"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" № 1 2020                                                                                                        Contents

 

 

Aia 1 2020

 

 POLICY, ECONOMY 

«SOFT POWER» OF CHINESE EDUCATION IN RUSSIA

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750008158-5

Tatiana L. GURULEVA, Dr.Sc. (Education), Associated Professor, Leading Research Fellow, Institute of Far Eastern Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences; Professor, Military University of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

   In the article the author presents the requirements for the development of the component "cultural competence" contained in International Curriculum for Chinese Language Education to teach Chinese as a foreign language for Confucius Institutes all around the world. The ways of expanding the presence of Confucius Institutes in the Russian educational space under the conditions of the suspension of the opening of new Confucius Institutes in Russia are described. These methods include: conversion of existing Confucius Classes to Confucius Institutes; the creation of new Confucius Classes by existing Confucius Institutes; initiation of the creation and actual organization of activities of teachers and teachers of the Chinese language associations in various federal districts of Russia, supporting the activities of the Association of graduates and interns of Chinese universities, etc. The author analyses the creation and functioning of various associations in the field of education in Russia: associations of teachers and teachers of Chinese, the Association graduates and interns of Chinese universities, Russian-Chinese specialized and regional associations of universities, the Association of Scientific and Technical Cooperation of the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China. The conclusion is made about the emergence of a new form of educational cooperation between Russia and China - the association. The positive moments of creation of high schools associations are revealed. The problems of associations functioning of Russian-Chinese universities in Russia are formulated. It was concluded that an association as a new form of educational cooperation replaces the Confucius Institutes in Russia.

Keywords: «soft power», Russian-Chinese educational cooperation, Confucius Institutes, associations of teachers and teachers of the Chinese language, associations of Russian and Chinese universities

 

E. MACRON'S TOUR IN THE COUNTRIES OF THE AFRICAN HORN

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750008159-6

Vasily R. FILIPPOV, Dr.Sc. (History), Leading 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. )

   The article provides a global overview of the incentive motives, course and results of the spring 2019 tour of the President of the French Republic E.Macron to the Horn of Africa. The analysis was focused on the differences in the interstate relations of the Fifth Republic with Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya as well as the specifics of the relationship of the French president with the leaders of these countries. The latent conflict between E.Macron and the president of Djibouti I.O.Gelle was identified. The Djiboutian side was concerned with minimization of French investments in the country's economy. The French president expressed his dissatisfaction by the economic expansion of China in Djibouti, as well as by establishing of a Chinese naval base in this strategically important region. E.Macron’s visit to Ethiopia and his meeting with Prime Minister A.Ahmed were more successful. Journalists called the new defense agreement between France and Ethiopia a symbol of confidence between the presidents. The document provides for assistance of France in establishing of the Ethiopian Navy, as well as cooperation in the field of military aviation, joint military operations and exercises. This document provides for a large-scale purchase of French weapons by the Ethiopian side. The visit of the French president to Kenya was also effective. Economic agreements for developing of public and private partnerships between countries worth more than 3 billion dollars were signed at negotiations with President U.Kenyatta. The conclusion is that expansion of the political and economic influence of France in the English-speaking African countries will become a hallmark of the African policy of E.Macron. This can make it less aggressive and more productive than the policies of its predecessors.

Keywords: France, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, E.Macron

 

THE EUROPEAN UNION, CHINA AND AFRICA: COOPERATION IN THE FIELD OF INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE (Problems and Perspectives)

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750008160-8

Tatyana S. DENISOVA, PhD (History), Leading Research Fellow, Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences (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, 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. )

   As a multipolar world is emerging, the study of the nature of relations between individual international players - states, groups of states, international and regional organizations, etc. - is becoming increasingly important. Typically, scholars in International Relations and Global Development focus on bilateral and multilateral cooperation; trilateral relations have not yet received sufficient attention in domestic and foreign literature.

   One of the impetuses for the development of trilateral relations, as well as for their careful examination, was the emergence of the phenomenon of "emerging countries", which in various contexts include China, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and even Africa's Angola, Ethiopia and some other states. In many respects such as population size, economic growth rates, increasing influence on global political and socio-economic processes, the scale of cooperation with African countries, including in terms of providing official development assistance (ODA), China occupies a special place in this group of states. As the role of the Celestial Empire on the world stage grows, the expansion and deepening of contacts in various fields between China and other key global actors - the European Union, the United States, Russia, etc. - rise to the forefront of the international agenda.

