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

"Asia and Africa today" № 3 2019

TOP PROBLEM                                    

THE SREB PROJECT AND RUSSIAN-CHINESE DIALOGUE

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750004064-2

Elena I. SAFRONOVA, PhD (Economics), Leading Research Fellow, Institute of Far Eastern Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

   In recent years the expert community often reiterates the idea that Russian-Chinese relations can be characterized as “hot at the top” (at the level of top leaders’ contacts) and “cold at the bottom” (at the level of society and the socio-economic life). It seems that this statement also holds true for the realities of the Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) project.

   The initial, basic challenge for Russian-Chinese relations in the light of the SREB is that the objective rivalry between Russia and China is growing in Central Asia. And now not only the PRC, but also Kazakhstan is turning into a competitor of the RF in the Central Asian economic field. This fact leads to the disorientation of conjugation processes and indirectly, but tangibly affects the climate of Russian-Chinese relations.

   Owing to the SREB, the Central Asian countries are being co-opted as implementers of Chinese political, economic, infrastructure and energy initiatives, and through this Russia’s weight as a multi-profile partner of Central Asian states is objectively reducing. Essentially, the SREB becomes a catalyst of the reorientation towards China of traditional RF counterparts. Under these circumstances, it is very important for Russia to activate the EAEU project as a mechanism for protecting the RF’s interests at the Central Asian economic “platform”.

    Despite all its urgent utility, the process of the two projects’ conjugation faces considerable difficulties. The very specificity of the coexistence of the SREB and the EAEU is fraught with risks, among which are: the propensity of the PRC for a bilateral, separate cooperation format, which can smooth down the potential of «collegiality» of the EAEU; a lack not of showy, but really sought-after and effective projects that the EAEU can offer China; inconsistency of norms and technical standards of the conjugation, haziness of the SREB administering prospects; the problem of the project facilities’ protection, etc.

Keywords: Russian-Chinese relations, SREB, EAEU, international projects’ coordination problems

 

 POLITICS, ECONOMY 

CROSS-BORDER ECONOMIC ZONE as an URBANIZATION CORE at a PERIPHERY REGION (case of the Sino-Russian border)

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750004134-9

Ivan Yu. ZUENKO, Research Fellow, Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnography of Peoples of the Far East, Russian Academy of Sciences Far Eastern Branch ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Ilya G. CHUBAROV, PhD (Geography), Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Far Eastern Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

   In 2018, the topic of the “cross-border territories of the advanced development” was included into the agenda of Sino-Russian official talks. According to the view of the Russian and Chinese officials, these territories created between the border ‘twin cities’ in the Russian Far East and the North-East China (Pogranichny–Suifenhe,Blagoveshchensk–Heihe, Nizhneleninskoye–Tongjiang, etc.) should be the cores for further urbanization and economic development of the peripheral territories.

   This paper studies the potential of these zones as the urbanization, demographics and regional development “growth poles”. Both sides of the Sino-Russian borderland experiencing under-development problems, which cause the population drain. Central government addresses this issue by creating incentives to look for the new forms of the cross-border economic cooperation to overcome these problems.

   Amongst all of the proposed cross-border economic zones, the most discussing at the moment is the “Pogranichny– Suifenhe” which has already been once a testing ground for similar trans-border zone project (middle of 2000s), but failed due to the number of reasons. Drawing on that experience and current field studies (2016-2018) in the borderland areas, authors conclude that cross-border territories of advanced development could promote urbanization of peripheral territories in case administrative measures be joined by the development of the export-oriented industry and the logistics components.

   Study also highlights the new stage of the cross-border cooperation, including economic zones, after the sharp change of the currency exchange rate. Establishment of such zones is in line with the national-level regional policies, but requires more internal coordination between related departments, especially considering new openness measures such as Vladivostok Free Port.

Keywords: Russia, China, cross-border economic zones, urbanization

 

THE POLICY OF BARACK OBAMA AND DONALD TRUMP IN ASIA-PACIFIC REGION: (expert community’s impact on the Presidential decision-making)

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750004065-3

Natalia A. TSVETKOVA, PhD (Groningen University, Netherlands), Dr.Sc (History), Head, American Studies Department, St. Petersburg State University ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Faina G. STRUGACH, Post-graduate student, American Studies Department, St. Petersburg State University ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

   The debates about a power of the U.S. presidents in foreign policy decision-making are associated with both bureaucratic and presidential models. The bureaucratic model states that the U.S. presidents, while making decisions, are limited by experts, agencies, and political parties.

