Far Eastern Studies N6, 2022

A new issue of the «Far Eastern Studies» N6, 2022 has been released [e-version].


Round Table

Round Table «XX Congress of the CCP»


Kistanov V.O. Taiwan and Japan’s Security: Anatomy of Japanese Approaches to the Taiwan Issue

Dyachkov I.V. Russia’s Relations with North and South Korea in the New Reality

Safronova E.I. China and Afghanistan: the State of Relations after the Withdrawal of U.S. Troops


Alexandrova M.V. Grain Crop Production as Guarantee of Food Safety of China

Belov A.V. Energy Situation in Japan, Sanctions, and Sakhalin Projects: Cross-Cutting Issues

Grudev V.E. Problems and Prospects of High-Tech Cooperation between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Korea at the Present Stage

Paksiutov G.D. Japan’s Semiconductor Industry: Topical Trends and Strategic Importance

Smirnova V.A., Shevko A.A. Sino-Iranian Economic Cooperation under Sanctions

Chuvankova V.V. «14th Five-Year Plan to Promote the Development of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises» in China (2021–2025): Innovation Component

Theory and Methodology

Goncharov S.N. «Jumping Out of the Historical Cycle» and Building a New Ideology at the Twentieth Congress of CCP


Samoylov N.A. Late Qing Reforms of the Early 20th Century through the Eyes of Russian Diplomatic Representatives (Based on the Documents from the Russian State Historical Archive)

Book Reviews

Bazina O.O. Book Review: Modern Chinese State / ch. ed. A.V. Vinogradov. M.: RAS, 2022. ISBN 978-5-907366-55-8. Vol. 1: The main institutions of state power and governance / editorial board A.V. Vinogradov (chief editor) and others; Institute of Far Eastern Studies RAS, Institute of Oriental Studies RAS. M.: RAS, 2022. 903 p. ISBN 978-5-907366-57-2 (in translation). DOI: 10.48647/IFES/2022.22.76.029

Kvartalova N.L. Book Review: Kong-zi jia yu (Speeches of the Confucius School) Translated by A.Y. Blazhkina. ICCA RAS, 2022. 318 p.

Merkulov K.K. Book Review: Clifford, Paul G. The China Paradox: At the Front Line of Economic Transformation, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2021. 2nd edition. ISBN 9783110724172

Scholar Jubilee

Anniversary of Pavel Aleksandrovich Minakir

Taiwan and Japan’s Security: Anatomy of Japanese Approaches to the Taiwan Issue

Valerii O. Kistanov

The article analyzes Japan’s approaches to the Taiwan issue from the point of view of ensuring its national security. In recent years, as the balance of power between the United States and China has shifted in favor of the latter in the Asia-Pacific region, Japanese politicians, statesmen and experts have increasingly spoken out about Taiwan’s place in the country’s security sphere. At the same time, they directly link Taiwan’s security with Japan’s security and openly declare the need to help protect Taiwan from China’s «aggressive encroachments». Beijing, on the other hand, considers Taiwan to be a temporary breakaway part of its country and firmly intends to seek the «historical reunification» of Taiwan with mainland China, without excluding the possibility of using armed force for this purpose. In fact, Tokyo began to move away from the policy of delicate balancing between Washington and Beijing in their growing confrontation in the Taiwan Strait and began more clearly to declare its interest in maintaining the status quo in the Taiwan issue, i.e. in maintaining the de facto political independence of Taiwan as a deterrent to a growing China. Despite all the calls in Japan for the need to be prepared for unforeseen circumstances in Taiwan, until recently there was relatively little discussion in the country about why and under what conditions Japan should be involved in resolving the Taiwan issue. However, recently there has been an active discussion of this issue in the political sphere of the country. At the same time, careful preparations are being made for the possible involvement of Japan in military operations if the confrontation between the United States and China over the future fate of Taiwan turns into a “hot” stage.

Russia’s Relations with North and South Korea in the New Reality

Ilya V. Dyachkov

Despite Asian countries’ usually keeping at distance from European conflicts, Russian special military operation in Ukraine that started in February 2022 has influenced Russia’s ties with the DPRK and the Republic of Korea. Whereas the DPRK openly supported Moscow, Seoul joined the West in condemning Russian actions. Still, a lot of finer details come to light when assessing real prospects of our bilateral relations with Korean neighbors.

