"Asia and Africa today"
- is a scientificl monthly journal (in Russian)
of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Included in Russian Science Citation Index on
WoS platform, and EBSCO Publishing.
ISSN 0321-5075. Published since July 1957.


 "Asia and Africa today" № 9 2015



Azia&Afrika 09-2015


 Top Problem

SOUTH CHINA SEA: THE ISLANDS OF DISCORD by G.M.Lokshin, PhD (History), Institute of Far Eastern Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS)
Keywords: South China Sea, artificial islands, international arbitration, the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the sovereignty, the exclusive economic zone
Events in the Middle East and the crisis in Ukraine overshadowed the conflict in the South China Sea, which is now inflaming, now calming down. Anyway the developments in the Western part of the Asia- Pacific Region (APR) is becoming more and more dangerous for the world community. Already I noticed that the peak of disputes and contradictions occur in the area each year from April to September. Observers notice, that those 6 months of tension are regularly replaced by the same period of its easing. It is obvious that it’s in the interest of China to control the conflict rather then to inflate it to the global level. It would have been much better if the major players in the region have learned to follow the letter and spirit of international law in resolving their disputes.

MILITARY-TECHNICAL COOPERATION OF RUSSIA WITH AFRICA by E.N.Korendyasov, PhD (Economics), Institute of African Studies, RAS
Keywords: Russia - Africa, African arms market, military-technical cooperation, the national army
The leaders of «Rosoboronexport» - the only one Russian-venous intermediary on export/ import of the entire spectrum of the military products, technologies and of military and dual-purpose services claim: «Russia is coming back in earnest and for the long to the African market of arms». Soviet military activity in Africa predetermined by the arms race initiated by the West and on the continent.
The collapse of the Soviet Union and transition to the market economy was accompanied by a significant drop in exports of Russian military products to African countries, reduced the number of African partners.
However, in the beginning of the XXI century, Russian arms exporters have started a new offensive on the African continent. A breakthrough took place in 2006, when a large package of contracts for the supply and modernization of arms and military equipment, including fighter jets, submarines, anti- aircraft missile systems, and others was signed with Algeria.


 Policy, Economy

AAM AADMI PARTY HAS WON IN DELHI by V.P.Kashin, PhD (History), Institute of Oriental Studies, RAS
Keywords: India, legislature election in Delhi in 2015, Arind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi, Aam Aadmi Party, Bharatiya Janata Party
Analyzing the reasons for the victory of Aam Aadmi Party (Party of commoners) at the legislature election which took place in Delhi in February 2015, the author concludes that it happened thanks to the poorest and the youth, charmed by AAP’s leader Kejriwal’s populism.
Some representatives of the middle class and the wealthy, traditionally voting for the Bharatiya Janata Party, this time changed their political sympathy. One of the reasons of a failure of the BJP’s loss was the absence of a strong political leader.

CHINESE VERSION OF FINANSIAL PROBLEMS by L.V.Novoselova, Dr.Sc. (Economics), Institute of Far Eastern Studies, RAS
Keywords: China, central end local budgets, the revised Budget Law, local government
The reform of the financial system is one of the urgent tasks of economic reform in China. The primary events are scheduled to take place by the end of 2016, with a comprehensive reform to be carried out no later than 2020. In 2014 the country’s leadership adopted series of important decisions aimed at improving transparency, efficiency and controllability of the budgetary mechanism and center-local fiscal relations.
The article investigates in detail the legislative innovations of financial relationships in China, analyzes the causes of unfavorable debt position of local authorities, as well as ways to improve it.

NEW DEVELOPMENT BANK ESTABLISHED BY BRICS: PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS OF ITS ACTIVITY by V.V.Klishin, PhD (Economics), Russian Standard Bank; V.V.Pavlov, Dr.Sc. (Economics), Institute for African Studies, RAS
Keywords: BRICS, New Development Bank, conditional pool of foreign exchange reserves
One of the most important strategic objectives of the Russian Federation in the framework of BRICS was to ensure a phased reform of the international monetary and financial system giving the global monetary system more equitable, stable and effective potential, reduce US dominance of the system.
At the 6th Summit of BRICS on July 15, 2014 it was agreed to establish a New Development Bank of BRICS (NDB). The priority objective of creating the bank is to mobilize additional resources for investment financing infrastructure projects. Other countries from among the members of the United Nations may be admitted to participate in the capital of the NDB but, in any case, the BRICS countries should at the same time own at least 55% of the total voting shares. NDB headquarters will be located in Shanghai (China), and the first sub-regional office in Johannesburg (South Africa).

