China and Inner Asia
Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies, United States
As non-Western powers, China and Russia seek to challenge the Western-led order in various ways, principally in those areas that challenge norms of non-intervention and sovereignty such as Responsibility to Protect, e.g. debates over Libya and Syria, but also in the ‘grey zone’ (South China Sea, Ukraine). Further, China seeks an increased role in peacekeeping, in particular in stabilization missions that often engage in counterinsurgency alongside a bolstering of state authority, while Russia challenges Western discourses at the UN on stabilization/peacekeeping. However, for the most part China and Russia have not challenged the West’s preeminence in global security. With Russia’s involvement in Syria this has changed. Russia, and now China, in Afghanistan and Central Asia, increasingly use private/semi-state security forces to protect their economic interests. The two also deploy grey zone tactics, disinformation technologies, and cyber-attacks to achieve their aims. The roundtable brings together specialists on China and Russia to uncover the ways in which Chinese and Russia approaches to security differ from Western practices by examining both domestic and external factors. The panel also compares Chinese and Russia approaches to security and examines whether or not Russia provides a model for China’s growing regional security role.
Agalya Snetkov looks at Western debates surrounding Russo-Chinese security relations and considers different scenarios for their future development. Elizabeth Wishnick highlights the parallel development of grey zone tactics in China and Russia but argues that their use in regional conflicts accentuates their differences rather than cementing their partnership. Gaye Christoffersen compares Chinese civil-military relations and discusses how this influences the way in which they carry out peace-keeping operations. Natasha Kuhrt addresses the stabilization norm in peacekeeping within and without the UN context and examines how Russian and Chinese approaches to security differ from Western practices.David Lewis focuses on what he terms 'coercive mediation' by China and Russia, arguing that they advocate an alternative model of “illiberal” or “authoritarian” conflict management. Marc Lanteigne examines the case of China’s expanding involvement in Afghanistan in the wake of the return of the Taliban and Chinese hopes to incorporate the country into the Belt and Road.