Although Moscow and Pyongyang are en rapport politically, practical cooperation is negligible due to UNSC sanctions and strict restrictions North Korean authorities introduced to combat COVID-19. Seoul had introduced sanctions against Russia which resulted in Russia listing the Republic of Korea as an ‘unfriendly state.’ Still, South Korea is reluctant to dismantle their relations with Russia which would mean losing Russian market, assets and the country and access to Russian supplies. So, South Korean authorities and businesses have started a complex balancing act trying to reconcile increasing pressure from their ‘senior ally’ with own interests.

Russia should build relations with North and South Korea proceeding from our national interests and an understanding of objective factors that limit our interaction. It is important to identify and use new opportunities to work with our close neighbors and protect our ties amidst the crisis, since the new reality requires we use all means and assets to protect our interests.

China and Afghanistan: the State of Relations after the Withdrawal of U.S. Troops

Elena I. Safronova

The article describes the state and directions of Sino-Afghan relations after the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan in August 2021. To substantiate a number of points, it provides information about Sino-Afghan relations under the former, republican government of the country. The Chinese stance on establishing ties with the Taliban who seized power in Afghanistan on August 15, 2021 is analyzed, its motivation and main provisions, including non-interference in the internal affairs, rejection of the financial sanctions against the new regime, etc., are described.

It is pointed out that China’s main interests in Afghanistan are, firstly, to ensure the security of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the PRC, which for decades has been the target of Uyghur separatists from Afghanistan (the ETIM movement). And, secondarily, with the prospects for developing the country’s enormous, valuable natural resources, as well as using its geographical location to create an infrastructure system in Central and South Asia. The current state of economic cooperation between China and the new Afghan authorities is described, and its goals and difficulties are revealed. The reasons for China’s restrained political behavior in Afghanistan with an explicit focus on the economic aspect of bilateral dialogue are also discussed. The issue of Beijing’s diplomatic recognition of the new Kabul regime is raised and it is noted that it will not be rapid due to the risk of reputational losses for China and the ambiguous perception of the Taliban in the world. It concludes with the question of what China can expect if Afghanistan’s economic development is not a priority for the Taliban authorities and China’s strive to cooperation is not adequately responded to? It concludes that, despite circumstances favoring the PRC’s entry into Afghanistan’s political and economic landscape, conditions for a close bilateral partnership with the Taliban are not yet ripe due to its riskiness and prognostic uncertainty.

Grain Crop Production as Guarantee of Food Safety of China

Maria V. Alexandrova

The given article analyses the present state of grain farming of the PRC and its contribution to the food security of the country. The food security is the basis for supplying of 1.4 bln. population of the country with food, maintaining social stability, achieving sustainable economical growth and provision of national security.

PRC achieved remarkable results in the field of food safety. For the 70 years passed from the formation of the PRC thanks to the efforts of the government and the agricultural laborers China made a prominent historical step from the period of malnutrition to the period of fullness.

The article analyses major points in the food safety policy of China for the last 10 years. Starting from the XVIIIth CPC congress Chinese government paid more attention to the food safety problem. At the XIXth CPC congress a new concept of the food safety was formulated. It stated the quality and safety of food and greater variety of food assortment as major criteria. The XXth CPC set new goals for the solution of the food safety problem.

From the beginning of the year 2020 to the autumn of 2022 due to the series of events the topic of food safety became more sensitive not only in China but around the world as well.

But despite of the stated difficulties China significantly surpassed international standards of food safety in 2021.

The most important and priority link in the chain of food safety is the grain self-sufficiency. The given article covers the situation on 3 major grain crops grown in China: rice, wheat and corn and investigates the reasons led to the grain consumption structure changes of the last 20 years.

Energy Situation in Japan, Sanctions, and Sakhalin Projects: Cross-Cutting Issues

Andrey V. Belov

In the first half of 2022, Japan joined the G7 countries with tough anti-Russian sanctions. Japan, at the same time, took a unique position concerning the Sakhalin-1 and Sakhalin-2 oil and gas projects, even though the international companies ExxonMobil and Shell decided to withdraw. After Russia’s retaliatory steps, the Japanese side accepted new conditions considering the balance between the logic of the confrontation and the requirements of economic security. This article discusses some of the economic and energy aspects of Japan’s challenge, such as the diversification of energy supplies, importance of liquefied natural gas (LNG), specifics of Sakhalin projects, and competition of Northeast Asian countries in the global energy markets. Despite particular successes in the diversification of energy imports, the overall situation in the Japanese energy and LNG sector remains unstable. Sakhalin supplies account for 7–8 % of Japan’s LNG; however, the proximity of the location and other terms give them much greater importance. The simulation results for replacing Sakhalin LNG with American gas suggest a deterioration in diversification indicators for Japan. Moreover, the redirection of Sakhalin LNG to China will strengthen its competitive position. Consequently, internal and external factors support Japan’s continued involvement in the Sakhalin shelf. Unfortunately, outside the two Sakhalin and one Arctic LNG projects, there are currently no realistic prospects for further energy cooperation between Japan and Russia.