   The article explores the nature and dynamics of trilateral relations between China, the EU and African countries represented by the African Union in the field of international development assistance. China’s current intensive engagement with African states was provoked by Beijing’s search for the resources needed for its booming economy and commodity markets. The European Union’s perception of China’s activities in Africa as a threat to European interests on the continent has prompted it to take steps to expand trilateral relations, but there remain substantial differences in terms and formats of the provision of development assistance to Africa by Brussels and Beijing.

Keywords: Africa, China, European Union, African Union, international development assistance, official development assistance, trilateral cooperation

 

IRANIAN ARMENIANS, JEWS AND BAHAI: SOCIAL AND CULTURAL PROBLEMS OF THEIR DEVELOPMENT

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750008161-9

Marina S. KAMENEVA, PhD (Philology), 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. )

   The article analyses the problems of ethno-confessional minorities in modern Iran in the context of Iranian leadership’s policy (primarily of the Islamic Republic of Iran) in social and cultural spheres. Three communities of modern Iran has are the object of the study - Armenian, Jewish and Baháí. Their example is an attempt to show the processes taking place within these communities including under the influence of external factors as well as the general and local in the relation to them by the Iranian authorities. The article shows that Iranian Armenians and Jews as the ethno-religious minorities are in a much more advantageous position than the confessional minority - Bahai. Iranian Armenians and Jews living among the Moslems who constitute the absolute majority of Iran’s population on the one hand tend and have to assimilate with them and on the other try to preserve their national, cultural and religious traditions inside the community. As for Bahai they are still absolutely deprived of their rights and largely isolated in the Iranian society in spite of the fact that they are ethnic Iranians. To improve the situation in the context of Iranian Bahai it is necessary to improve their relations with the Moslems and most likely to recognize the Bahai faith as an autonomous religion.

Keywords: Iran, ethno-confessional minority, Iranian Armenians, Jewish community, Bahai of Iran, Islamic revolution, discrimination

 

25 YEARS OF JORDANIAN-ISRAELI PEACE TREATY: BILATERAL COOPERATION AT THE PRESENT STAGE

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750008162-0

Vera Yu. PAVLOVA, Post-graduate student, Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of the Russian Federation ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

   October 26, 2019 marked the 25th anniversary of the Jordanian-Israeli Peace treaty. The article explores some peculiarities of the Jordanian-Israeli dialog after the signing of the historical document in 1994 between the two countries; discloses the Peace treaty content and following bilateral agreements as well as analyzes their significance for both sides; explores the prospects for bilateral and regional cooperation in various fields in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and instability in the Middle Eastern region in general.

   The author considers differences in approaches of Jordanian and Israeli authorities towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict settlement and its two-state solution, as well as Jordanian concerns about the US proposed so-called “deal of the century”(“Trump peace plan”) for resolving the conflict mentioned above and an utter refusal of the Hashemite leadership to consider the “Jordan Option” variant as an alternative homeland for Palestinians.

   The paper examines reasons for the appearance of wide opposition to the Peace treaty in the two countries and prospects of the document implementation in the future in the face of criticism from society and Jordanian and Israeli legislative bodies. Twenty five years on, the Jordanian-Israeli Peace treaty is solid, despite the remaining tensions between the two countries over the status quo of the Holy places in Jerusalem (considering the Hashemite custodianship), Palestinian issue and fate of Palestinian refugees as well as serves national interests of Jordan and Israel, their safety, internal political and economic stability.

