Bridling the Black Dragon: Chinese Soft Power in the Russian Far East

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Bridling the Black Dragon: Chinese Soft Power in the Russian Far East

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Title: Bridling the Black Dragon: Chinese Soft Power in the Russian Far East
Author: Jensen, Andrew
Citation: Jensen, Andrew. 2015. Bridling the Black Dragon: Chinese Soft Power in the Russian Far East. Master's thesis, Harvard Extension School.
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Abstract: This paper considers the efforts of the Russian government to counter the growth of China’s soft power in the Russian Far East in the context of the dramatic rise in trade between the two nations in the 15 years of the “Putin Era,” from 2000 to 2015. The Amur (or “Black Dragon”) River watershed forms the core of the Russian Far East, Russia’s last territorial acquisition from the former Chinese empire and the key to Moscow’s efforts to connect with the burgeoning Asia-Pacific economies. This study investigates which federal- and provincial-level policies the Russian government has implemented to counter the growth of Beijing’s influence in the Russian Far East, and analyzes the effectiveness of these policies in the area’s three most populous sub-regions: Amur Oblast, Khabarovsk Krai, and Primorsky Krai. Though initially hypothesizing that the Russian government had no coordinated strategy to counter China’s soft power in the region, this study concluded that policymakers in both the Kremlin and the Russian Far East have successfully discouraged a large-scale Chinese demographic or economic footprint along the Russian side of the Amur. However, Moscow’s failure to both encourage sufficient ethnic Russian immigration to the Far East and to effectively stimulate local economies in need of Chinese labor and investment has paradoxically strengthened Beijing’s regional soft power. Russia’s citizens in the Far East increasingly look south across the Black Dragon River towards China for a brighter future.
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:26519856
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