• A
  • A
  • A
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
Regular version of the site

‘Asian Studies is a New High Tech for Russia’

‘Asian Studies is a New High Tech for Russia’

© Mikhail Dmitriev/ HSE University

Russia's pivot to the East requires balanced actions, as well as knowledge of the languages, cultures, and traditions of Asian countries. Without this, Russian businesses will not be able to work there effectively. Experts and government representatives discussed the issue and the experience of Russia's regions working in Asia at ‘The Pivot to the East: The Regional Dimension’, the first interregional conference held by HSE University with the support of the Russian Ministry of Economic Development.

HSE Rector Nikita Anisimov reminded the guests that discussion of the turn to the East had been initiated by Sergey Karaganov, the present Academic Supervisor of the HSE Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, 10 years earlier, when the relevance of the topic was far from being evident.

At the first conference of Oriental Studies recently held at HSE University, he described how, under the new conditions, Russian civil servants and businessmen have to work in a very difficult space, where a knowledge of historical, cultural, and business traditions is essential for success.

Nikita Anisimov
© Mikhail Dmitriev/ HSE University

The HSE Rector said that about 80% of the university's students come from different parts of Russia. ‘We have a strong student, teaching, and research resource coupled with digital knowledge. Always pay attention to researchers from the East; these people know the intricacies and specifics of the countries with which Russia is strengthening its relations. Listen to the scientists,' said Nikita Anisimov, summing up his speech.

Dmitry Volvach, Deputy Minister of Economic Development, emphasized that China has been Russia's most important trading partner since 2010 and that Russia is one of China's top ten key counterparts. In 2021, trade turnover between the two countries reached USD 113 billion. Russia and China are planning to increase it to USD 200 billion over the coming years.

The parties are now focusing on creating new trade routes, developing reliable payment mechanisms, and increasing investment cooperation. Russia and China are implementing about 80 joint projects in mining, infrastructure, and industry worth a total of USD 160 billion. The Deputy Minister cited the Great Wall car factory in the Tula region as an example of successful cooperation.

Although considerably smaller, bilateral trade with India is also growing rapidly. The main issues of bilateral relations are related to settlements and logistics. Deputy Minister Volvvach also reported a growth in trade with Southeast Asia and the Middle East. He spoke about trade liberalisation with Vietnam, which has signed a free trade agreement with the EAEU.

Vladimir Lebedenko, Secretary of the Council of Heads of Russian Regions under the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is convinced that Russia should actively work with Latin American countries that are open to international cooperation.

Vladimir Lebedenko (left)
© Mikhail Dmitriev/ HSE University

Russia should take advantage of federalism in Brazil, Mexico, and India, where states have a significant degree of autonomy in foreign trade activities. According to Vladimir Lebedenko, the Foreign Ministry has established structures for cross-regional interaction in the foreign policy arena and is providing recommendations on developing relations with each country. In his opinion, regional cooperation platforms should be organized. He mentioned the experience of the Chelyabinsk Region in establishing a forum of heads of SCO regions, and stressed that it is also important to develop cross-border cooperation with regions of Mongolia, Kazakhstan, and China.

Anastasia Likhacheva, Dean of the HSE Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, emphasized that the Faculty has been working on this turn to the East for 10 years. Russian business has been facing problems in recent months, but these problems are not due to low awareness of the country in the world. While working with their Asian partners, Russian businessmen tend to demonstrate a boilerplate attitude, repeating the methods and mistakes of their predecessors, while a successful approach to modern business requires a high level of flexibility.

Anastasia Likhacheva believes that new partners should be attracted not only by profitability, but also by the ability to ensure the security of supplies of essential resources, such as food and energy.

Anastasia Likhacheva
© Mikhail Dmitriev/ HSE University

It is also important to use the experience of sanctioned countries in training personnel abroad. For example, Chinese specialists have studied cutting-edge technology in Brazil and Bahrain.

‘Oriental Studies is a new high tech for Russia. Without this knowledge, we won't make it to Asia. We are ready to provide internships to representatives of regional universities and to implement student projects. A clear guide to the East is essential for quality work,’ said Anastasia Likhacheva.

The moderator of the opening session, HSE Vice Rector Veronika Minina, said that HSE university was ready to create a platform where it could share its accumulated expertise and scientific knowledge, and where the regions will be able to summarise their experience.

Veronika Minina
© Mikhail Dmitriev/ HSE University

The session ‘Regional Models of International Cooperation’ was attended by representatives from many Russian regional authorities, where they shared their experience in cooperating with foreign countries. According to Olga Guseva, Director of the External Affairs of the Nizhny Novgorod Region Government, China is the region's major overseas partner, not only in trade, but also in education: nine universities have signed cooperation agreements with 26 Chinese universities, with most Chinese students studying at the Conservatory of Music.

The region is also actively building cooperation with India, Syria, and Turkey. In India, specialists from Nizhny Novgorod are building sections for future nuclear power plants, and in Turkey, there is a GAZ car plant.

