October 13, 2016

"With its 4,000 km border to the Russian Far East and Siberia, growing economic potential and military capabilities, rising China has been on the minds of the Russian elite for a long time – at least since the 18th century when the Romanov and Qing empires established borders."

carnegie: Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the new Russia has observed its once poor and backward neighbor’s accession to the global stage with mixed feelings. by Alexander Gabuev

'Some people have welcomed China’s rise. Beijing, they argued, has wisely preserved the party’s monopoly on power, while advancing market reforms, and, thus, has avoided the mistakes under Mikhail Gorbachev’s leadership during perestroika. A stronger PRC will be a good balance to U.S. global dominance, thus giving Russia more breathing space internationally.

'The mainstream, however, had a different view. Members of the new elites were enjoying the newly discovered partnership with the West and had tasted the first fruits of democracy and market capitalism. With the Communist Party’s grip on power, its towering state sector, and growing military capabilities, China was seen through Western optics with mistrust and suspicion. Fueling these fears was booming cross-border trade. It brought a measure of development to the Russian Far East, abandoned by the federal government, but at the same time was seen by many in Moscow and locally as a prelude to an influx of Chinese migrants and “yellow colonization.”'

"Deciphering China’s Security Intentions in Northeast Asia: A View from Russia" by Alexander Gabuev (pdf) here

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