and which was the mutual creation of British authorities and elite politicians from Indian National Congress and Muslim League. “Never before in South Asian history did so few divide so many in so short a time” – this sad joke is well known and wide spread in India of  nowadays. But borders drawn in 1947 are still under hard discussion between India and Pakistan today, causing aggrevation of situation and recurrent wars  in South Asian region.

Key words: British India, swaraj, Partition of 1947, India, Pakistan, Princely States, India-Pakistan Relations

 

 TRAVELS, MEETINGS. IMPRESSIONS

DEVELOPMENT OF THE TOURIST BRANCH OF VIETNAM: EXAMPLE OF ISLAND FUKUOK

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750005169-7

Elena F. CHERNENKO, PhD (Economics), Associate Professor, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Oleg K. PETROVICH-BELKIN, PhD (History), Senior Lecture, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

    Tourism as one of the priorities in economic policy and possible drivers of economic growth in Vietnam  is under consideration in the article. The authors underline that developing this sphere the government is solving several tasks, such as increase of national and regional budgets, creating new work positions, improving surroundings, developing infrastructure, forming of favorable image of the country and others.

    The authors’ attention is accentuated on the aspect that the high degree of the centralization of the Vietnamese economy and system of control makes it possible to successfully regulate the motion of the implementation of the national programs of development, including the tourist sphere.

    The development of tourism has become a challenge facing the entire political system and the whole society. In its implementation, the business community and the local population play an important role. During 2018, the number of foreign tourists has increased by 19.9% ​​as compared with 2017.

    The role of tourism in the economy of Vietnam shows the cost of this area. The Vietnamese government approved a program for the development of tourism infrastructure until 2020 with investments of more than 30.6 billion Vietnamese dong ($1.3 billion).

    Tourism is an example of cooperation of financial, material and organizational efforts of the public and private sectors of the economy with the directing and controlling role of the state. The development of tourism allows not only to increase the volume of tax revenues, but also to mitigate the severity of unemployment, creating new jobs for representatives of various professions, including builders, education, entertainment and others.

    As an example is given the experience of the development of travel industry on Fukuok island.

Keywords: Vietnam, tourism, island Fukuok, visa regime, sightseeing, economic growth

 

 BOOK REVIEW

AFRICA, of which we knew almost nothing

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750005170-9

    Review of the book: Africa in the fate of Russia. Russia in the fate of Africa / Eds. A.S.Balezin, A.B.Davidson, S.V.Mazov. M., Politicheskaya Entsiklopedia. 2019, 606 p.) (In Russ.)

Nikolai N. PETROV, journalist, international affairs ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Keywords: Africa, Russia, Comintern and Africa, Soviet policy in Africa

 

MONGOLIAN-CHINESE FRIENDSHIP. KNOWN AND UNKNOWN

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750005171-0

    Review of the book: Mongolian-Chinese friendship that we know and do not know / Ed. Kh.Baatarkhuu. Ulaanbaatar, 2019. 304 p. (In Mongol.)

Vladislav I. TERENTYEV, PhD (History), Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, Ulaanbaatar branch, Mongolia ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Keywords: Mongolia, PRC, diplomatic relations, architecture, construction