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  • Author: Theodore P. Gerber
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The role of nationalism within the Russian public is an under - examined but potentially important aspect of the crisis surrounding Russia's annexation of Crimea and its continuing involvement in eastern and southern regions of Ukraine. As commentators have sought to comprehend President Vladimir Putin's motives, many have asserted or assumed that such actions enjoy tremendous Russian public support. Indeed, public opinion polls from Russia indicate that Putin's popularity soared in the wake of the Crimean annexation and that large majorities have supported the government's policies in Ukraine, sympathizing with the Kremlin's negative portrayals of U.S. motives and actions. However, it is not clear whether this wave of public support is a fleeting "rally around the flag" phenomenon or the result of an organic, deeper tendency toward nationalism and xenophobia in the Russian public.
  • Topic: Nationalism
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Ukraine
  • Author: James J. Przystup
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Repeated efforts by the Abe government to engage China in high-level dialogue failed to produce a summit meeting. While Tokyo remained firm in its position on the Senkakus, namely that there is no territorial issue that needs to be resolved, Beijing remained equally firm in its position that Japan acknowledge the existence of a dispute as a precondition for talks. In the meantime, Chinese and Japanese patrol ships were in almost daily contact in the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands region, while issues related to history, Japan's evolving security policy, Okinawa, and the East China Sea continued to roil the relationship. By mid-summer over 90 percent of Japanese and Chinese respondents to a joint public opinion poll held negative views of each other.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Japan, China
  • Author: Yu Bin
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Sino-Russian strategic partnership was in overdrive during the summer months despite the unbearable, record-setting heat in China and Russia. While the Snowden asylum issue dragged on, “Operation Tomahawk” against Syria appeared to be in countdown mode by late August. In between, the Russian and Chinese militaries conducted two large exercises, which were described as “not targeted against any third party,” a term often used by the US and its allies to describe their exercises. Welcome to the age of speaking softly with or without a big stick.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Moscow
  • Author: Harsh V. Pant
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The term BRICS_/referring to the association of emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa_/dominated the headlines in March 2013 as Durban hosted the annual group summit. South African President Jacob Zuma suggested that the nascent organization's leadership has ''firmly established BRICS as a credible and constructive grouping in our quest to forge a new paradigm of global relations and cooperation.'' The meeting resulted in a much-/hyped proposal to create a joint BRICS development bank that would finance investments in developing nations.
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, India, South Africa, Brazil
  • Author: Andrew C. Kuchins, Igor A. Zevelev
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The imminent return of Vladimir Putin to the presidency of the Russian Federation in 2012 raises many questions about the future of Russian foreign and security policy as well as U.S.—Russia relations. To what extent will Putin seek to continue and implement the goals of current President Dmitri Medvedev's modernization program? Will Putin reform the political system in the direction of decentralization of power and pluralism? Will the ''reset'' in U.S.—Russia relations endure? Even with these issues up in the air, the return of Putin as president will not significantly alter the course of Moscow's foreign policy. Some argue that Putin never relinquished authority over foreign policy in the first place, and that may well be true. But even if it is, there are deeper structural reasons involving debates among Russian elites about foreign policy and Russia's place in the world that are more important in explaining why Putin's return will not usher in a significant policy shift
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States
  • Author: James M. Acton
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: There are about 22,000 nuclear warheads in the world today.Reducing that number_eventually to zero_is a major element of U.S. President Barack Obama's foreign policy. To date, his administration's progress toward this goal has been modest, even with agreement on a new round of U.S.—Russian cuts with the New START treaty. Nonetheless, opponents of his agenda, particularly in Congress, worry that any further arms control will pitch the United States down a slippery slope toward zero. Simultaneously, supporters increasingly complain that Obama has not been bold enough. Their frustration, which is felt in capitals across the world, risks compromising the willingness of key states to support important U.S. foreign policy objectives, especially those related to nonproliferation.
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States
  • Author: Ralph A. Cossa, Brad Glosserman
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: There was a brief period during the past four months –16 days to be precise – when it looked like a breakthrough was possible in the longstanding nuclear stalemate with North Korea; then Pyongyang reverted to form. Shortly after pledging to freeze all nuclear and missile tests, Pyongyang announced a satellite launch, pulling the rug out from under Washington (and itself) and business as usual (or unusual) returned to the Peninsula. The announcement also cast a shadow over the second Nuclear Security Summit hosted by Seoul while providing additional rationale for Washington's “pivot” toward Asia.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Japan, China, Washington, Taiwan, Beijing, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Korea, Pyongyang
  • Author: Yu Bin
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: By any standard, the first four months were a rough start to the year for both Russia and China. While succession politics gripped first Russia and then China, Moscow and Beijing coordinated closely over the crises beyond their borders (Syria, Iran, and North Korea). Toward the end of April, the Russian and Chinese navies held the largest joint bilateral exercise in seven years, codenamed Maritime Cooperation-2012 (海上联合-2012; Morskoye Vzaimodeystviye-2012), in the Yellow Sea. Meanwhile, China's future premier Li Keqiang traveled to Moscow to meet Russia's future-and-past President Putin in Moscow.
