15:50 GMT +330 March 2017
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    The Russian and Chinese national flags are seen on the table as Russia's President Vladimir Putin (back L) and his China's President Xi Jinping (back R) stand during a signing ceremony at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on November 9, 2014.

    No Grandmaster Standoff: Russia and China 'Pursue Same Goals' in Central Asia

    © AFP 2017/ HOW HWEE YOUNG
    Politics
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    Russia and China are not competing for influence in Central Asia since their priorities in the region coincide, including maintaining political stability, promoting economic development and upholding secular statehood, political analyst Alexander Lukin asserted.

    Lukin, head of the Department of International Relations at the Moscow-based Higher School of Economics, mentioned that some in Russia have claimed that Moscow and Beijing are already engaged in a power struggle in Central Asia or risk getting locked in a standoff in a region which both countries view as significant for their political, economic and security initiatives.

    "There is a group of people who claim that the power struggle between Russia and China is ongoing or about to start; they say that there will be chessboards and so on. We need to point out that this is not what is truly happening. I think that there are no particular tensions between the two nations in the region since their fundamental goals are the same. These include maintaining political stability, promoting economic development and upholding secular statehood," the analyst said during a round-table conference titled "From Turkestan to Central Asia: Regional political future" held at Moscow State University.

    These concerns do not appear to be entirely groundless since China has increased its standing in Central Asia, replacing Russia as a key partner for some of regional powers. In addition, Russia and Beijing appear to be perceived as equal partners for Kazakhstan.

    Lukin appears not to consider the trend to be a matter for concern at the moment.

    "The Chinese factor is hard to overestimate when it comes to Central Asia. It will become increasingly significant," the expert said. "Surely, there is certain competition among companies, but our fundamental cooperation is quite close."

    Nevertheless, China's increasing clout in Central Asia presents a certain challenge for Russia.

    "China's influence is growing. This does not mean that this process is adverse to Russia's national interests. On the other hand, this also does not mean that we need to lose our traditional standing in the region," he said, referring to Russia's influence as an achievement and a legacy.

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    Tags:
    political stability, foreign policy, economic development, cooperation, Alexander Lukin, Central Asia, China, Russia
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    • avatar
      michael
      and who are these idiots? American trained fifth columnists?
    • Gameas
      The devil who governs the western world will collapse if he does not reach his clearing-up goal at China / Russia. Long live international solidarity.
    • avatar
      topolcats
      I second this opinion by Michael, "and who are these idiots? American trained fifth columnists"?
    • avatar
      cast235
      No matter how China grow in influence it will always notice that countries WILL look for Russia for diplomacy.
      BUT this is a GREAT thing for China.
      Because it have Russia as a strategic partner.
      And Russia will seriously benefit for a powerful RICH Russia.

      Why?
      Doors that China cannot open , Russia can.

      This will be GREAT. And Russia population may double. Specially IF Russia stop gifting children away that will create HATE for Russia. And Russian people.
      And keep agriculture and expand to cocoa, nuts, fish farms. Shell fish farms. And kick out corporations that are in Russia to by pass sanctions.
      THEN Russian population will seriously grow and may double.
      Make them PROUD!!
      NATIONALIZE children. That they sign the Russian nat anthem.
      Find corporations to sponsor trips to the corporations so children see Russian products made. Get fruits . THIS will have them visiting and buying products when they grow.

      CHINA and Russia can become ALLIES in military and sign at least a mutual protection pact.
    • avatar
      Erik Trete
      Neither Russia or China need problem on their doorsteps in the form of a failed state in central asia. Likewise, it benefits central Asia to be on good terms, both politically and economically with both Russia and China. The west would love to create any kind of problem in the area, that is the biggest threat to Russia and to China.
    • AnomicDust
      The world's economic center of gravity moves a few miles every day from London/New York to central Eurasia.
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