Problems and Prospects of High-Tech Cooperation between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Korea at the Present Stage

Vasily E. Grudev

This article provides a brief overview of cooperation between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Korea from 1990 to 2022 in the high-tech field. Research findings include some evaluations, conclusions and further steps proposed for the development of two-sided relations in the advanced technologies. Russian Federation and the Republic of Korea are neighbors, both countries are meeting the challenge of implementing a technological breakthrough, and have good prospects for bilateral cooperation. Over the past 30 years, the vectors of high-tech industries have been opposite: South Korea actively attracts technology and exports high value-added products. Russia exports technology and buys finished products. Starting from the first contacts, the South Korean side showed great interest in partnership. The Korean high-tech industry was just beginning its active development, while the Soviet high-tech industry was among the world leaders, lagging behind in several applied fields, such as mass production. In 1990–2000-s, when Russian scientists massively left the country, the Republic of Korea attracted scientists. Technological cooperation between countries has turned into a donation from Russia, in exchange for finished products and localization of low-level production. Nowadays, cooperation in the form in which it has existed for the past thirty years has stopped due to the suspension of most joint projects for political reasons. It is necessary to quickly rebuild its model for the current crisis, simultaneously starting to create the preconditions and plan its optimal model for the post-crisis period taking into account the mistakes made in the past. The work must be built on the basis of the challenges and goals the Russian economy faces, with a detailed research of the vision and development plans of the South Korean side. The topic of the article is relevant in connection with the current international situation and the formation of a new world order, economic, scientific and technical challenges facing the Russian Federation.

Japan’s Semiconductor Industry: Topical Trends and Strategic Importance

Georgii D. Paksiutov

The article is dedicated to studying both the long-term and current trends in Japan’s semiconductor industry. Semiconductor production is crucial for the present-day economy, and its importance is only increased by the ongoing process of digital transformation, by COVID-19 pandemic and the international political turbulence that puts strain on the existing global value chains. Moreover, semiconductors are urgently needed by electronics and car producers and by other industries that employ microchips, they could contribute to reducing Japan’s dependence on imported energy commodities. Developing the semiconductor industry is a task stated in official documents of the Japan’s government. However, Japanese semiconductor industry has been in relative decline since the late 1980-s, and the national producers now lag behind the global leaders in terms of technology. Various measures are being implemented to revitalize the industry and reverse the decline (that was partially caused by trade tensions with the US), including state subsidies and increased cooperation with foreign companies. If Japan manages to achieve its ambitious goals, such as doubling the size of the national semiconductor market by 2030 and launching the production of the new-generation microchips, it will lay the ground for other large-scale projects including the creation of ‘Society 5.0’ and the achievement of carbon neutrality. To proceed with the tasks, it is urgent that Japan’s semiconductor industry overcomes the current engineer shortage and employs the globally competitive technology. As the global demand for semiconductors expands, the semiconductor industry could become the engine of growth in other related sectors of Japan’s economy.

Sino-Iranian Economic Cooperation under Sanctions

Veronika A. Smirnova
Alexandra A. Shevko

The current stage of Sino-Iranian relations is characterized by a high level of economic cooperation. Its key elements are the spheres of energy and infrastructure construction, including that within the framework of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. It is noteworthy that cooperation has shown relevance and strong efforts to maintain ties through complicating cooperation mechanisms, despite the drop in trade based official figures under sanctions pressure. This article attempts to distinguish specific mechanisms of Sino-Iranian economic cooperation and trace their transformation under the sanctions. At the same time, the specific mechanisms of cooperation have differed depending on the level of sanctions pressure. Along with the last round of US policy tightening towards Iran in 2019–2020 Sino-Iranian cooperation has acquired a more cautious character, but has not been curtailed at all. First of all, the intermediaries’ network involved in trade accounts and supplies has become even more complicated. In addition, building new business relationships has focused around narrow-profile platforms and funds that organize relevant events. The article contains a detailed analysis of cooperation cases between companies and specialized institutions of China and Iran in various industries The experience gained by China in building mechanisms for cooperation with the sanctioned Iran can partly be applied in relations with Russia. Relations between China and Russia are entering a new phase and will be transforming. Relevant practices can be primarily used when developing mechanisms for foreign trade accounts, taking into account the effect of existing restrictions and the risks of secondary sanctions for Chinese companies.