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Moscow, Syria
  • Author: Yu Bin
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In early June, Russia's new, and old, President Putin spent three days in Beijing for his first state visit after returning to the Kremlin for his third - term as president; his hosts (Hu and Wen) were in their last few months in office. Some foreign policy issues such as Syria and Iran required immediate attention and coordination between the two large powers. They also tried to make sure that their respective leadership changes in 2012 and beyond would not affect the long - term stability of the bilateral relationship. Putin's stay in Beijing also coincided with the annual SCO Summit on June 6 - 7. As the rotating chair, China worked to elevate the level of cooperation in the regional security group, which is faced with both opportunities and challenges in Central Asia, where strategic fluidity and uncertainty are increasingly affecting the organization's future.
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Central Asia, Beijing
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Oct. 4-6, 2010: The eighth Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) is held in Brussels, Belgium. Australia, Russia, and New Zealand join as new members. Oct. 4-9, 2010: UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference is held in Tianjian. Oct. 6, 2010: ROK President Lee Myung-bak meets European Union (EU) President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. They agree to form a strategic partnership and sign the Korea-EU free trade agreement (FTA). Oct. 6, 2010: Vietnam demands the release of 11 fishermen who were arrested by Chinese authorities near the Paracel Islands on Sept. 11. Oct. 6, 2010: US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell visits Tokyo to discuss strategies to deal with North Korea.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Australia
  • Author: Yu Bin
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Tensions on the Korean Peninsula preoccupied both Russia and China as the two Koreas edged toward war at the end of 2010. Unlike 60 years ago when both Beijing and Moscow backed Pyongyang in the bloody three-year war, their efforts focused on keeping the delicate peace. The worsening security situation in Northeast Asia, however, was not China”s only concern as Russia was dancing closer with NATO while its “reset” with the US appeared to have yielded some substance. Against this backdrop, Chinese Premier Wen Jiaobao traveled to Moscow in late November for the 15th Prime Ministers Meeting with his counterpart Vladimir Putin. This was followed by the ninth SCO Prime Ministers Meeting in Dushanbe Tajikistan. By yearend, Russia”s oil finally started flowing to China through the 900-km Daqing-Skovorodino branch pipeline, 15 years after President Yeltsin first raised the idea.
  • Topic: International Relations, NATO
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Asia, Tajikistan, Korea
  • Author: Brad Glosserman, Carl Baker
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Oct. 1, 2010: President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin send congratulatory messages to President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao in recognition of the 61st anniversary of the People"s Republic of China. Oct. 5-6, 2010: Chinese State Councilor and Public Security Minister Meng Jianzhu attend the International Conference for Senior Representatives of National Security Affairs in Sochi, Russia at the invitation of Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev. More than 40 countries join the forum.
  • Topic: National Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, China
  • Author: Thomas Sherlock
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Attempting to reverse the decline of the Russian state, economy, and society, President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin have paid increasing attention over the past two years to the modernization of Russia's socioeconomic system. Aware of the importance of cultural and ideological supports for reform, both leaders are developing a ''useable'' past that promotes anti-Stalinism, challenging the anti-liberal historical narratives of Putin's presidency from 2000—2008. This important political development was abrupt and unexpected in Russia and the West. In mid—2009, a respected journal noted in its introduction to a special issue on Russian history and politics: ''turning a blind eye to the crimes of the communist regime, Russia's political leadership is restoring, if only in part, the legacy of Soviet totalitarianism.. . .'' In December 2009, Time magazine ran a story entitled ''Rehabilitating Joseph Stalin.''
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Yu Bin
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: China-Russia economic relations were “reset” on New Year's Day 2011 when the 1,000-km Skovorodino-Daqing branch pipeline was officially opened. The pipeline, which took some 15 years from conception to completion, will transport 15 million tons of crude annually for the next 20 years. The low-key ceremony marking the launch of the pipeline at the Chinese border city of Mohe was followed by several rounds of bilateral consultations on diplomatic and strategic issues in January. In March and April, Moscow and Beijing sought to invigorate their “joint ventures” – the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the Brazil, Russia, India, China (BRIC) forum – at a time when both Moscow and Beijing feel the need for more coordination to address several regional and global challenges and crises.
