Far Eastern Studies N6, 2021

A new issue of the «Far Eastern Studies» N6, 2021 has been released [e-version].



Streltsov D.V. Hot Political Autumn in Japan

Yang Linlin, Kozlov L.E. Governmental Forums with International Participation as a Foreign Policy Tool: the Experience of Russia and the North-East Asia Countries


Korneev K.A. Assessment of the Energy Trade Scope and Directions within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization

Zakliazminskaia E.O. China’s Tourism Crisis During the Pandemic: New Approaches and Transformation of «Zero-COVID-19» Policy

View Point

Ma Weiyun, Cui Jianping. A Review of Chinese Eastern Railway Study in China

Russian Sinology

Kobzev A.I. The Scientific Status of Oriental Studies and the Fate of Russian Sinology

Military Build-up

Nikulin M.A., Dubrovskiy I.R., Ma Wenwen, Wu Jixin. The PLA’s Expeditionary Potential in the Context of Chinese Military Strategy in the New Era


Mamaeva N.L. Inclusion of the «Eastern Vector» in the Sphere of USSR Foreign Policy. Russian / Soviet-Chinese Relations in the 10s — 20s of the XX Century

Li Yinan. Reliability of the Plot Related to the Conversation with Deng Xiaoping on the Sino-Soviet Territorial Issues in the Memoirs of E. Shevardnadze


Maliavin V.V. Translation and Study of the “Tendon Transformation Classic” (Yi Jin Jing)

Fedorova A.A. A Grave for the King and His People: Documenting the Excavation of the Tsuki-no-wa Tomb (1953-1954)

Scholar Jubilee

Jubilee of Kim En Un

Far Eastern Studies Contents for 2021

Hot Political Autumn in Japan

Dmitry V. Streltsov

The autumn of 2021 turned out to be hot for Japan’s political sphere. Elections to the House of Representatives were to be held and the chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party was to be elected. The situation was complicated by a bad situation with the pandemic, accompanied by a drop in the ratings of the ruling party, as well as the low popularity of the head of the Cabinet, Y. Suga, which has reached critically low levels. To rectify the situation, the LDP had to take extraordinary measures — elect a new leader of Japan, change the party leadership, form a new cabinet of ministers and hold early elections to the lower house on October 31 with new political ideas and new faces in the party leadership.

In this paper the author tried to characterize the main milestones of this tense political season in Japan, to assess the steps taken by the ruling party and to summarize the elections, which marked the beginning of a new stage of Japan’s political development.

The author comes to the conclusion that the reason for the relatively successful performance of the ruling party in the elections was the increased media attention to the election of the LDP president, which allowed it to intercept the agenda from the opposition and win over a significant percentage of swing votes. The election manifests put forward by the new LDP leader’s found support among many voters, which was also helpful for the LDP success. In addition, the traditional tactics of the opposition based on the criticism of the misses of the ruling party were practically ineffective in the elections, while a positive program was not presented at all.

Governmental Forums with International Participation as a Foreign Policy Tool: the Experience of Russia and the North-East Asia Countries

Yang Linlin

Leonid E. Kozlov

The article examines the phenomenon of a government forum with international participation. Using the example of the Asian Economic Forum in Boao, the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok and the Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity, we analyzed the foreign policy meaning of such forums, identified their general and specific features, and defined this phenomenon. The East Asian case seems especially representative in the study of government forums, since the lack of trust and numerous historical, ideological, military, economic and other tensions make it difficult to create a regional intergovernmental organization similar to the European Union. The methodology of our research is «generalist realism», which considers the growth of supranational organizations in the 21st century quite logical. It is due to the desire of countries to facilitate cooperation, although it is carried out in the interests of any great power. It is concluded that the growing interest of national governments in this format of diplomacy is due to three factors. First, the host country expects to have a decisive influence on the formation of the agenda, the course of discussions, the preparation of possible political agreements, that is to create a new international institution under its control. Secondly, the host country seeks to expand economic cooperation and attract foreign investment, because most of these forums are called economic. It is extremely difficult to trace the correlation between investments and forums, but it seems incorrect to completely deny it, because forums with the participation of senior political figures and major businessmen increase the recognition of the host location. Thirdly, the host country is trying to improve its international image through forums, which directly depends on the political and economic status of the participants and the significance of the problems on the forum’s agenda.

The reported study was funded by RFBR and CASS, project number 20–511–93005 «The development of the Russia-China strategic partnership in East Asia».

