From Sister Cities to “Macroregions Paradiplomacy”: A Search of Russo-Chinese Cooperation New Forms (on 10 Years of Volga–Yangtze Regional Program)
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From Sister Cities to “Macroregions Paradiplomacy”: A Search of Russo-Chinese Cooperation New Forms (on 10 Years of Volga–Yangtze Regional Program)
Publication type
Antonina V. Evtushenko 
Occupation: lecturer, Department of Chinese, Vietnamese, Laotian and Thai Languages,
Affiliation: MGIMO University
Address: Russian Federation,
Ivan Zuenko
Occupation: Associate Professor, Department of Oriental Studies
Affiliation: MGIMO University
Address: Russian Federation
Alexey Fominykh
Occupation: Associate Professor
Affiliation: Mari State University
Address: 44 Kremlevskaya

The article analyses Volga-Yangtze Regional Cooperation Program as an example of the new forms of Russo-Chinese cooperation as the Program is aimed at developing economic and cultural relations between the regions that are located not only far from the state borders but in the central parts of Russia and China respectively.

This Program was launched in 2013. The results after 10 years of implementation are far from being considered a breakthrough in the regional cooperation that can be explained by low level of connection between the regions of both the Volga and the Yangtze rivers as well as adverse impact of COVID-19 pandemic (2020–2022) which caused many projects to be put on hold. Although one of the main and most obvious aim of the Program was the development of the trade and investment cooperation between not peripheral but central regions of the two countries, the humanitarian relations within this paradiplomacy still seem to be the most perspective fields of the bilateral cooperation. In fact, along with traditional framework of sister cities relations, we are witnessing the emerging of the new form of relations, i.e. “sister regions”.

In the future, considering the importance of public and paradiplomacy for further development of Russo-Chinese cooperation, similar programs are expected to be launched in order to bust cooperation between other regions of the two countries.

Russia, China, paradiplomacy, public diplomacy, sister cities, Volga-Yantze Cooperation Program
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