Libmonster ID: SE-319
Author(s) of the publication: E. M. RUSAKOV


Candidate of Historical Sciences

Keywords: China, USA, foreign policy, "soft power", "hard power"

Beijing's claim to be the " flag bearer "of a soft power foreign policy strategy is remarkable in many ways. In addition to the purely foreign policy aspects, they also reflect the fact that at this stage of its history, China is very actively borrowing foreign experience, quite successfully adapting it to national specifics. Thus, the Middle Kingdom effectively uses the advantage of "catching up" development, which makes it possible, with a skillful approach, to speed up the stage of modern industrial modernization.

This also applies to the concept of "soft power", borrowed from the American political scientist J. Nye.

But we must not forget that willy-nilly, if not parallels, then at least associations with the credo of a much more famous "political scientist" - the president of the United States at the beginning of the XX century. Theodore Roosevelt (uncle of the great Franklin D. Roosevelt). Recall his "winged words": "Speak softly, holding a big club in your hands, and you will go far."


US President Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909) was an outspoken supporter of aggressive policies, especially colonial ones, who earned a reputation as a hero in the Spanish-American war of the late XIX century. Expansion and militarism remained the main components of his worldview and foreign policy. Suffice it to say that through the efforts of this American leader, the US Navy has doubled 1.

However (as is sometimes forgotten), in those days all the leaders of the great powers, and not only the great ones, also did not hide their geopolitical appetites. Roosevelt himself wrote about such ambitions that "the rule of England in India and Egypt, as well as France in Algeria and Russia in Turkestan, means great progress for mankind." 2
And strange as it may seem now, in such an atmosphere, his famous credo regarding "soft speeches" with a "big club" at the ready has become a certain progress. As a rule, the great powers then preferred to speak harshly, in the language of ultimatums, waving the "baton" right and left. This led to the disastrous First World War, the collapse of the century-long post-Napoleonic "Vienna system" of international relations, and the decline of Europe.

T. Roosevelt did not shy away from diplomacy. It was he who initiated the Portsmouth peace between Russia and Japan, for which (together with the "resolution" of the Moroccan crisis associated with the collision of Germany and France, who did not share the Spanish colony of Morocco) he received the Nobel Peace Prize. American researchers believe that Roosevelt sought to restore the disturbed regional balance of power: even on the eve of the Russo-Japanese war, he said: "If the Japanese win, not only the Slavs, but all of us will face a new powerful force in East Asia."3. Acting, of course, not disinterestedly, in the interests of the United States, the American leader nevertheless did something to help Russia, which was going through difficult times associated with the first Russian revolution.


In his acclaimed book "Soft Power. How to succeed in world politics " Joseph Nye recalls the credo of T. Roosevelt with a kind word. He stresses that if you don't "speak softly", "you will weaken your own soft power. In short, although America's power forces it to become a leader and makes it an object of both dislike and admiration, the nature and style of US foreign policy can be a decisive factor in giving legitimacy to our actions and, consequently, strengthening our soft power. " 4
Contrary to the impression that many interpretations of "soft power" may sometimes give, Nye does not deny the importance of "hard power": "As for the sword, it will continue to be necessary to draw it from time to time to fight terrorism and support our efforts to strengthen international stability. US hard power should be maintained at the proper level for the sake of ensuring national security, " he emphasizes.5
The pathos of the American scientist's concept is that one should not rely only on brute force, especially in modern conditions, in the age of the information technology revolution. And we will add: after the end of the Cold War, which helped Washington, if necessary, to rein in its NATO allies with the final argument - the "Soviet military threat".

"...success cannot be achieved with one sword" - this is his credo 6. In this regard, Nye quotes a passage from British Prime Minister Tony Blair's speech to the US Congress in 2003, when he stated that the biggest challenge for America is to "prove in practice that partnership is based on persuasion, not orders." 7
"What is soft power? This is the ability to achieve what you want.-

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This is done through attraction, not coercion or money, ... to support their goals without the explicit threat of force, and not through mutual trade and economic exchange... When our policies are perceived as legitimate by other countries, US soft power increases... When foreigners are attracted to your ideals and their aspirations coincide with yours, you can achieve the desired result by relying less on carrot and stick"8. "Whip" means the use of military force, and "carrot" means positive incentives, primarily financial and economic ones.

One more misconception should also be noted, which seems to also occur from time to time.

"Soft power" is not primitive PR, propaganda, or grandiose statements about "peace", "good neighborliness", "partnership", etc. etc. Everyone knows where the road is paved with good speeches from politicians and diplomats (which, of course, does not relieve them of the obligation to make such speeches).

No, we are talking about an "intangible" attraction that generates a positive response.

Perhaps most clearly, this fragile line is seen in the example of economic assistance. It is often understood and understood as the provision of loans or even construction or technology transfer for appropriate payment. But as a rule, this kind of assistance has a rather remote relation to" soft power". The effect is even small, but gratuitous humanitarian aid without hints of current or future economic benefits: for example, to fight AIDS or malaria, eliminate illiteracy, save from hunger and the consequences of earthquakes.

