More than just a “Bridge”? Russia’s Asian Pivot through Vladivostok

Authors: Jeremy Tasch*, Towson University
Topics: Eurasia, Cultural and Political Ecology, Pacific Rim
Keywords: Eurasia, Justice, Development, Political Ecology
Session Type: Interactive Short Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM
Room: Studio 10, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Political and economic interests among Russia, China, and the wider Asia-Pacific region continues to intensify, partly as a result of targeted US and European geopolitical and economic initiatives that Moscow and Beijing perceive as contrary to their mutual interests. Moscow has consequently tried, albeit unevenly and haltingly, to pursue expansion of commercial exports to Pacific Asia while easing visa processing to attract trade and tourism from 18 Asian and Middle Eastern nations. It is negotiations regarding large-scale infrastructure development projects, military equipment exports, transport connections, and the potential integration of Russian, Japanese, South Korean, and Chinese energy systems and the creation of a common "digital economic space" that suggests prospective long-term expansion and intensification of economic and political relations among Russia, China, and the wider Asia Pacific.

Russia and China, in particular, will continue to pursue stronger neighborly relations and confidence building initiatives. China’s policies toward Russia, however, reflect a broader perspective. Expressed by President Xi Jinping’s address to the 19th Communist Party Congress, China has apparently reached a “Historic juncture” where it has attained superpower status and has become a model of economic and political development for other countries.

Although Russia’s trade with Asia has hardly reached 1% of the region’s total and Asia’s economic promise remains largely just a “promise” to Pacific Russia’s residents, what are the lived experiences of and prejudices against Russia’s Asian pivot among the residents of Russia’s “bridge” to Asia?

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