Far Eastern Studies N3, 2023

A new issue of the «Far Eastern Studies» N3, 2023 has been released [e-version].



Vinogradov A.V., Troshchinskiy P.V. On the Way to a New Formula of the State Power (The First Session of the 14th National People’s Congress, 2023)

Liang Zhenpeng, Kozinets A.I. Restructuring of Multilateralism and Inclusive Development of the SCO

Kistanov V.O. China as the Focus of Japan’s Security Strategy

Kim En Un, Samsonova V.G. The Indo-Pacific Strategy of the Republic of Korea

Safronova E.I. China and the 2023 Iran-Saudi Agreement: Setting, Goals and Significance


Savinsky S.P. Taxonomy of the “Green” Economy of China

Jiang Hongfei. Analysis of Sino-Russian Space Cooperation in the New Period

Theory and Methodology

Lukyanov A.I., Chernetskii F.M. Spatial Configuration of Key Parliamentary Constituencies in the Republic of Korea in the XXI Century

State and Society

Afonina L.А., Vinogradov A.V. Social Credit System in China

Military Build-Up

Trunov Ph.O. The Features of German-Japanese Cooperation in the Sphere of Security and Defence in the Early 2020-s


Baryschnikov M.N. The Far East and Prospects of Shipping Operations of the Voluntary Fleet


Shi Shaodong, Gao Muyang, Guleva M.A. The Concept of Human Capital in the PRC

Scientific Events

Alexandrova A.D. Annual All-Russian Scientific Conference of Center for Chinese Economy and Social Studies ICCA RAS “Modernization of the PRC Economy in the Light of the Decisions of the Twentieth CPC Congress”

On the Way to a New Formula of the State Power (The First Session of the 14th National People’s Congress, 2023)

Andrey V. Vinogradov
Pavel V. Troshchinskiy

The article focuses on political, legal, and state development of the People’s Republic of China from 2018 to the beginning of 2023. Based on the reports from the first session of the new 14th National People’s Congress (March 2023), the main performance indicators of the State Council, the NPC Standing Committee, of the Supreme People’s Court, and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate are explored. The new composition of the 14th National People’s Congress’ deputy corps is analyzed. In the study are also presented the main regulatory legal acts in the constitutional, criminal, civil, and administrative fields, adopted by the National People’s Congress and its Standing Committee between 2018 and 2023. The article provides a forecast for further development of PRC’s legal system. During the considered time period, the NPC Standing Committee adopted a number of important laws, which include the Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law, the Civil Code as well as amendments to the current Criminal Code, reducing the age of criminal responsibility to 12. The law enforcement and judicial systems achieved a high level of effectiveness in combating ordinary crime. Overall, under the conditions of instability of the international situation, increased Anti-China rhetoric in the West and political and military tensions in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait, the PRC leadership focused on improving the level of combat capability of the armed forces, strengthening national defense, and ensuring national security.

Restructuring of Multilateralism and Inclusive Development of the SCO

Liang Zhenpeng
Andrei I. Kozinets

Unlike the multilateral institutions of the past, formed by hegemons in accordance with their interests, the SCO multilateral format has given a new impetus to inclusive multilateral regional cooperation. In order to promote inclusive cooperation in Eurasia, the SCO member states have formulated strategic plans for cooperation in the main subregions and key areas of organization’s activities. New SCO plans to intensify cooperation take into account the principle of inclusiveness, and promote a system interests compatibility between members. Taking into consideration the relatively vague and «blurred» forms of cooperation between the member states, an increase in the SCO membership can create both new challenges and contribute to the emergence of new formats of interaction. Thus, the introduction of new forms of small multilateralism may become relevant for increasing the effectiveness of the SCO. Cooperation within the framework of new formats of small multilateralism should be established in accordance with the political preferences and readiness of the SCO Member States in order to increase the effectiveness of intra-organizational interaction. Institutional flexibility in pragmatic cooperation brings mutually beneficial results and has great potential for extending the format of such cooperation to a wide range of issues. An inclusive approach and multilateral cooperation within the framework of the SCO helps to strengthen cooperation in various fields and contribute to the creation of a democratic and fair political and economic environment. It seems that China and Russia, as the leading powers in the SCO, will be interested in promoting new formats of cooperation and reforming the regional system of interaction. The combination of classical large-scale multilateralism with small forms of multilateral cooperation within the SCO will help to deal with the current difficulties in regional governance and improve the effectiveness of the organization.

