CHINESE “ROOTS” AND RUSSIAN “BRANCHES” IN CENTRAL ASIA
(On the Correlation of Chinese and Russian Policy in the Region)
Sergey Luzianin, D.Sc. (Hist.), professor, Institute (University) of International Relations at the Foreign Ministry of Russia, President of the Oriental Studies Foundation (Moscow, Russia)
China and Russia both look at Central Asia as a potentially promising, yet risky region, the potential/risk correlation being very different for them. For obvious reasons, the region, in which Russia is implementing several promising and important projects (the CSTO, EurAsEC), is highly important for it. China, which does not take part in these projects, is rapidly building up its economic and political presence in an effort to make up for the slow start. Russia and China are SCO members, an organization set up to neutralize the threat of terrorism, religious extremism, separatism, etc. and to promote economic and humanitarian cooperation among its members (China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan). The next SCO summit will be held on 16 August, 2007 in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan. This article offers a Russian approach to the Chinese Central Asian strategy. Indeed, which of its components objectively correspond to Russia’s interests in integration and energy and which do not? What are China’s priorities at the bilateral level and what is behind them? Which of the outside challenges (from Afghanistan, for example) may change the situation in the region and affect the policies of both countries? These and other questions are quite pertinent, therefore the answers to them call for continuous attention and………………….