Russia And US See Asia in Similar Ways
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  • Jim.

    That’s very, very good news. Siberian resources are likely to be a major political football in the coming years. They are nearly untapped; plans for a Bering Strait bridge or tunnel are complicated by the fact that on the Russian side, there are no paved highways for 2000 miles, and no roads of any sort for 1200 miles. No transport network, no mining — everything that God put in the ground is still there.

    Russia’s falling population also might tempt China to try to wrest Siberia away, in the next generation or two (is Siberia any more heavily populated than, say, Tibet?) Cooperation between the West and Russia may be the thing keeping this (frozen) plum from falling into Chinese hands.

  • Luke Lea

    “What’s the solution? It sounds a lot like the American strategy for Asia. Maintain and benefit from good economic and political relations with China while deepening relations with Japan, South Korea and other Asian states in ways that limit China’s ability to dominate the region. American investment is part of Karaganov’s plan for Siberia; the Cold War enemies look at Asia’s future in broadly compatible ways.”

    Reminds me of France’s treaty with Russia in late 19th century to contain Germany. We know how Germany responded. I hope China doesn’t respond the same way. We need to be careful.

  • Luke Lea

    No doubt, like Germany a century ago, China wants its place in the sun. I would say it has as good or better claim to Siberia, for reasons of proximity and demographic need. Keep in mind that Russia obtained these territories by conquest in the past 200 years. Indeed, when I traveled through eastern Siberia in the early 1960’s (unescorted mind you!) I couldn’t help but notice the heavy East Asian admixture in the local populations.

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