Russian experts clash over 'China threat'

By Fu Lai and Liu Yupeng
0 CommentsPrint E-mail, August 17, 2010
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In a throwback to the days of Sino-Soviet tensions, Alexander Sharavin, deputy director of the Russia-based Institute for Political and Military Analysis recently published an article claiming that China's increasing military power is a threat to Russia's Far East.

Sharavin claimed China was increasing its military presence along its border with Russia in a move that could trigger conflict between the two countries. He urged the Russian government to maintain vigilance towards military deployments and exercises in the border area.

But two Russian experts Sergei Kazennov, geopolitics expert with the Russian Academy of Sciences, and Vladimir Kumachev, Russian government's Institute of National Security and Strategic Research, have dismissed Sharavin's fears as unfounded in a reply published on August 14.

Kazennov points out that Russia and China have settled all outstanding border issues. And that China is extremely unlikely to gamble its economic development on the uncertain outcome of a military conflict.

Kazennov also claims that China's military development is directed towards safeguarding its own security and economic interests.

Favorable China-Russia ties, Kumachev says, help balance the power of the United States. China and Russia both face the strategic pressure from the U.S., and should support each other.

Kumachev also points out that the Russian Far East lags behind in economic development and can benefit from Chinese investment and trade. In the complicated world of geopolitics, he says, China and Russia need to maintain good relations.

(The article was first published in Chinese and translated by Zhang Ming'ai)


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