China as a Focal Point of Japan’s Security Strategy

Valerii O. Kistanov

The article is devoted to Japan’s modern security policy towards China. To date, both countries have become the main trade and economic partners for each other, yet there has been a significant deterioration in their political relations. The degree of conflict in Sino-Japanese relations has risen sharply in the past decade, despite the consistent efforts of Tokyo and Beijing to improve bilateral ties through political and diplomatic measures. A growing concern in Japan is China’s offensive naval activity in the East and South China Seas, which are regarded by Tokyo as a sphere of its vital interests. The most acute points of confrontation between the two countries to date have become the situations around the Senkaku Islands and Taiwan, which are fraught with the transition to an armed clash. With the adoption by Tokyo in December 2022 of a new National Security Strategy, China has actually been elevated to the rank of the main military threat to Japan. In order to eliminate the «Chinese threat», Tokyo, in accordance with the Strategy, has embarked on an accelerated build-up of its own military potential, making it more offensive in nature. At the same time, with an eye on China, there is a qualitative and quantitative strengthening of Japan’s military cooperation within the framework of a security treaty with the United States. Along with this, Japan is striving to create a network of bilateral and multilateral alliances with an anti-Chinese orientation in the Asia-Pacific region. In addition, to confront China in the region, Tokyo is not only actively trying to win over non-regional players, primarily NATO countries, but also intends to establish cooperation with the North Atlantic Alliance at the institutional level. Such activity by Tokyo, aimed at containing China in the field of security, is strongly opposed in Beijing.

The Indo-Pacific Strategy of the Republic of Korea

Viktoria G. Samsonova
Kim En Un

The Indo-Pacific Strategy, formulated in the US National security strategy in December 2017, is a link in the global system of military-political blocs and associations. These structures have been created by the United States to preserve the dominance of the historical West in an era of global changes that challenge to the spread of the so-called unipolar world with the United States playing a dominant role worldwide. Moreover, it is clear that the more the role of the suzerain of the unipolar world is undermined, the more quirky, diverse and dangerous become the attempts to preserve this dominant role by involving countries that previously took a neutral position to the actions of the unilateralists.

The article analyzes South Korean policy regarding the Indo-Pacific Strategy. The authors of this article consider its political and economic aspects, including the role of the ROK in the institutionalization of the association, which includes countries that support it. At the same time, the authors premise that South Korea, being within the structure of the American global influence system for many decades, cannot ignore any American strategy. Therefore, discussion resolves around the pace and conditions that South Korea must fulfill in order to engage and implement this externally imposed structure, and what benefits it seeks to gain from its participation. At the same time, the authors express doubt in the possibility of transforming the Indo-Pacific block, being created under the auspices of the US, into a significant international structure capable of altering the vector of ongoing global changes. And this leads to the conclusion about how consistent with the national interests, even in the medium term, of the Republic of Korea and its participation in the American strategy of IPR. Moreover, the Indo-Pacific Initiative of the ROK, which has pro-American orientation, both in foreign policy and economic spheres, including priority (military industry, IT industry, «green» technologies, etc.), may inadvertently harm its own interests and cooperation with the main economic partner – China. This could result in adverse consequences for South Korea in the near future.

China and the 2023 Iran-Saudi Agreement: Setting, Goals and Significance

Elena I. Safronova

The article discusses a number of issues related to the achievement in March 2023 of the Agreement on the restoration of diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, mediated by China. The author describes background of the Agreement, noting the fact that the idea of its achievement matured under the influence of complex and long-term circumstances. The article also concerns the role of the United States in the Middle East, which also influenced the formation of Iranian-Saudi relations. The author pays particular attention to the new developments in the political and economic spheres of China’s relations with the Middle East and North African countries. The characterization of China’s evolving approach in the region explains why Iran and Saudi Arabia chose China as a trusted and effective mediator. China’s advantage is believed to lie in its diplomatic paradigm, which involves avoiding taking sides and striving to bring both parties closer together.

The article addresses the question of why the beginning of 2023 was chosen for the signing of the Agreement, highlighting a number of objective and subjective circumstances that influenced this choice, which are examined in a comprehensive manner. After discussing the key provisions of the Agreement, the author turns to the international significance of the document, concluding that after its conclusion, the United States will no longer be the sole global power playing a significant role in the Middle East. It is highly unlikely that China will leave the region where it has made such a diplomatic impact and where its political and economic interests are gaining a new scale.