Keywords: Jordan, Israel, Peace treaty, bilateral cooperation, Palestinian issue, Jerusalem, Holy Places’ status quo, “deal of the century”

 

CHANGES IN THE LAWS OF AFRICA AND SOUTH-EAST ASIA

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750008163-1

Igor S. KRYUKOV, Judicial Department, Supreme Court of the Russian Federation ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

   The article examines into methods and sources of changes in the present legislation and of reforming the judicial systems of the African countries and South-East Asia in order to find out, which factors positively affect businessmen from different countries, and which ones need to be either amended or excluded within the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). It shows the changes in the present tax legislation of Mauritius, Singapore and Hong Kong, as well as performance upgrade of the judicial system of the above-mentioned countries and of China, with due regard for the present-day political and economic developments. These changes stimulate teamwork of businessmen from the specified countries and attract investors. Particular attention is paid to the methods of the judicial systems of the above countries, through which they are engaged in finding the best way to combat corruption and achieve international cooperation among themselves to mutually support entrepreneurs helping in the implementation of the joint economic program of China.

   Legal support by national legislation of foreign investors and foreign participants in small and medium-sized businesses is the key to participation in mutually beneficial international economic programs. The author considers this as an example of the participation of Mauritius in the Chinese economic program “One Belt - One Way”.

Keywords: Africa, South-East Asia, taxes, corruption, courts

 

REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN: DIFFICULTIES OF THE DEVELOPMENT

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750008164-2

Nailia Z. FAKHRUTDINOVA, Research Fellow, Centre for Sociological and Political Sciences Studies, Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

   The paper analyzes the reasons of prolongation of military operations in the Republic of South Sudan. The aim of the study is to show the urgent need for peace in South Sudan which is constantly balancing on the brink of peace and war. Despite the division of Sudan into two States: the Republic of Sudan (RS) and the Republic of South Sudan (RSS), the peace has not come to this long-suffering land. Another war started: between supporters of President S.Kiir and former Vice-President R.Machar. Military actions are resumed before they stop after the conclusion of the next peace agreements.

   The article deals with the step-by-step issue of separation of powers, because of which it was not possible to resolve the conflict. It is necessary to reform the interim Constitution, to establish parliamentary power, federalism and proportional representation in all authorities.

   The accent is made on the access of all rebel groups to the peace negotiation process.

   The author considers the problems of economic development of Republic of Sudan, explaining the difficulties of its growth by strong dependence on oil, the vulnerability of agriculture, the weakness of institutional and human capacity, narrow economic base and dilapidated infrastructure. He concludes, that all these shortcomings must be guaranteed to be eliminated. Taking into consideration the repeated official Declaration of hunger in the country, the author places emphasis on measures to ensure food security in the Republic of South Sudan.

Keywords: dependence on oil, comprehensive peace, economic diversification, infrastructure, prolonged war, food security

 

SCIENTIFIC LIFE

NEW TRENDS IN THE AFRICAN STUDIES

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750008165-3

Valentina V. GRIBANOVA, PhD (History), Senior Research Fellow, Center for History and Cultural Anthropology, Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Nina V. GRISHINA, PhD (History), Senior Research Fellow, Center for Sociological and Political Sciences, Institute for African Studies, RAS ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

   The Institute for African Studies, RAS, held a round table devoted to the study of the historical, cultural and anthropological aspects of the development of African countries and peoples from the point of view of modern scientific knowledge. In addition, much attention was paid to gender studies in contemporary African studies. Gender studies based on socially and culturally marked specifics of gender relations are relevant for the study of African civilization, which is characterized by a strict differentiation of all spheres of life into male and female worlds. During the round table, three meetings were held, thematically relevant to the issues of anthropology, religion and culture; problems of modern and recent history of African countries and African diasporas; gender studies in African studies, which made the round table work more diverse and emphasized the interdisciplinary nature of the discussion. One of the important components of the round table was summarizing the results of field studies conducted in Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Zambia, Uganda. The focus of the research was both the social ties of the local population and the religiosity and socio-political orientation of the old believer community and the Orthodox of Uganda. The reports of the participants of the round table reflected a problem that has not lost its relevance to the present time: the struggle of African women for the right to be represented in the power structures of different levels, to have the right to vote on an equal basis with men in solving vital issues for the country. The round table was dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the African Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the 30th anniversary of the organization of the gender research group.