   The presidential model of foreign policy decision-making stipulates that cognitive skills of the president, his management style and the leadership are primary drivers for selecting experts and advisors, and the bureaucracy has an inconsiderable impact on the president.

   Moreover, the impact of American expert community on foreign policy decision-making is determined by preferences of the President. If the President looks for obtaining a variety of new options for foreign policy, think tanks make an influence on the President. If the President has no intentions to listen recommendations of the expert community, this channel of information is impeded.

   The paper tests both concepts and illustrates how experts and think tanks were able to frame some decisions made by Barak Obama, and how Donald Trump denies the options for making a policy in the Asia-Pacific region that disrupts the decision-making in the White House.

   President Barack Obama aspired the expert information about the Asia-Pacific region channeled by think tanks that contributed to the policy known as Pivot to Pacific. President Donald Trump has no aspiration to work closely with the expert community that contributes to the American unpredictable policy towards the Asia-Pacific region and its main actors as China, Japan, North and South Koreas.

   The authors conclude that the concept of the presidential decision-making is strongly appropriate to frame the actions of Donald Trump in the foreign policy.

Keywords: United States, Asia-Pacific region, foreign policy decision-making, think-tanks, Barack Obama, Donald Trump

 

AFGHANISTAN-OIC: INCREASED INTERACTION

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750004066-4

Kseniia R. ISHBULDINA, Post-graduate student, MGIMO University ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

   The article analyses bilateral relations and mutual cooperation between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Afghanistan was among those countries that initiated the Organization’s work in the second half of the XX century.

   Throughout history these relations saw ups and downs. At present, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation has intensified its efforts in Afghanistan. In 2011 the Organization opened its office in Kabul. The author of the article personally interviewed the Special Envoy of the OIC Secretary General for Afghanistan. According to the Envoy, the OIC is trying to keep up with international efforts to resolve the Afghan crisis. In July 2018 a landmark event took place.

   OIC organized an International Ulema Conference on Peace and Security in Afghanistan aimed at achieving prosperity in this war-torn country and facilitating national reconciliation process. It welcomed the efforts of the Afghan President of calling upon the Taliban Movement to engage in direct and unconditional peace dialogue.

   As the Special Envoy in Kabul noted, the conference showed a willingness of the Islamic world to reach a regional and global consensus on the Afghan problem. In September 2018 the meeting to follow up on the implementation of the OIC resolutions on Afghanistan and the recommendations of the International Ulema Conference was held in Jeddah. In addition the OIC regularly expresses concern due to continuing violence and rising number in civilian casualties n Afghanistan.

   To summarize, it may be noted that the challenging situation in Afghanistan remains high on the Organization of Islamic Cooperation agenda.

Keywords: Afghanistan, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, interaction, international organization

 

TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER: THE EXPERIENCE OF GCC COUNTRIES

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750004067-5

Lyudmila V. SHKVARYA, Dr.Sc. (Economics), Professor, Political economy department, RUDN University (dе This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

   The article examines the processes and problems of technology transfer to the GCC region, which unites Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The countries of this region of great strategic importance are making significant efforts to diversify the national economy through the transfer of advanced technologies within the framework of international cooperation.

   The author shows that there are certain successes of the GCC countries in the process of attracting and subsequent use of high technologies in the petrochemical industry, telecommunications systems, civil aircraft support systems, medical services and nuclear power. At the same time, significant problems remain in the technology transfer system in the GCC countries, as in many other developing countries, the solution of which requires efforts not only by the group of States under consideration, but also by the international community towards some transformation of the existing system of technology transfer and intellectual property protection within trips.

   In the article the author used the historical method, which allowed to trace the history of the socio-economic situation in the GCC and the evolution of the process of technology transfer. In addition, a comparative analysis method was used to analyze the process of technology transfer to the GCC, with the help of which the author drew conclusions about the achievements of countries in this area.

   The main purpose of the article is to study the current problems faced by the government and non-governmental structures of the GCC countries in the implementation of innovation policy, to identify promising areas of its formation and the role of technology transfer in this process.

Keywords: GCC, technology transfer, international cooperation, intellectual property protection

 

TRANSPORT IN AFRICA: CAPABILITIES AND PROSPECTS

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750004068-6

Kirill A. ALESHIN, PhD (Economics), Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Global and Strategic Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Andrey K. BARINOV, Junior Research Fellow, Centre for Global and Strategic Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Ekaterina N. ZANOSKINA, Senior Research Assistant, Centre for Global and Strategic Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

   Africa continues to attract international business with significant mineral resources and potential for the sales increase of finished products, as well as cheap labor force. Along with this, the continent offers a wide range of opportunities for foreign companies interested in the implementation of the promising programs in a number of the economic sectors.