Assessment of the Energy Trade Scope and Directions within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization

Konstantin A. Korneev

An interesting picture has emerged in the region of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. On the one hand, there are states included in the list of the world’s largest importers of energy resources — India and China. On the other hand, the Central Asian countries, including Russia, are net exporters of energy resources, and this type of export is extremely important for their macroeconomic stability. It is not surprising that the problems of organizing mutually beneficial trade in energy resources within the SCO are among the most urgent for the Organization’s agenda. Nevertheless, there are many disagreements on this issue, some of which have appeared recently, so the analysis and assessment of the energy component of cooperation between the SCO member states is in the focus of this article. It is also obvious that the current practice of multilateral participation in the energy dialogue can also be of great importance in the geopolitical context — as a factor of either additional cohesion or an increase in contradictions within the SCO. A certain role in this sense is also played by external regional actors such as Japan, which faces the permanent task of diversifying the directions of energy imports. Naturally, the SCO member states rich in oil, coal and natural gas (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Russia) are at the forefront of Tokyo’s energy diplomacy and determine the development of new concepts for promoting Japan’s energy interests in the region of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

This article was written under the funding of the Russian State University for the Humanities “project scientific collectives” (grant no. 2021–1–2) by the name “Transformation of the SCO Member States Energy Markets at Present Stage: Possibilities for Russia”.

China’s Tourism Crisis During the Pandemic: New Approaches and Transformation of «Zero-COVID-19» Policy

Ekaterina O. Zakliazminskaia

In 2020–2021 the global tourism sector was undergoing profound transformations. Global lockdowns and border closures, restrictions on the movement of citizens have led to a recession in the tourism industry and to long-term negative consequences for the global economy. The pandemic highlighted the vulnerability of the sector, insufficient government support, excessive fragmentation and a lack of experience in effectively dealing with new risks and threats.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, China was a key global tourism power. In the fight against coronavirus infection, the country has chosen a “zero COVID-19” strategy. However, the return to the “bamboo curtain” policy and the closure of borders did not lead to complete stagnation of the sector. The gradual liberalization of domestic tourist travel, the lifting of bans on the first outbound travel of citizens in the Macau SAR, discussion of vaccine diplomacy issues, and the high pace of the vaccination campaign will open a new page in the development of the tourism sector in the country.

During the fight against the pandemic, Beijing has not implemented an incentive policy aimed at increasing the number of domestic tourist travel. The recovery of the sector proceeded at a slow pace due to the forced need to coordinate the activities of tourism enterprises with the “zero COVID -19” policy.

Using the analysis of statistical data and regulatory legal acts of 2020–2021, the author traces the evolution of approaches to controlling the spread of the pandemic in the tourism industry and analyzes the trends that have emerged. The study proves that in China there are no contradictions between two opposite concepts: “zero COVID-19” approach and the strategy of “coexistence with the virus”.

A Review of Chinese Eastern Railway Study in China

Mа Weiyun

Cui Jianping

The article reviews research on Chinese Eastern Railway in China. The research on Chinese Eastern Railway in China began in the early 20th century, has a history of more than 100 years. The existing research results mainly focus on the construction of Chinese Eastern Railway and Tsarist Russia’s expansion policy, negotiation between China and Russia (Soviet Union) on the railway issue, the contradictions and struggles of Japan and the United States around the railway problem and so on. These documents cover a wide range of issues which almost involve the political, diplomacy, economy and trade, culture and other fields of international relations in the Far East from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of 20th century, provide a broad vision for the study of Chinese Eastern Railway. But there are problems in the research. Although there are many works on Chinese Eastern Railway, but most discussions are limited to a certain stage, there are few works on the whole history of Chinese Eastern Railway. Not only should we pay attention to the study of the early 20th century in other words the period of the Qing Empire, moreover, we should strengthen the research in the period of the Republic of China and the new China period, this is of great significance to the study of the whole history of Sino — Soviet relations. In addition due to specific historical conditions, part of the Russian data of Chinese Eastern Railway in China was lost, in addition, there is no detailed and authoritative reference book for Russian archives of Chinese Eastern Railway, this situation makes the cited materials in Chinese works appear too old the materials cited in the book seem too old.

The article was funded by Philosophy and Social Science Foundation of Heilongjiang Province, China (№ 21ZSD274).