Keywords: history, anthropology, cultural studies, gender studies, African countries, traditions, community, modern development

 

POST-GRADUATE TRIBUNE

JAPAN. SOFT AND HARD LEGACY OF THE  OLIMPIC GAMES

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750008167-5

Mikhail E. KOMAROV, Post-graduate student, Lomonosov Moscow State University ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

   This article deals with the topical issue of the Olympic Games legacy taking into consideration the rising costs of this mega-event. The ideas of soft and hard legacy are revealed, specific examples are given. In addition, the concept and the organizational structure of the 2020 Olympics are analyzed. The theoretical basis («Action & Legacy Plan») and the real situation are discussed with the indication of the prospects and future projects for the creation and use of the legacy. «Action & Legacy Plan», which is a compilation of the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee’s approach to the Action and Legacies that should be left to the future generations, is thoroughly reviewed in this paper. Analogies are drawn between the Olympics that have already been held in Japan. A range of comprehensive actions within 5 pillars for promoting expansive initiatives is also examined. 5 commissions responsible for each pillar are studied. The reasons of growing public interest towards the issue of the Olympic legacy are observed as well. Moreover, Tokyo 2020 Games Vision is analyzed within the frame of legacy of the Games. The examples of unprofitable legacies from the previous Games are given and the actions of the involved bodies to expand the efficiency of the existing hard legacy are scrutinized. The success of the Games depends on the positive and long-lasting legacies that the Games will leave to the county, region and to the whole world in a vast variety of fields, including sport, culture, economy, education, technology, sustainability, urban planning, etc.

Keywords: Tokyo 2020, Olympic Games, soft legacy, hard legacy

 

 CULTURE, LITERATURE, ART

BUNIN IN CEYLON AND TRANSLATION OF HIS CEYLON CYCLE On the 150th anniversary of the birth of I.A. Bunin (1870-1953)

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750008230-5

Ranjana D. SENASINGHE (Sri Lanka), Post-graduate student, Department of Russian History, RUDN University ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

   The article is dedicated to the journey of the famous Russian writer Ivan A.Bunin to Ceylon in March 1911. The chronology is being updated on the basis of new data. It relates about the works of the Ceylon cyclic-stories and verses born out of this trip which have become masterpieces of world literature. The author shares the experiences of his own explorations by way of the entire Ceylon-cycle of the great Russian writer being translated into Sinhala language.

   It is known that Anton Chekhov told "young colleagues” - Maxim Gorky and Ivan Bunin about the delights of a tropical island and advised to visit it. The councils were heeded by I.A. Bunin, who visited Ceylon and left his images in classic stories and poems. There were also other special reasons, apparently medical ones: on December 17, 1910, Ivan Bunin wrote to Andreeva and Gorky that "the doctor persuaded me too much to stay in hot countries in discussing my ailments."

   The main result of this trip of I.A.Bunin to Ceylon was a whole cycle of prose and poetic works that were born after his direct acquaintance with the island, its nature, inhabitants, their religion. The most famous of him were the stories “Brothers”, “Third Class”, “National”, “City of the King of Kings”, as well as poems “Goddess”, “Low Tide”, “Sanctuary”, “Ceylon”, “Mountain Alagalla”.

Keywords: Ceylon, I.A.Bunin, Russian literature in translation, the works of I.A.Bunin of the Ceylon cycle, travels of writers

 

HERITAGIZATION AND THE IMAGE OF NATIONAL CULTURE IN MODERN VIETNAM

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750008167-5

Ekaterina O. STARIKOVA, Senior Lecturer, National Research University Higher School of Economics - Saint-Petersburg ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

   The article analyzes the issues of the policy regarding intangible cultural heritage, which is carried out in modern Vietnam. The selection of objects that are recognized as cultural heritage at the national level, as well as being promoted to the List of UNESCO World Heritage Masterpieces, is associated with the specifics of constructing the image of national culture. Despite the obvious positive aspects of the work of protecting national traditions, the theme of culture in Vietnam has the ideological significance, and it affects the authenticity of preserved or restored cultural phenomena. The national myth, which is constructed through cultural heritage policies, comes down to the ideas about the antiquity of the Vietnamese nation and its descent from the Hung Kings, and about the antiquity and continuity of the Vietnamese cultural tradition, which dates back directly to the era of the Hung Kings and carries the features of national identity formed at that time. Such a vision of history and culture is not correct, since the Vietnamese culture developed under the influence of Chinese, and Vietnamese ethnogenetic myths in the form that has survived, bear the imprint of Chinese influence. A special place in the construction of the image of national culture is given to song lore. We believe that actions aimed at enhancing the status of musical folklore have the goal of restoring the traditions of performing folk songs and attracting the interest of youth in this form of activity. We think that the availability of folk songs, the performance of which does not require special skills and special equipment, their potential to turn into mass art makes the promotion of song lore a priority for Vietnamese. Rich and diverse musical folklore is becoming the cornerstone in shaping the image of national culture.