   In order to attract TNCs and foreign capital, African governments are striving to create the most favorable business conditions, particularly by improving the investment climate. As a result of the actions of national administrations, high rates of inflow of foreign direct investments remain.

   At the same time, despite all the measures taken, there are factors that impede the FDIs, one of which is the underdeveloped transport infrastructure. This issue is more relevant to the western, central and eastern parts of the continent, where the state of the sector is poorer in comparison to the north and south of Africa. However, in response to the challenge, all African countries in general are developing programs to modernize existing and create new sector facilities. The main focus is on the implementation of complex projects, which, in particular, include freight and cargo corridors that combine highways and railways, river routes, major seaports and airports.

   Successful development of the transport infrastructure, first of all, will contribute to the inflow of capital to the region, diversification of the regional economy and increase in productivity. In addition, the processes of integration of regional markets into the world economy will be intensified and additional rates of economic growth will be ensured.

Keywords: investments, trade, transport infrastructure, economic diversification, economic growth, Africa

 

REFORM OF EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM IN CHINA: A LONG WAY IN 40 YEARS

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750004069-7

Maria A. GULEVA, PhD (Economics), Associate Professor, Chair of Media Linguistics, Faculty of Journalism, Faculty of Journalism Lomonosov Moscow State University, ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

   Social and economic transformations, which began in China in December 1978, radically changed the life of the whole country. The modernization of the economy and the growth of population welfare were the key results of the reforms, which began 40 years ago under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping. Over the years of the reforms, there are a lot of changes in all spheres of the national economy, including the education system.

   Throughout the period of “reform and openness”, the priority for the PRC authorities was to maintain high economic growth rates, which allowed the country to compete in the context of globalization. And although the development of the social sphere was not originally a priority task for the country's authorities, considerable success, including the educational sector, was achieved over the past 40 years.

   One of the most important achievements is the abolition of tuition fees at the stage of compulsory nine-year education. For a long time, education in primary and secondary schools of the first stage was not available to all representatives of Chinese society. Gradually, the situation began to change. By 2002, the illiteracy rate had dropped to 85 million people, and in 2017, according to official data, this figure was 4.85% of the total population.

   Over these decades, China has achieved impressive results in the education of a billion people, but there are still many difficulties to overcome on this path.

Keywords: China, Economic Reform and Openness, education

 

HIV/AIDS, EBOLA, AND MALARIA IN THE MIRROR OF AFRICAN SOCIAL ADVERTISEMENT

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750004070-9

Anastasia A. BANSHCHIKOVA, PhD (World History), Senior Research Fellow, Center of History and Cultural Anthropology, Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences; Vice-Director, International Center of Anthropology, Faculty of History, National Research University Higher School of Economics ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

   The paper deals with social advertisement on HIV/AIDS, Ebola, and malaria in African cities. Each of these diseases is treated differently by the authors of advertisements in terms of key messages to citizens, ways of representation and emotional component.

   Billboards dedicated to Ebola and malaria are logical, consistent and easily understandable: they give a very clear instructions on the ways of protection from the diseases, although the advertising strategies in these two cases differ greatly (Ebola social advertising uses disturbing colors, splashes of red, multiple exclamation points, clearly indicating emergency situation and drawing people’s attention in a very aggressive way, while malaria social advertising is very calm and positive emotionally, it uses positive images, images of smiling people, smiling children, photos of famous people inspiring their fellow citizens to sleep under nets and care about their families).

   In case of HIV/AIDS various approaches to the problem are shown: examples of ABC strategy, useless abstract billboards without any message except for “Stop AIDS”, billboards widely using manipulation and false logic to motivate people to be tested for HIV.

   The authors of HIV/AIDS’ social advertisement to some extent face the same challenges, as the actual epidemiologists due to the way of transmission of the disease and it social character, issues of personal choice and sexual behavior, and in many cases they fail to succeed. However, successful examples with clear, efficient and consistent messages are also present.