Keywords: Nigeria, conflict at the Niger Delta, terrorism, amnesty program
The article briefly describes current economical and ecological condition of the Southern Nigeria - delta of Niger River (Niger Delta, ND). There is also a short review of different protest movements in the Niger Delta. The author analyzes reasons of the radicalization of protests in this region and the origin of the militant movement - Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND).
Sources of financing, of weapons supply and special features of MEND are considered. There is also an analysis of the de-escalation process in ND with focusing on the Amnesty Program of 2009 and the post- amnesty period in this region. The author investigates some perspectives of ceasing fire and peace-making process in the south of Nigeria.

ECOWAS AND THE PROBLEMS OF REGIONAL PEACEKEEPING (on the 40th Anniversary of the ECOWAS) by T.S.Denisova, PhD (History), Institute for African Studies, RAS
Keywords: ECOWAS, economic integration, political conflicts, regional security, peacekeeping missions, ECOMOG
The Economic Community of West African States was established in 1975 with the aim of achieving economic integration of the region. However, for a number of objective and subjective reasons (a very low level of economic development of the member countries, the same single-commodity export specialization, political differences between the leaders of the member countries), the task of expanding economic cooperation has been replaced by the one of resolving security issues in individual countries - members of the Community and in the region as a whole.
This article discusses the role of the ECOWAS peacekeeping force - ECOMOG - in mitigating political and military crises in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cфte d’Ivoire and Mali and considers diplomatic and peacekeeping activities of the leaders of the Community. It highlights, in particular, deep divisions within the leadership of the organization, the presence of which could not but affect the progress and results of peacekeeping missions, as well as the problems ECOMOG encountered: the lack of financial resources and other material assets, a low level of training of the troops, narrow mandate, the lack of understanding of the causes of the conflict in the destination country, etc.
Particular attention is paid to the role of Nigeria - the largest (by population) West African country - as the initiator of the foundation and the main sponsor and driving force of the ECOWAS.


 Our Interview

EGYPT NEEDS RUSSIA AND RUSSIA NEED EGYPT by D.I.Vinitsky, our Staff correspondent in Egypt
Keywords: Egypt, revolution, reform, cooperation, foreign policy, Russia
The revolutionary events of the past four years have shaken the long-term foundations of Egypt’s and fundamentally changed not only the country’s political palette, but also the perception of the Egyptians of their position, status, their attitude to external and internal enemies and friends.
Muhammad Anwar Ahmed Esmat Sadat, nephew of world-famous Egyptian president has given an interview to our correspondent in Egypt telling him about a difficult period, which is currently experiencing the Arab Republic of Egypt.


 Foreign Expert Opinion

DENIAL AS THE LAST STAGE OF GENOCIDE: CASE OF RWANDA by Dr. Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, Ambassador of Rwanda to the Russian Federation
Keywords: genocide in Rwanda
It is a lecture delivered by the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Rwanda to the Russian Federation Dr. Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya on April 28, 2015 at the Institute for African Studies.


 Events, Facts, Comments

THE EVENTS IN AND AROUND KASHMIR: ONE YEAR LATER by R.K.Pribylskiy, Moscow State University
Keywords: India, Pakistan, Kashmir conflict, UN Article 370
The article provides an overview of the Kashmir’s problem and the state of relations between India and Pakistan at the present stage. The author describes the essence of the Kashmir issue and its causes, the positions of India and Pakistan which are trying to find a way out of the crisis.
The 2013-2014 events are analyzed which caused changes of government in India and Pakistan. It is also given the information about political changes in Indian Jammu and Kashmir. It is described an attempt of the new Indian government to cancel a special status of Jammu and Kashmir, provided by the 370 article of the Indian Constitution.


 From Our Staff Correspondent

 ADDIS ABABA: PHOTO EXHIBITION TO CELEBRATE 70 YEARS OF THE VICTORY by V.P.Nemchenko, our Staff correspondent in Ethiopia
Keywords: Photo exhibition, Great Patriotic War, Addis Ababa, African Union, Institute of Ethiopian Studies
Seventy-year Anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War became an event in socio-cultural life in Addis Ababa. The Embassy of the Russian Federation and the Pushkin Cultural Center displayed a photo exhibition “The Long Way to Victory. 1941-1945” dedicated to this date.
The exhibition located in the African Union Central Office and in the Institute of Ethiopian Studies of Addis Ababa University. The Russian exposition attracted wide and real attention of Ethiopians. This shows a hope for preservation of the results of the biggest war in the human history.