The Scientific Status of Oriental Studies and the Fate of Russian Sinology

Artem I. Kobzev

The objective duality of the world, man and mankind should correspond to the pairing of Oriental studies and Western studies, however, science and pedagogy know only the first, or orientalistics. This monopoly was the result of the formation of the modern system of sciences in the field of the global domination of the West, representing the East as its opposite — the Non-West and / or interpreting interaction with it in value-asymmetric categories of culture and barbarism. The publication in 2006 of the Russian translation of E. Said’s famous anti-Eastern book “Orientalism” and the scientific and educational reform of 2010–2013, provoked a discussion of Russian orientalists in the sense of the concepts of the East and the scientific status of Oriental studies as a complex and supra-branch discipline, which is either a syncretic underscience, or a synthetic superscience. Similar problems have been discussed in Russian Sinology since the 19th, since of all the highly developed cultures of the East, Chinese is the most syncretic, and the science about it is the most synthetic. In traditional China, there were no divisions customary for the West into philosophy and religion / theologians, philosophy and science, humanitarian and natural disciplines, fine and applied arts, etc. Russian Sinology, created at the beginning of the 18th century, corresponded to this specificity, simultaneously with “cutting a window to Europe” to address similar government requests. In the USSR, it was divided into classical Sinology, which was concentrated in Leningrad, with an emphasis on philology and wen-yan, and Soviet Sinology, which was concentrated in Moscow, with an emphasis on history, social studies, and bai-hua. As a result, it was possible to find the most complete reflection in accordance with the standards of classical sinology of the 6-volume encyclopedia “Spiritual Culture of China” (2006–2010). The results of this convergence were also recorded by the 10-volume “History of China from Ancient Times to the Beginning of the 21st Century”, which largely inherited Soviet Sinology (2013–2017). After analyzing these historical phenomena, the article describes the main achievements and problems of Russian Sinology over the past decade and the challenges it faces in the light of the modern rethinking of the scientific status of all oriental studies.

The PLA’s Expeditionary Potential in the Context of Chinese Military Strategy in the New Era

Maksim A. Nikulin

Ivan R. Dubrovskiy

Ma Wenwen

Wu Jixin

The sustained economic development of China with integration into the world economy and the implementation of macro-regional initiatives that go beyond the traditional localization of Chinese national interests have revealed the need to expand the capabilities of the People’s Liberation Army of China. Along with the creation of a strong army, China is actively building up its expeditionary potential. Such kind of military potential allows to project power into strategically important zones. The proposed article is devoted to identifying indicators of increasing the ability of the Chinese armed forces to operate outside China’s borders in the «New era». The hypothesis of the study is that China is currently entering an era of development of forces capable of operating around the world, providing military protection to China’s expanding global economic and political interests. In the article, the authors rely on a systematic approach that allows us to identify and analyze the main structural characteristics of the PLA’s expeditionary potential at three levels: strategic, operational and tactical. The article analyzes military doctrines, concepts of the use of the PLA and the command structure. Special attention is also paid to the peculiarities of Chinese foreign operations and the logistical capabilities of the PLA to project its power in geographical spaces far away from the Chinese territory. The authors conclude that the PLA’s expeditionary potential is becoming an increasingly popular means to achieve broad political and economic goals on a global scale. The increase in naval and air power projection facilities with an emphasis on the creation of competent ground units in this plane increases the mobility of the PLA to perform specific tasks. The military-civilian integration makes it possible to fill the lack of delivery vehicles and team sites.

Inclusion of the “Eastern Vector” in the Sphere of USSR Foreign Policy. Russian / Soviet-Chinese Relations in the 1910s — 1920s

Natalia L. Mamaeva

In connection with the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Russian-Chinese Treaty on Good Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation (July 16, 2001), interest in the history of Russian-Chinese relations has grown even more. The author focuses on the development of bilateral Russian / Soviet — Chinese relations as one of the main directions of the eastern policy of Soviet Russia. The author notes the presence of two main channels of their formation. On the one hand, in the diplomatic and legal plane, at the level of state institutions, on the other hand, through the sphere of interaction of the Comintern, the RCP (b) / VKP (b), representatives of the diplomatic corps in China — with parties and public organizations of the Republic of China. Special attention is paid to identifying the main tasks that the participants in the process of interstate rapprochement set themselves. In the formation of the eastern direction of the USSR foreign policy, the importance of interaction between the Soviet state and China was taken into account to strengthen the positions of the RSFSR / USSR in the international arena in a difficult time for Russia of “international isolation”, the Civil War, foreign intervention, and the establishment of NEP. The Chinese side highly appreciated the new principles of the USSR’s foreign policy. This is evidenced by the signing by both parties on May 31, 1924 of the Agreement on General Principles for the Settlement of Issues between the USSR and the Republic of China.

At the same time, during the 1910s — 1920s. The Chinese side at times demonstrated inconsistency, elements of legal nihilism, participation in anti-Soviet provocations in exchange for concessions from the powers in the struggle to abolish “unequal treaties”. There were also acute and controversial problems associated with the Chinese Eastern Railway and Mongolia. Despite some negatives in relations between the RSFSR / USSR and the Republic of China, in general, the relations of the parties were characterized by a mutual desire for rapprochement at the state level, more inherent in the Soviet Union.

