New freight routes through Kazakhstan have fundamentally altered the logistics of Eurasian commerce. If Russia wants to retain its stake in transcontinental shipping and transport, it must develop its logistics infrastructure in the Far East to accommodate goods moving westward from East Asia.
Two years after the Kremlin’s rift with the West, Moscow’s hopes that a new business relationship with Asia would make up for Russia’s losses have not materialized. President Putin and other members of the elite did not commit themselves strongly to the idea of a “pivot to Asia.” Only certain parts of the private sector have benefited.
China’s ambitious plans for a new Silk Road of railways, highways, and pipelines are driven by both domestic economic needs and geopolitical ambitions. Russia and the states of Central Asia have yet to make a substantial input into the project.
The recent decline in the Chinese stock exchange reveals economic weaknesses that Russia had been trying to ignore. Russia’s relationship to China has too many emotional mood swings and needs to be more pragmatic.
The heads of the BRICS states who gathered in Ufa for another summit have rather different ideas about why their countries are participating in this organization. The Carnegie Moscow Center asked a number of experts to comment on the motivation of BRICS’ key players: Brazil, India, Russia, and China
Vladimir Putin will likely see the BRICS summit as proof that the West’s attempts to isolate Russia have failed. However, Russia’s growing fascination with the BRICS and the SCO coincides with diminishing Chinese interest in both projects.
Recently-announced plans to lease 115,000 hectares of Russian land to China have fomented fears of Chinese colonization. The experience of other countries, however, indicates that the real risk would come from Russian officials themselves
Chinese nationalists welcomed the historic renaming of “Aigun,” a region where a 1858 treaty redistributed land on the left bank of the Amur River to Russia. The name change will likely help the Chinese nurture memories of a “bitter history” with its neighbor to the north
According to Russian military experts, the new S-400 missile system can reach distances of up to 400 km. This range signifies a fundamental change in the rules of the game in Taiwan and the Senkaku Islands, two potential hot spots where China is involved.