• Far Eastern Affairs
  • 2005-06-30FEA-No. 002
  • Size: 59.0 Kbytes .
  • Pages:1-20.
  • Words: 9180

RUSSIA AND CHINA AS STRATEGIC PARTNERS IN CENTRAL ASIA: A WAY TO IMPROVE REGIONAL SECURITY

Author: Anatoly KLIMENKO

1. Strategic Partnership as a New Form of Cooperation between Russia and China

Countries and governments may cooperate on different levels in the context of relations that take different forms - alliance, neutrality, rivalry, confrontation, not least armed face-offs, or any other. The latest practical form of international relations that has gained currency in recent years is described variously by words such as "partner, " "partnership, "1 "constructive partnership, "2 or "strategic partnership, " which are as yet interpreted differently by different people. What, in fact, sets partnership apart from other forms of cooperation, such as those between allies, in the first place?

A military alliance suggests existence of a real common enemy, against whom it is spearheaded. Cooperation between the military and political establishments within an alliance is a prerogative exercised by governments and their agencies. Cooperation through partnership, first, extends over the full range of areas of mutual interest, as well and the military and political spheres. Second, this kind of cooperation can be practiced at many levels as it is engaged in by organizations and agencies from regional to national standing, government institutions and nongovernmental organizations, and businesses under various forms of ownership.

Partnership takes different forms that may be classified by different criteria. It is important here to distinguish between normal partnership and its strategic variety. Strategic partnership is given a broad interpretation in the context of the term "strategy" and is associated with a larger framework in terms of territory and time needed to make plans and take actions; long-term forecasts for a situation to take its course, and models for future moves to be built and justified. Interpreted along these lines, therefore, strategic partnership is an organizational


Anatoly Klimenko, Lieutenant General, Ret., M. Sc. (Mil.), is a leading research associate at the RAS Institute for Far Eastern Studies.

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