This text was prepared within the framework of the project of the Institute of Russian History of the Russian Academy of Sciences on the creation of a multivolume academic history of Russia. Published for approbation purposes.

Reliability of the Plot Related to the Conversation with Deng Xiaoping on the Sino-Soviet Territorial Issues in the Memoirs of E. Shevardnadze

Li Yinan

In 2009, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR and President of Georgia E.A. Shevardnadze published his memoirs in Russian, which contain an “explosive” plot: while visiting China in February 1989, during his meeting with Deng Xiaoping, a lengthy dispute over border and territorial issues occurred. At that time, Deng allegedly expressed his point of view that vast lands of the Soviet Union, from three to four million square kilometers, belonged to China. Chinese can wait patiently until someday the lands return to China. This content is cited in scientific works by many historians from different countries as an argument. However, there is no other evidence which can prove this recollection. Many details in it contradict the well known historical facts or are completely illogical. There is a good reason to believe that the plot in the memoirs of Shevardnadze is an incorrect recollection. It could even be considered as a made-up story. Moreover, it is possible that it was fabricated for some reasons. Hence, the plot is not worthy of being quoted as a reliable source. At the Sino-Soviet summit Deng Xiaoping did have expressed the point of view that in the past Russia and then the Soviet Union cut off millions of square kilometers of land from China, but at the same time he promised the leader of the Soviet Union that China would not make territorial claims. Since the mid-1980s Deng Xiaoping actively promoted the settlement of the Sino-Soviet border issues through negotiations, which led to the result that 99% of the border between Russia and China was delimited on a legal basis in the last years of his life. At present, the problems of the Sino-Russian border have been finally resolved long ago. There is no doubt that the scientific research and discussions on issues related to territory and borders in the history of Sino-Soviet relations can be made. However, such research and discussions should be based on reliable sources.

Translation and Study of the “Tendon Transformation Classic” (Yi Jin Jing)

Vladimir V. Maliavin

The article includes the first complete and annotated translation of the “Tendon Transformation Classic”, the fundamental treatise in the tradition of spiritual-somatic practice specific for China. Both by its language and contents, the Yi Jin Jing which connects medicine, spiritual self-cultivation and martial art occupies a unique place in the history of Chinese civilization, hence its interpretation encounters some special difficulties. Until now the complete translation and systematic study of this scripture has not appeared in Western literature. The author analyzes the historical and cultural background of this unusual text and various legends related to it. The translation is accompanied by textual notes.

The most salient feature of the “Tendon Transformation Classic” is the idea of the natural and hence innate unity of spiritual and physical dimensions of a human individual. Interestingly, the proofs for this thesis were ascribed to the legendary founder of the Chan school in Chinese Buddhism Bodhidharma (in Chinese Damo). The main link between psychic and biological plans of human existence according to the authors of the Yi Jin Jing is fascia (mo). A special attention is paid to the meaning of this original concept in Chinese medicine and somatic psychology as well as its relation to the idea of nurturing “life energy” (qi) and organic unity of “inner” and “outer” strength etc. The article reveals this scripture’s importance for the evolution of the bio-spiritual practice in China and contradictions inherent in it.

A Grave for the King and His People: Documenting the Excavation of the Tsuki-no-wa Tomb (1953–1954)

Anastasia A. Fedorova

In the summer of 1953, the small village of Yukamura in Okayama Prefecture, Japan, became a major archeological site. The excavation of the Tsuki-no-wa tomb (created in late 4th — early 5th century) was initiated by the local residents with no professional training in archeology. The project became one of the most ambitious and successful endeavors of the People’s History Movement (kokumin-teki rekishigaku undo) led by the Marxist historians in early 1950s in Japan. The “memory” of the excavation has been meticulously documented in scientific papers, tourist pamphlets, individual memoirs, as well as in the film. A short documentary, The Tsuki-no-wa Tomb (1954), was created at the behest of the people involved in the project. While the film was favorably received by the critics, the Minister of Education refused to grant it with an official “recommendation.” Today the short documentary is considered a symbol of the political and cultural mainstream, which adheres to the ideas of social equality and democracy, the importance of a scientific approach, the concept of the “monoethnic” origins of Japan, and the symbolic status of the emperor. In this paper, the paradoxical role of the Japanese leftists in supporting the dominant worldview is examined though the study of The Tsuki-no-wa Tomb. Through analyzing the cinematic text, as well as the history of its production and reception, we come to a better understanding of the ideological and organizational underpinnings of the People’s History Movement, illuminating the film’s role in the development of historical science and documentary filmmaking in postwar Japan.