Taxonomy of Chinas’s “Green” Economy

Sergey P. Savinsky

The article is devoted to the study of the peculiarities of the development of the energy system of modern China. The analysis of the main directions of the formation of the system of renewable energy sources in the country is carried out, the current regulatory and legal acts regulating the direction of development in the field of energy are considered. In the PRC, under the current conditions, preference is given to economic growth and ensuring energy security due to a moderate increase in generating capacity from fossil sources using modern available technologies to minimize damage from their use, while simultaneously increasing renewable energy sources (RES). One of the main reasons for increasing renewable energy in China is strategic in nature: by increasing the share of renewable sources in its energy balance for electricity consumption, China can reduce geopolitical tensions, making the country less dependent on unstable regions in terms of energy security. The energy market, dependent on fossil fuels, depends on ensuring the safety of oil and gas transportation routes, but one of the main reasons why the Chinese government is promoting renewable energy is to reduce air pollution. The NPC Environmental Protection Committee has repeatedly noted that the production and consumption of fossil fuel energy is responsible for 90% of sulfur dioxide emissions in the country and that for this reason, 7 of the 10 most polluted cities in the world are located in China. The country is working on the reconstruction and modernization of production facilities in order to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions, technologies for carbon capture, use and storage are being developed. Currently, the country is implementing a very important transition from control over the total volume of energy consumption and the energy intensity of GDP to a new “double control” — control over the total amount of carbon emissions and the intensity of emissions.

Analysis of Sino-Russian Space Cooperation in the New Period

Jiang Hongfei

The current security situation in space is worrying. Western countries, led by the US, are forming alliances and accelerating the militarisation of space, which could trigger an arms race in space and intensify competition and games between space powers, creating hidden threats to space security. Against this backdrop, the cooperation between Russia and China, which are representatives of space powers that have always strongly advocated the peaceful use of outer space and the prevention of weaponization and arms race in space, has made significant gains in the new period by strengthening the space power of them, continuously deepening the bilateral relations and maintaining space security. More importantly, Russia and China have a good history of aerospace associations, and both of them are aerospace powers and have a firm willingness to cooperate in this field, so the two countries have good objective and subjective conditions for space cooperation. As for the specific ways of cooperation, on the one hand, the two countries should make use of their technological advantages in the new period on deep space exploration, space station technology, joint research and development of key technologies. On the other hand, the two countries should further deepen cooperation in maintaining space security, working together to preserve the outer space for humanity.

Spatial Configuration of Key Parliamentary Constituencies in the Republic of Korea in the XXI Century

Alexander I. Lukyanov
Fedor M. Chernetskii

This article analyzes electoral competition between key parties in the Republic of Korea. Although the electoral geography of RoK is atypical, the presence of an almost two-party system and the use of single-member districts allow for the analysis of competition in Korean elections in the same context as in more studied countries such as the United States, Canada, and New Zealand. We define the stably swing constituencies in 2000–2020’s, their location and factors of high volatility. The overwhelming majority of districts which regularly change their political orientation are located in the north of the country — Capital Region and Chungcheon — where high competition is observed in the largest cities. Electoral differentiation of urban agglomerations is complex and subject to the influence of multiple factors, but several patterns can be identified. A significant portion of swing constituencies are in this state due to their location in transitional zones between areas with high support for candidates from the conservative camp (center and far periphery of the city) and their opponents (suburban semi-periphery). The main factor of differentiation is the electoral divide between different generations of voters. In small cities, the electorate of the main parties balances each other out, resulting in these constituencies regularly changing their party orientation. Some constituencies in the center of Seoul have special significance for both parties, so political heavyweights traditionally run in them, attracting attention to their constituencies and making them swing.

Social Credit System in China

Liubov A. Afonina
Andrey V. Vinogradov

China’s emerging nationwide social credit system is aimed at collecting and analyzing data on enterprises and individuals in order to assess the economic and social consequences of their activities, civic qualities, responsibility, and financial reliability. The preventive digital system for regulating public life looks like a continuation of China’s social experiments in the second half of the 20th century. However, this time social engineering uses technical means that were previously unknown and devoid of the shortcomings of subjective assessment and application under the conditions of given parameters. Digitalization, therefore, has offered another tool for assessing social behavior — an additional control system based on strict mathematical principles and, importantly, in contrast to legal ones, operating in real time. In its regulatory function, it is comparable to moral norms, morality.

