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Russian policy towards China and Japan in the El'tsin era, 1991-1997

Kuhrt, Natasha Clara; (2000) Russian policy towards China and Japan in the El'tsin era, 1991-1997. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Taking as its starting point the changes effected under Gorbachev and the impact on Soviet foreign policy of the 'New Thinking', this thesis goes on to examine the debates surrounding the direction of Russian foreign policy both within the political elite and in Russian society from 1991 to 1997. Within the context of these debates, the implications are drawn out for Russian relations with China and Japan. The thesis argues that institution-building has had a major impact on Russian policy towards China and Japan, as elites have jostled for influence. Regarding China, it is argued that Beijing was an object of Moscow's attention much earlier than many analysts have claimed. The orientation towards China was the culmination of a process begun under Gorbachev, but the radical pro-Western orientation of the Russian Foreign Ministry tended to mask this trend. Arms sales have been an important instrument for Russia to maintain its profile in the Asia-Pacific, albeit not helpful to economic integration here. Border demarcation has been a difficult area of relations, but the determination of the two sides not to let it harm wider areas of cooperation has paid off. Areas of tension remain however, and Russia's future role in the Asia-Pacific could suffer if these are not resolved. Regarding Japan, it is argued that here the initial high expectations of relations were largely due to the influence of a handful of academics and diplomats who favoured the pro-Western geo-economic line. Finally, Russo-Japanese interaction at the global level has been severely handicapped by the territorial dispute. Russia is economically weak but with a politically high profile, while Japan is economically strong, but politically impotent. Both have been trying to gain advantages to make up their deficits in different spheres, but until the global system changes, this situation will persist.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Russian policy towards China and Japan in the El'tsin era, 1991-1997
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10108836
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