Keywords: Africa, social advertisement, billboard, HIV/AIDS, Ebola, malaria

 

POST-GRADUATE COLUMN

INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION DANS LA M ONDIALISATION : TENDANCES, CONTRADICTIONS ET MODELES THEORIQUES.IN GLOBALIZATION: MODELS AND THEORETICAL CONTRADICTIONS

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750004072-1

FONGANG K. Joaddan P. (Камерун), Post-graduate student (Theory and History of International Relation), Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

   Un peu plus de 5 millions à caractère permanent ont été enregistrées dans les pays de l'OCDE en 2007, selon les dernières estimations. Just over 5 million migrants were permanently registered in the OECD countries in 2017, according to the latest estimates. Pour la première fois depuis 2011, ces entrées sont en baisse (environ -5% par rapport à 2016). For the first time since 2011, these inflows are down (around 5% compared to 2016). Cela est dû This is dueà tola réduction significative du nombre de refugies reconnus en 2017 alors que les autres catégories de migration sont restées stables ou ont augmenté a significant reduction in the number of refugees in 2017 while the other categories of migration remained stable or increased.

   La relation entre migration internationale et mondialisation e n généra l présentée de façon incomplThe relationship between international migration and globalization generally is presented in et simplifiée. incomplete and simplified way. Très s ouvent, on n' aborde pas la mondialisation dans toute sa complexité , on se concentre sur une partie du phénomène ou sur un seul point de vue, tels les rapports entre mondialisationVery often it does not address globalization in all its complexity, but focuses on a part of the phenomenon or a single point of view, such as the    relationship between global economic growth and intensification of international migration. Ces problématiques permettent difficilement d'embrasser dans toute sa plénitude la question, pourtant elles sont un bon point de départ , car elles ne soulèvent pas certains impacts, dimensions et importances de la mondialisation.

   These problems make it difficult to embrace in all its fullness the question, yet they are a good starting point because they concern impacts, dimensions and magnitudes of globalization. L a mondialisation s'accompagne aussi d'une concentration des activités économiques dans les grandes régions des pays développés et de certains pays émergents.Globalization is also accompanied by a concentration of economic activities in major regions of developed countries and some emerging countries. Ainsi , il est nécessaire de parler des craintes suscitées dans les pays d'accueil par les pertes d'emplois et les transformations culturelles attribuées à la mondialisation .Thus, it is necessary to speak of the fears aroused in the host countries by job losses and the cultural transformations attributed to globalization. On ne tient pas trop compte non plus de l'influence de la mondialisation sur le désir des populations des pays moins développés d'aller vivre dans des pays plus avancés économiquement.One of the five components of globalization often omitted from the analyses of migration is of skilled or low-skilled workers.

   The purpose of this article is to redefine this complex problem, including various aspects of globalization and their effects, which are often contradictory.

Keywords: international migration, globlization, immigration, international organizations, clandestine migration, economics 

 

 TRAVELLINGS, MEETINGS, IMPRESSION

MONGOLIA'S KAZAKHS AND TUVANS: ETHNOGRAPHIC SKETCH

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750004073-2

Marina V. MONGUSH, Dr.Sc. (History), Leading Specialist, State Archive of Russian Federation ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

BADARCH Bayarsaikhan, PhD (Philology), Leading Research Fellow, Tuvan Institute of Humanities, Applied Social and Economic Researches ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

   The authors investigate features of the way of life, culture and interethnic relations of the Kazakhs and the Tuvans living in Tsengel sum of Bayan-Ulegei aimag of Mongolia.

   The majority of Kazakhs live in their own state – Kazakhstan; the majority of Tuvans live in Russia, where they have a recognized position and territory – Tuva Republic. Kazakhs and Tuvans in Mongolia are the national minorities and do not have national-territorial status. However the Mongolian Kazakhs and Tuvans still keep their native language, ethnic consciousness and traditional lines of the culture. This article focuses on ethno-language and cultural situation of Kazakh and Tuvan communities, and interaction between them. In this paper, the authors introduced material that was gathered about the Kazakhs and Tuvans in Mongolia. Their studies are based on the results of their field-work in 2015 and 2017 and the research of Russian scholars.

   The academic value of this paper is that it:

- displays features of historical and cultural communications of the Kazakhs and the Tuvans;

- illuminates the problem of the influences of host people on the economic way of life and culture of the Kazakhs and the Tuvans;

- identifies the main tendencies in the functioning of language, ethnic consciousness, ethno-linquistic and ethnocultural development of the Mongolian Kazakhs and Tuvans;

- discloses the nature of their interaction with the center in Mongolia; and reflects on specifics of the adaptation of Kazakhs and Tuvans to conditions of Mongolian statehood.