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, India, Beijing, Moscow
  • Author: Hans Kundnani
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Berlin's March 2011 abstention on the UN Security Council vote on military intervention in Libya has raised questions about Germany's role in the international system. By abstaining on Security Council Resolution 1973, Germany broke with its Western allies and aligned itself with the four BRIC countries: Brazil, Russia, India, and China. Whether or not the decision signals a weakening of what Germans call the Westbindung, it illustrates the strength of Germany's ongoing reluctance to use military force as a foreign-policy tool even in a multilateral context and to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe. Over the past few years, as the number of German and civilian casualties has increased in Afghanistan, the German public has become more skeptical about the mission of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in particular and about the deployment of German troops abroad in general. Like Germany, other EU member states such as France and the United Kingdom are cutting their defense budgets, but Germany shares few of their aspirations to project power beyond Europe.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, China, India, Libya, Brazil, Germany, Berlin
  • Author: William Varettoni
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: It was, perhaps unfortunately, a picture broadcast round the world. Ditching decorum, Ukraine's protesting parliamentarians hurled eggs, set off smoke-belching flares, poured glue in voting machines, and duked it out (literally) within their legislative chamber on April 27, 2010. At issue was the parliament's ratification of a lease extension for Russia's Black Sea Fleet in the Ukrainian port of Sevastopol, Crimea. The lease was due to expire in 2017, but will now (most likely, although nothing is ever set in stone in Ukrainian politics) continue through 2042. In exchange, Ukraine will receive a roughly 30 percent discount on natural gas imports from Russia, worth up to $40 billion over 10 years. If it works as advertised, Kyiv sold some of its sovereignty for a stronger economy. Given the current economic environment, few dispassionate observers would begrudge Ukraine this singular tradeoff.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine
  • Author: Aidan Foster-Carter
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Just for once, Comparative Connections' deadline chimed neatly with events on the Korean Peninsula. Late on the evening of Aug. 30, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, as part of a mini-reshuffle affecting four Cabinet positions, finally replaced his long-term hard-line unification minister, former academic Hyun In-taek. With Lee's characteristic cronyism, the man nominated to replace Hyun was another of his close advisers – geography professor Yu Woo-ik, once Lee's chief of staff in the Blue House and latterly ROK ambassador to China.
  • Political Geography: Russia, South Korea, Korea
  • Author: Yu Bin
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The summer of 2011 marked two anniversaries for China and Russia. In June, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) celebrated its 10th anniversary at the annual SCO Summit in Astana, Kazakhstan. Over the past 10 years, the regional security group has grown fed by its “twin engines” of Russia and China. Immediately following the SCO Summit, President Hu Jintao traveled to Moscow, marking the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Friendship Treaty between Russia and China. There was much to celebrate as Moscow, Beijing, and the SCO have achieved stability, security, and sustained economic development in a world riddled with revolutions, chaos, crises, and another major economic downturn. The two anniversaries were also a time to pause and think about “next steps.” While the SCO is having “growing pains,” China and Russia have elevated their “strategic partnership relations” to a “comprehensive strategic cooperation and partnership.”
  • Topic: Security, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Moscow
  • Author: Liviu Horovitz
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Arms control supporters are impatient with the Obama administration as it completes its third year in office. Neither the strength nor the pace of nuclear policy reform has been to their liking. In retrospect, the credit they gave the administration for the New START treaty with Russia appears somewhat tarnished. Once the U.S. Senate ratified the treaty in December 2010, the obvious next step on the agenda was to push for ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). But in spite of the promises made by the White House, the prospects for a swift CTBT approval process are grim. The administration traded away all its chips in exchange for New START support, and the political landscape for the rest of President Obama's term appears anything but promising. The road to success requires a new approach.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, India
  • Author: Yu Bin
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The last four months of 2011 were both ordinary and extraordinary for Beijing and Moscow. There was certainly business as usual as top leaders and bureaucrats frequented each other's countries for scheduled meetings. The world around them, however, was riddled with crises and conflicts. Some (Libya and Syria) had seriously undermined their respective interests; others (Iran and North Korea) were potentially more volatile, and even dangerous, for the region and the world. Regardless, 2011 was a year full of anniversaries with symbolic and substantive implications for not only China and Russia, but also much of the rest of the world.
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Iran, Beijing, North Korea, Libya, Moscow, Syria