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The School of International Regional Studies is a research and educational centre seeking to revive international regional studies as an academic discipline in Russia. The department’s world-class professors train the next generation of regional studies specialists while developing an increasingly prestigious research school.
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Moderator Dr. Sergey Luzyanin (Professor, School of Regional Studies, Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, HSE University) outlined the general problems of the section: the place and role of China in global and regional systems of international relations, key internal results of the development of the PRC (the Twentieth Congress of the CPC, the fight against COVID 19, etc.), foreign policy initiatives (One Belt and One Road) and projects, Russian-Chinese relations at the present stage.
Dr. Alexander Lukin (Doctor of Sciences, Professor, Department Head of School of International Affairs, Faculty of World Economy, and International Affairs, HSE University) in his speech "The outcome of the 20th CCP Congress and the problems of Sino-US "decoupling"", focused on the fundamental differences between the motives of the USA and China: on problems of Sino-American geopolitical and ideological contradictions. The speaker noted that China's goal is to create a leading world socialist power without open confrontation with the United States at the military level.
Dr. Andrey Karneev (Candidate of Sciences (PhD), Professor, Head of School of Asian Studies, Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, HSE University) in his speech "China's role in the "West-East" system" identified the main factors and ways of the rise of China and the rise of Asia as a whole. The speaker, referring to the works of the famous Chinese scientist Justin Yifu Lin, noted that China does not build its development for the sake of the United States, that stability can come only when the per capita GDP of China reaches half of the American one, when the United States will not have a technological gap. One of the most important tasks of the "great renaissance of the Chinese nation", Dr. Karneev noted, is for China to adapt foreign technology and compete economically with the US within 10-15 years.
Dr. Evgeny Pashentsev (Doctor of Sciences, Professor, Leading Researcher at the Centre for Digital Research, Institute of Current International Challenges, Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs) drew attention to the problem of the technological dimensions of China's development, noting that in terms of further development of high-tech markets, China will inevitably move away from the USA, and India will become more involved in the competition for technology. The speaker concluded that China's main bet is on Soviet-independent technological development.
Dr. Mikhail Karpov (Candidate of Sciences (PhD), Associate Professor, School of Asian Studies, Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, HSE University) in his presentation 'Economic Parameters of Modern China's Development', analysing the specifics of the established Chinese economic model, noted that China has developed a version of state socialism, with no real transition to the market yet, but has integrated elements of a market economy into the system of bureaucratic governance. Xi Jinping's policy, in his view, is not yet a very effective attempt to reformat Deng Xiaoping's model and eliminate the imbalances in social and economic development that have accumulated over the last 25 years. China's key current challenges, M. Karpov noted, are related to moving away from covid constraints and finding new impulses for growth.
Dr. Ivan Zuenko (Candidate of Sciences (PhD), Associate Professor, Department of Oriental Studies, Senior research fellow, Center for Euroasian Studies, Institute for International Studies, MGIMO University) in his report "Russia's Pivot to China and the Challenges of Russian-Chinese Cross-Border Relations" he outlined the parameters of Russia's "pivot" to the East, which are not limited to China, but also include countries of the Korean Peninsula, Japan, Southeast Asia, India, etc. Zuenko highlighted a number of key trends in the Russian Chinese regional agenda: the trend towards centralization of cooperation; conceptualization of cooperation agenda under the auspices of Chinese concepts (Belt and Road); strengthening of cross-border transport projects (Amur bridges); intensification of cross-border processes due to changes in the rouble exchange rate, etc. At the same time, the speaker identified the following problems: many empty projects to maintain a positive agenda; the peripheral nature of interaction; the increasing closedness of China; and the poor technical condition of border crossing points on the Russian side.
Pavel Kuznetsov (CFO, International Fund for Investment Cooperation, Advisor to the Director of the Institute of China and Contemporary Asia RAS) in his speech "Do we need a new "turn" and what should we do with the previous one?", he highlighted a number of practical issues related to strengthening Russian-Chinese cooperation, including optimising the activities of the Priority Development Areas (PDAs) in the Far East, creating jobs for Chinese and other projects (17 thousand instead of the 100 thousand announced), the low innovation yield of projects and low technological level, etc. The speaker emphasized that Russian business needs to compete for China, as there is a highly competitive market there, and to develop the attractiveness of the Russian economy for Chinese business.
Dr. Kapur Nivedita (Indian researcher of the International Laboratory for Research on World Order and World Politic HSE) in her report "The Indian Perspective on Russian-Chinese Relations: Problems and Opportunities" identified the following key ideas and provisions: а) there is a significant shift in how India sees China and vice-versa, and it affects how India interacts with other countries; b) stability has been under stress because the world has changed and because of how India and Russia see threats to their positions. India believes that China is the primary strategic rival, Russia should not underestimate this shift. C) All of the issues together lead to a change: China strives to dominate in Asia and will not tolerate India there. India turns to the USA as a balancer. To balance China, it also looks to other relations, Russia as well. For India, Asia-Pacific is crucial, and it cannot give up this region.
Following the presentations, moderator Dr. Sergey Luzyanin conducted a discussion session, which revealed opposing approaches to the assessment and nature of the Chinese economic model. Some researchers (Dr. Evgeny Pashentsev, Dr. Andrey Karneev) believe that the convergence and integration of "liberal" and "socialist" patterns is taking place and that we have a new quality of the Chinese economy, others (Dr. Mikhail Karpov) believe that there is no real synthesis and that partial liberalization in the current Chinese structure is impossible. On other key issues – the nature and prospects of Sino-US relations, the results of the 20th CPC Congress, and the opportunities and challenges of Russia-China partnership, including regional aspects – similar assessments and approaches were expressed. Dr. Sergey Luzyanin summed up the section by thanking all the participants.