Keywords: Vietnam, intangible cultural heritage, heritagization, song lore

 

PAGES OF HISTORY

«LES PAGES JAUNIS GARDANT CE QUE BIEN CHÈRE…»

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750008168-6

Svetlana V. PROZHOGINA, Dr.Sc. (Philology), Principal Research Fellow, Department of Comparative culturology, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences; member, Editorial Board, “Aziya i Afrika segodnya” journal ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

   55-ième anniversaire de la collaboration de l'auteur avec la revue «Asie et l'Afrique d'aujourd' hui» lui donne la reflexion que cette Edition scientifique et sociale est l'unique dans son genre, parce que informe opérativement ses lecteurs non seulements des problem politiques, écononiques, sociologoques et globaux en général, mais contient une Rubrique absolument nécessaire, consernant à la culture, à l'art et à la littérature de l'Afrique moderne, postcoloniale, ayant des nouveaux types de la description artistique de sa réalité. Ainsi la revue «L'Asie et l'Afrique d'aujourd' hui» reflète la conscience sociale des peuples Africains, cherchant des noveaux apports au proces culturel mondial. La partipation de l'auteur de cet article et le membre antien du conseil des rédacteurs de cette revue, orientée en 1964 par le rédacteur pour le choix de la littérature Maghrébine de la langue française, est regafdée par S. Projoghina comme l'honneur et comme la possibilitée d'exprimer le nouvelles tendences non seulement dans les littératures d'Algérie, du Maroc et de la Tunisie, mais aussi dans la présence diasporale des Maghrébins en France, exprimant le désir des dialogues des civilisations.

Les mots clées: Maghreb, littérature et la culture francophone, participation de l'auteur constante à la revue, rôle de «L'Asie et de l'Afrique» dans la vie scientifique et sociale

 

BOOK REVIEW

AFRICA WITHOUT WARS AND BLOODSHED. It’s hard to reach but possible

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750008169-7

Nikolai I. PETROV, Political observer ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Review of the book: Peacefulness and peacekeeping in Africa. Digest of articles / Eds. A.Balezin, S.Mazov, I.Filatova. Moscow, 2019. 312 p. (In Russ.)

Keywords: Africa, peacekeeping, academician A.B.Davidson, Center for African Studies

 

THE SUNSET OF THE GREAT DYNASTY?

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750008170-9

Larisa A. CHERESHNEVA, Dr.Sc. (History), Lipetsk State Pedagogical P.Semenov-Tyan-Shansky University ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Review of the book: Yurlov F.N. From Sunrise to Sunset. The Dynasty of Nehru-Gandhi. Book Two: Indira Gandhi and the Family. Moscow, 2018. 460 p. (In Russ.)

Keywords: India, Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, Indian National Congress, Indira Gandhi and her family, Bharatiya Janata Party

 

TOPICAL BOOK ON A COMPLICATED ISSUE

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750008171-0

Elena A. BRAGINA, Dr.Sc. (Economics), Principal Research Fellow, Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Review of the book: Morozenskaya E.V. State Regulation of Economy in Africa / Ed. V.P. Morozov. Moscow, 2018. 214 p. (In Russ.)

Keywords: Africa, emerging markets, the state, economic regulation

 

LITERATRE OF THE ETHIOPIAN DIASPORA: DINAW MENGISTU

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750008173-2

Galina A. BALASHOVA, PhD (Philology), 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. )

Review of the Two novels by Dinaw Mengistu: “The beautiful things that Heaven Bears”, 2007, New York, and “How to read the air”, London, 2010.

Keywords: Africa, Ethiopia, repression,  migration, diaspora, literature