 Scientific Life

POLITICAL LEADERSHIP IN AFRICA by L.M.Sadovskaya, PhD (History), Institute for African Studies, RAS
Keywords: leadership, power relations, political culture, traditional structures
Political leadership as a phenomenon of political life in Africa is developing in a complex and highly unusual circumstances. That is why the practice of political leadership is different here multifaceted and contradictory.
The participants have discussed the common problems associated with this phenomenon and analyzed the activity of both the existing concrete political leaders as well as the activity of those who have already gone from the political arena of Africa.


 History Pages

HOW A «BRIDGE» BETWEEN TWO COUNTRIES WAS BUILDING by V.V.Tsoiy, PhD (Technical) By the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with the Republic of Korea
Keywords: the Republic of Korea, the Institute of Oriental Studies, contacts between scientists of the USSR and the Republic of Korea, prospects of reunion of the two Koreas
September 30, 2015 marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with the Republic of Korea. That day in New York the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the USSR and of the Republic of Korea (ROK) signed a joint communiquй on the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. This event was preceded by a great deal of work, which was attended by Russian scientists and orientalists.
That year Yuri Vanin worked in the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. At the request of the editorial board, he shared his memories about that event the even.


 Culture, Literature, Art

 FEATURES OF WANG MENG’S ESSAYISTIC PROSE by A.S.Trunova, Institute of Oriental Studies, RAS
Keywords: Chinese literature, essayistic, Dream of the Red Chamber
Wang Meng (born in 1934) is one of the most famous writers of Chinese modern literature. The article reveals the particular features of Wang Meng’s essayistic prose at example of his book “Dream of the Red Chamber: Notes of Revelation”, published in 1991. The article highlights the particularities of the structure and language of Wang Meng’s book, as well as the distinctive features of his classical novel “Dream of the Red Chamber”. The article defines the place of Wang Meng’s work in the Chinese literature and the degree of its integration into the world literature.


 Book Review

 ACTUAL BOOK ABOUT INDIAN MIDDLE CLASS by E.A.Bragina, Dr.Sc. (Economics), Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), RAS
The new book by well-known Indian researcher Pavan K.Varma «The New Indian Middle Class» (New Delhi, 2014, 101 p.) devoted to the problems of Indian middle class, its position in the society and growing role in political life. It is interesting and practically useful to read the seven peculiarities, which constitutes, according to Varma, the essence of present- day Indian middle class. Author notes the difficulties connected with the weakness of statistic indicators, concerning the incomes of middle class. Nevertheless he considers it as a perspective force, taking into account its role in the last parliamentary elections 2014 and creation new Common Man Party.

AFRICA AND WORLD POLITICS by S.V.Kostelyanets, PhD (Political Science), Institute for African Studies, RAS
The book Africa’s Growing Role in World Politics (Moscow, 2014, 296 p., in English) contains a selection of papers dedicated to discussing the nature of the contemporary international relations and foreign policies of African countries.
The collective work aims to analyze various aspects of the present-day political and economic situation on the African continent and seeks to contribute to the study of Africa’s increasing global importance. Most of the papers were initially presented at the 13th International Conference of Africanists «Society and Politics in Africa: Traditional, Transitional, and New», which took place on May 27-30, 2014 at the Institute for African Studies, Moscow.
Most of the authors agree that Africa’s emergence on the world stage is benefiting common Africans, but the process still presents many challenges. The main thread of the book is the theme of a multidimensional competition between and among OECD and BRICS countries. All key international actors are increasingly involved in Africa, and they are systematically developing policies and instruments to promote their political and economic interests on the continent.
In this respect, the book reviews a great variety of approaches to developing relations with Africa, some of which may be considered the best practices in foreign policy, of interest not only to researchers, but also to policymakers.

This is the review of the collection of articles «Africa. History    and historians», edited by Academician A.B.Davidson. Published work is an attempt to explain the phenomenon of the birth of African historical thought and its national branches in their conflict and interaction with the Western historical tradition. The relevance of the book is determined by the fact that complex historical experience of the «Dark Continent» in overcoming tribal and ethnic conflicts is now of interest to many countries.


* Summary