   Consideration of the above-mentioned topics was carried out in a number of specific directions, most of which had not been studied earlier.

Keywords: Kazakhs, Tuvans, national minority, ethnic groups of Mongolia, interethnic relations, ethnocultural interaction

  

TRADITIONS, CUSTOMS, MORALS

KENTE CLOTH AS AN IMAGE OF AFROCENTRIC STYLE

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750004074-3

Nadezhda E. KHOKHOLKOVA, PhD (History), Research Fellow, Centre for History and Cultural Anthropology, Institute for African Studies; Analyst, Center for Scientific Projects Development, Russian State University for the Humanities ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Yulia D. VOROTILOVA, Post-graduate student, P.G.Demidov Yaroslavl State University ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

   The article is devoted to the history and evolution of Afrocentric style. The authors focus on kente - the traditional Ghanaian ornamental fabric, which became a kind of "allegory", the emblem of the aesthetics of Afrocentrism.

Kente is not just a material used for the production of clothing and accessories, which became popular among African Americans in the second half of the 1980s, but also the aesthetic ideal, the cultural code through which identity is expressed. Kente cloth depicts beauty, strength, and power.

Originating among the Ashanti peoples of Ghana and the Ewe peoples of Ghana and Togo, this brilliantly colored and intricately patterned strip-woven cloth was traditionally associated with royalty and was worn by the kings of Ashanti. It epitomizes the conсept of unity: each color of the fabric by itself is not as beautiful and is not as strong as all the colors sewn together.

Kente has now achieved tremendous international recognition and evolved into one of the most tangible manifestations of an ever-growing sense of Pan African unity. Kente as the symbol of Afrocentric style can be seen worn by actors, singers, media persons, and African American students during graduation ceremonies, cultural events, or parties. Famous artists and designers from different countries use kente in their works, proving that African art is part of the world cultural heritage.

Afrocentric сlothing and accessories, in particular, made of kente, had become one of the means of representing identity.

Keywords: Afrocentric style, fashion, identity, clothing, kente, Ghana, USA, African Americans

  

CULTURE, LITERATURE, ART

KOREAN LITERATURE IN RUSSIA/USSR/RUSSIAN FEDERATION (works in Russian of the writers of the North and South Korea) (part 1)

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750004075-4

San Yun LI, PhD (Philology), Associated Professor, Department of Asian and African Studies, National Research University Higher School of Economics (Saint-Petersburg)( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

   This article explores the causes of growing interest in Korea and Korean literature in Russia and analyses the perception of Korean literature in USSR-Russia at different stages of the relationships with the two Korean countries, and studies the history of cultural relationships between Korea and Russia since the Russia-Korea Treaty of 1884.

   Emphasis is placed on the developmental stages of contemporary literature and on the analysis of the growing popularity of Korean literature in Russia/USSR/Russian Federation: traditional and contemporary literature of North and South Korea, which split into two streams alongside the division of Korea into two ideological camps.

   Unlike traditional literature, contemporary literature of North Korea – aligned with the country’s ideology – did not appeal to readers. On the other hand, in the late 1980s – even before the USSR and South Korea established diplomatic relationships in 1990 – Russian readers learned about contemporary South Korean literature, and Korean culture started attracting attention in Russia.

   Translations of the best pieces of famous Korean writers have been published in Russia – thanks to the efforts of the government of South Korea aimed at disseminating Korean culture across the globe. The focal point of this article is South Korean contemporary literature, which has gained international acclaim over the past decade. The main achievement of South Korean literature is the novel “The Vegetarian” by Han Kang (born in 1970) that won the International Booker Award in 2016.

   After Han Kang’s international success, South Korean literature started piquing interest in Russia as well. Additionally, recent political environment on the Korean peninsula has also stimulated growing interest in the literature of North Korea.

Keywords: Korea, North Korean literature, South Korean literature, interest in Korean culture

 

BOOK REVIEW

ETHIOPIA: THE EXPERIENCE OF ETHNIC FEDERALISM

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750004076-5

   Review of the book: Rose N. Ismagilova. Ethiopia: Features of Federalism / eds. D.M.Bondarenko, A.A.Tkachenko. Moscow, Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, 2018. 544 p. (In Russ.)

Natalia V. VINOGRADOVA, PhD (Economics), Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Keywords: Ethiopia, ethnic federalism, inter-ethnic relations, conflicts, ethnic hierarchy