«14th Five-Year Plan to Promote the Development of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises» in China (2021–2025): Innovation Component

Valentina V. Chuvankova

China intends to focus on growth points in the coming years, which should be based on technological progress, advanced training of workers and innovation. A significant place in this process is given to creating a favorable environment for the development of small and medium-sized businesses, since it is in these sectors that most innovative products, inventions and technological innovations are created. New approaches to the development of national small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the disclosure of their scientific and technical potential became the subject of priority attention from the state during the 14th five-year plan. In order to effectively mobilize the entrepreneurial and innovative activity of SMEs, lay a solid foundation for sustainable development and increase their innovative potential, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, together with 19 departments and divisions, for the first time developed and issued special document — «The 14th five-year plan to promote the development of small and medium-sized enterprises» for the period 2021–2025, by integrating it into a new concept of high-quality development of the country. The plan considers the need to focus on increasing the innovative potential and professional level of SMEs, as well as on creating a solid foundation for the cultivation of technologically advanced SMEs with a great prospect of specialization and development, as a key project for the next five years. The article provides a comprehensive analysis of the main directions, tasks and goals of the development of small and medium-sized businesses, as well as the methods of their implementation outlined in the plan. It is concluded that this program should become the basis for further powerful breakthrough of China in a number of critically important innovative and high-tech industries and sectors of the economy on the path of «comprehensive modernization the state», scheduled for the middle of the 21st century.

«Jumping Out of the Historical Cycle» and Building a New Ideology at the Twentieth Congress of CCP

Sergey N. Goncharov

The contents of CPC General Secretary Xi Jinping report to the CPC XXth Party congress is analyzed in the article. The conclusion is made that the core thesis around which the report and the strategy that are reflected in it, are organized around the idea of the possibility and the necessity of “jumping out of the history circle that leads toward decline of the state“ by undertaking the “revolution toward to oneself” by the Communist Party. During the the construction of new system of power the conscious effort of Xi Jinping is made that has three main goals: first of all, to fine-tune the system of control over party — state apparatus from below, from the “masses of people”, second, to execute the course for “governing of the Party with utmost rigidity”, according to which a severe struggle has to be waged against corruption and decay of the ruling elite and the third one — creation of the comprehensive ideological system that has to legitimize the right of the existing party — bureaucratic elite to rule over the country. When building of this system Xi Jinping is attempting to utilize the core elements of the old Chinese ideology of governing, as well as the ideas if Mao Zedong, theoretical legacy of Deng Xiaoping, “important ideas of “three represents” of Jiang Zemin and “the scientific concept of development” of Hu Jintao. By doing this Xi Jinping is striving to create new governing elite, armed with relatively complicated theory and specific language of government, that has to legitimize their right to rule in the eyes of the “broad masse of the people”.

Late Qing Reforms of the Early 20th Century through the Eyes of Russian Diplomatic Representatives (Based on the Documents from the Russian State Historical Archive)

Nikolay A. Samoylov

In 1901, after the suppression of the Boxer Rebellion by the troops of eight powers and the signing of the «Boxer Protocol», dependence of the Qing Empire on foreign powers increased, which, in turn, aggravated the growing economic and socio-political crisis in the country. The Imperial government was forced to start a series of cultural, economic, educational, military, and political reforms known as the New Policies of the late Qing dynasty.

The article presents the analysis of the reports written by Russian diplomatic representatives who at that time closely monitored the events taking place in China. The article discusses the importance of referring to such source of historical data as written reports and telegrams sent from China by Russian representatives and now kept in the funds of the Russian State Historical Archive. These documents can provide scholars with a complete picture of the initial stage of the «the New Policies» and the struggle for political influence related to it, which is of great importance in understanding the complicated period of Chinese history. The documents reviewed were not only summaries of the collected and accumulated information, but also contained a deep analysis of the events taking place in China. Characteristics of high-ranking Chinese officials contained in the reports of Russian representatives are invaluable. Moreover, in these sources one can find the assessment given to the attitude of the Western powers and Japan towards the reforms started in China. The study of the archival documents brings us to the conclusion that being well-trained sinologists, Russian diplomats and representatives of the Ministry of Finance were careful observers of the Late Qing reforms and could make far-reaching forecasts.