The Features of German-Japanese Cooperation in the Sphere of Security and Defence in the Early 2020-s

Philipp O. Trunov

Historically Germany and Japan have both played significant roles in the creation of a new world order. Today it is evident that each of the two countries has impact over the transformation of the “collective” West and its relations with the non-West. The roles of Germany and Japan in the processes could increase significantly if they establish multi-track and comprehensive cooperation in the field of security and defense. The article seeks to explore the features and its prospects in the early 2020s.

The scientific paper notes the parallelism of the historic experience of each country in the realization of power`s ambitions, especially during the Second World War, capitulation and further joining the group of Western democracies. The reasons of rather limited German-Japanese cooperation during the 1990-s — 2010-s are explored. The confrontations between the Euro-Atlantic community and Russia, as well as between USA, increasing number of their partners (including Japan) and China have set the framework conditions for the development of German-Japanese cooperation in political and military fields. However, the process only fully began at the turn of the 2010s — 2020s. The article issues the role of Japan as Germany`s partner in the region, the content and narrow places of political dialogue and military cooperation. The author contemplates how the influence of the USA as Japan’s key ally, Tokyo’s participation in Quad and Partners in the Blue Pacific might impact Japanese cooperation with Germany in the context of its participation in the PRC`s containment.

The Far East and Prospects of Shipping Operations of the Voluntary Fleet

Mikhail N. Baryshnikov

I study the role of Voluntary Fleet in the expansion of shipping operation in 1891–1914 between the European and Far Eastern regions of Russia. My paper presents the first comprehensive assessment of the efficiency of the state shipping enterprise and contributes to a valuation of commercial performance in sea freight and passenger transportation during Russian Empire. Empirical analysis reveals a robust relationship between state support and the stability of cabotage operations. Additionally, I find that revenue growth of a state-owned company was mainly driven by an increase in transportation of commercial cargo incomes. By using archived papers, the corporate statistics, and duma debates, I establish that the attempts to volume and activity of interregional transportation led to a major changes in the principles of government regulation that the origins of the reform lay in the desire to support cargo transportation rather than passengers that reform was characterized by cooperation between officials and business circles and that the legislative acts (of 1892, 1902, 1912, 1914), although deficient in some respects, created the bases for future public-private partnership. This parallels findings, that development of the transport business was to a large extent caused by increase top earned incomes, owing to infrastructure sector of Russia transformations, regional innovations of the government, and private interests associated with the processes of international trade cooperation. My findings offer support to arguments that the government support may have accelerated the transformations in the shipping business and contributed to commercial orientation in the state-owned company’s activities.

The Concept of Human Capital in the PRC

Shi Shaodong
Gao Muyang
Maria A. Guleva

A key factor in China’s economic success over the past 70 years has been the rapid and qualitative growth of human capital. The article examines the concept of human capital, the related elements of ancient Chinese culture, and explains the historical reasons why the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has paid special attention to education and human capital. The findings show that the PRC’s great achievements in human capital development and economic growth are due, on the one hand, to the CCP’s emphasis on education, especially during the period of reform and opening up, and on the other hand, to the long-term influence of Chinese ancient Confucianism philosophy. In the past, academia attempted to explain the brief decline in the mid-nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries by the negative influence of Chinese traditional culture, while ignoring its role in providing high potential human capital, which in turn contributed to long-term economic growth. The ideas of China’s leaders echo the theory of human capital put forward by European scholars. China is placing increasing emphasis on the economic function of education. The education sector is now seen as an important sector for raising scientific and cultural standards. Xi Jinping, the current leader of China, also attaches great importance to the inheritance and development of Confucian educational thought. In his speeches he repeatedly calls on young people to strengthen moral education and self-education. The priority of education is stressed, as well as the separate importance of the educational function of higher education. At a time when science and technology are developing rapidly without any constraints, they reduce the role of the human factor in the development of civilization to a certain extent. In this context, it may be appropriate to consider the value of the human being and the importance of education in the context of traditional oriental culture. Confucianism not only played a key role in the educational and economic development of Chinese society, but also had a wide impact on the countries of Southeast Asia.