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Contributor PerspectivesSep 12, 2019 | 09:00 GMT
This June 29, 2015, file image shows the start of construction of the China-Russia east-route natural gas pipeline near Heihe, China.
In Russia's Pivot to Asia, Economic Attraction Lags Hard Power
Russia held the fifth Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Vladivostok, its main Far Eastern city on its Pacific coast, on Sept. 4-6. The forum has been held annually since 2015 to showcase Moscow's commitment to the development of its vast Far Eastern areas and closer economic links with Asia. Russia's "turn to the East" began more than a decade ago. In December 2006, Putin convened a meeting of the Kremlin's Security Council, where it was decided to prioritize the development of the Russian Far East, a huge landmass stretching from the Trans-Baikal region to the Pacific Ocean. At this meeting, Putin invoked Russia's perennial fear of losing its Asian periphery, stressing that the underdevelopment of the country's sparsely populated but resource-rich Far East posed "a grave threat to our political and economic positions in Asia and the Pacific, and to the national security of Russia as a whole." The 2008 global financial crisis helped convince the Kremlin that the center of economic
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AssessmentsMay 17, 2017 | 09:00 GMT
For China, All Roads (and Belts) Lead to Europe
China's Belt and Road Initiative encompasses six economic corridors. But in geographic and ideological terms, Europe represents the end of the new Silk Road. Increased connectivity with Europe could offer China a chance to expand market and its access to high-tech and strategic assets, thereby facilitating domestic industrial reform. Despite Beijing's stated goal to foster greater integration throughout Eurasia with its Belt and Road scheme, however, its approach on the Continent has so far emphasized bilateral or subregional agreements with states in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as the Mediterranean. The strategy has raised concerns among the European Union's central powers that Beijing's influence in the countries could threaten their own, particularly as the bloc's political and economic rifts widen.
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Contributor PerspectivesJun 8, 2016 | 08:00 GMT
The United Kingdom will hold a referendum on its EU membership on June 23, but a Brexit would simply mark the completion of the former empire's decline into the strategic netherworld behind great powers.
A Brexit Cancels out the Real Benefit of Devolution
The most powerful political force of our age is devolution. Since World War II, the number of independent states has roughly quadrupled from 50 to nearly 200. European empires, the Soviet Union and the former Yugoslavia split into dozens of independent states. From East Timor to South Sudan -- not to mention Kurdistan and the Palestinian territories -- the jackhammer of devolution continues its assault on sovereign unity. Not only is devolution a more universal aspiration than democracy, but as Scotland and Catalonia aptly demonstrate, democracy serves only to fuel devolution: When given the choice, cities and provinces gravitate toward more autonomy and local self-rule. And yet, as Britain contemplates its own exit from the European Union, it risks negating the only equal and opposite dialectical force that counters devolution: aggregation. Every statelet born today seeks not to be an island adrift but to be part of larger communities that offer
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AssessmentsJun 9, 2011 | 20:00 GMT
Opportunities for Russia and China in Greek Privatization
Athens' privatization drive is a chance for Russia and China to take over important Greek transportation and energy infrastructure, but it may also threaten Prime Minister George Papandreou's leadership of his party. (With STRATFOR graphics)
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AssessmentsJul 14, 2010 | 15:39 GMT
China: The Internal Debate Over Economic Policy
Reported difficulties in implementing policies meant to tame China's rapidly growing real estate sector indicate that internal debates over economic policy are intensifying within the country.
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