Ekaterina Kochetova, Deputy Prime Minister of Buryatia, and Geser Dorzhiev, Director General of the Republic's Regional Development Fund, spoke about cross-border cooperation with Mongolia.

Ekaterina Kochetova (left)
© Mikhail Dmitriev/ HSE University

Ekaterina Kochetova said that the trade turnover with Mongolia reached USD 57 million after the lifting of covid restrictions in 2021. She also noted that many Mongolians would like to study Russian language and culture. Geser Dorzhiev said that the growth of transportation is constrained by the current infrastructure, and, given this situation, he believes it is necessary to coordinate the actions of Russia and Mongolia with initiatives from China.

Geser Dorzhiev
© Mikhail Dmitriev/ HSE University

The conference continued with thematic sessions titled ‘Asian Countries and Regions as Partners: China, India, South-East Asia, and the Middle East’ and ‘Supporting International Cooperation of Russian Regions’.

See also:

Talking Chinese, Writing Articles, and Drinking Tea: What Chinese Club Students Did this Year

The HSE Chinese Student Club at the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs School of Asian Studies has completed its 2021/22 season. Its participants and organisers talked to the HSE News Service about how they discuss China’s socio-economic, political, and cultural development as part of the club’s events.

Asian Studies—An Essential Subject for Students of Different Specialisations

Russian society demonstrates a growing interest in Asia and North Africa, with economic, social, political and cultural expectations associated with the macro-region. What is more, demand for educational programmes and competencies related to Asian and African studies is projected to grow in Russian universities. HSE Vice Rector Sergey Roshchin and the heads of relevant HSE departments explain the university’s past and current efforts to respond to these challenges.

Japanese Theatre, Dance and Calligraphy at Oriental Crazy Day 2022

Oriental Crazy Day is a traditional festival of the School of Asian Studies, which has been held at HSE University for eight years. This time, Asian Studies students taught guests Chinese calligraphy, Arabic script, Yemeni dancing and origami. They were also introduced to kabuki theatre and traditional Japanese drums.

Pivot to the East: A Comprehensive Study of the Cultural and Civilisational Centres of the Non-Western World is the Top Priority

China and the Chinese world, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Arab countries, Iran, Turkey, Central Asia and Africa are gaining new significance in Russia’s foreign policy. However, we do not know enough about the Eastern countries. It is necessary to change the priorities in education, starting from grammar school. Prospects for the development of domestic Oriental studies in the context of the new stage in the development of the system of international relations were discussed at a round table at HSE University.

Scientists Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Communicate. It’s Time to Speak Out

Aleksey Maslov, Professor at HSE University’s School of Asian Studies and one of its founders, has become a super-media persona this year. This is due to major interest in China amid the pandemic and Beijing’s strained relationship with Washington. In the column ‘HSE University Scientists’, Aleksey Maslov explains how to keep up with everything (spoiler: Shaolin Monastery!), why Russian science has become a ‘fossil’, what scientists should do for self-promotion and why it’s important to look good at the same time.

A Dossier of Deities: HSE University Scholars Create Electronic Database of Chinese Mythological Characters

The Institute for Oriental and Classical Studies (IOCS) at HSE University is developing an electronic database of Chinese mythological characters and motifs. Because nothing like it has ever been compiled, it meets an enormous demand. Project originators Elizaveta Volchkova, Olga Mazo, Aglaya Starostina and Alevtina Solovyova told IQ what they are attempting to accomplish and why Chinese mythology is both complicated and fascinating.

‘Tough Time Brings All of Us Closer Than Ever’

Thuy Tien Huynh from Vietnam is a second-year student in the Asian and African Studies Bachelor’s programme of the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, majoring in Arabic. She enrolled at HSE University after winning an HSE Global Scholarship Competition in 2018. Thuy Tien Huynh has talked to HSE News Service about her choice of major, distance learning, and life in lockdown in Moscow.

HSE Expands Offerings in Asian Studies with Opening of Joint Department with RAS Institute of Oriental Studies

HSE has been offering courses in Asian Studies for 10 years now with numerous departments and programmes producing research in the field and offering in-depth courses. In December 2019, the HSE Academic Council approved the opening of a Joint Department with the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IOS RAS). How will the IOS RAS transfer its vast experience and resource to its new home at HSE? And what traditions in the study and teaching of Asian studies already exist at HSE?

HSE Celebrates Korean New Year

Students of the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs celebrated the Lunar New Year. The festivities, which were held at HSE’s Cultural Centre on Pokrovsky Boulevard, included a concert with traditional dance and Korean folklore skits.

HSE School of Asian Studies Celebrates World Arabic Language Day

In honour of the event, the university’s Palmyra Club held an evening of Arabic poetry. The future orientalists read works by their favourite authors, as well as their own translations of the poems. School of Asian Studies graduates, who had won grants to study at a university in Qatar, also shared their recommendations as to who should study Arabic.