Nye identifies three main components of "soft power": culture - high and mass, popular, political ideals (values), including their behavior in their own country, and foreign policy: "The image of the United States and its attractiveness ... They are based partly on culture, partly on the country's internal politics and values, and partly on the substance, tactics, and style of foreign policy. " 9
In his opinion, American culture has become an attractive force for many people around the world. First of all, it is a mass, popular culture, ranging from Hollywood movies, Broadway musicals, jazz and rock to jeans and baseball caps. There are also fans of "high" culture-E. Hemingway, J. Steinbeck, W. Faulkner and other masters of American literature, world stars of the New York Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie Hall, the famous pianist Van Clyburn, etc. He also pays tribute to the extensive and skillful use of "high" culture by other states, including the Soviet Union (foreign tours of the Bolshoi and Mariinsky Theaters, outstanding musical performers, etc.).

Believing that "America's behavior at home can increase its prestige and legitimacy of its actions, and this in turn can contribute to the achievement of the country's foreign policy goals, "he notes that the" soft power " of the United States is undermined both by the preservation of the death penalty and the right to firearms, and by lagging behind other developed countries in the duration of living conditions, income inequality, insufficient access to health services, etc., falling confidence of Americans in the state 10.

Emphasizing the importance of the United States in the work of international organizations, Nye stressed that "multilateralism contributes to the legitimacy of American power" and criticized the proponents of" unilateral " policies, led by then-US Vice President Robert Cheney, who "concluded that the losses of soft power policies outweigh its benefits." As a result, the mood of Western Europeans changed dramatically, who felt after the US invasion of Iraq that "the danger of unilateral US policy is comparable to the threat posed by the development of nuclear weapons in Iran and North Korea"11.


Having achieved undeniable major successes in economic and social development, China has actively engaged in creating and promoting a new image of the country.

With the turn to the policy of "soft power", especially in connection with the successful Beijing Olympics, a campaign was launched to give China the aura of a role model for countries outside the" golden billion " of economically developed countries*.

Of course, China is not alone. This was claimed quite successfully and for a long time by the Soviet Union, the United States did not refuse and does not refuse the halo of the "light of democracy", the British, French and other peoples also have their own claims.

Much of what China has achieved over the years of economic reform is admirable, especially the scale of the transformation in terms of successful transition.-

* For more information, see: Davydov A. S. "The Chinese Puzzle" for the Obama Administration / / Asia and Africa Today, 2010, No. 4 (ed.).

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water almost a fifth of the world's population on new market rails in a historically short time. As well as the fact that in 2010, China overtook Japan in terms of GDP and came out on the 2nd place in the world.

In recent years, there have been a lot of rave reviews from foreign and domestic eyewitnesses of Shanghai Pudong skyscrapers, expressways, etc. Hundreds of millions of TV viewers around the world have seen the unprecedented colorful opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008, Shanghai EXPO-2010, parades and other large-scale performances of this kind.

While I pay tribute to Beijing's skilful economic policies, the Chinese people's organizational talent and hard work, and their sense of beauty, I still feel a healthy degree of skepticism about the enthusiasm for the external colorful manifestations of the "Chinese economic miracle". For the simple reason that they still evoke the feeling of what is called in French "deja vu" - "previously seen", repetition, up to direct coincidences.

In general, I saw all this in Japan in the 60s.

And the preparation of the first Asian Olympic Games in 1964 in Tokyo, when the first Aoyamadori highway was literally breached in the city center, which led to the Olympic Village and the amazing architectural structure of K. Tange-the Olympic Center in the form of a shell, and the colorful opening of these Games (I happened to be present as an interpreter), and the first two skyscrapers (until 1968, when an engineering solution was found, the construction of multi-storey buildings was banned in Tokyo due to earthquakes.) I also saw the fastest bullet train in the world at that time, flying along the Shinkansen track, and the super-modern Tokyo-Osaka highway, and EXPO 1970 in Osaka, which at that time was no worse than EXPO 2010 in Shanghai...

Moreover, all these international events have become one of the engines of the "Japanese miracle" in the economy.

The land of the rising sun then successfully overcame the hateful stereotype that had developed abroad: in the world it was associated with geishas,rickshaws and Fuji. I wanted to show myself to the world and improve my image. But first of all, the Japanese did it for themselves, trying to overcome the inferiority complex, to gain confidence after the defeat in World War II and the first occupation of the country in the fifteen hundred-year history of Japan.

It seems that Japan is currently going through the most difficult times in its post - war (more precisely, post-occupation) era, associated with a structural economic crisis, internal political leapfrog and foreign policy turmoil*. This is partly the fault of the Japanese themselves, especially their political leadership, and partly the mysterious zigzags of social development, which in the modern world of globalization and information superspeeds are most quickly and clearly manifested in the economy.

But we must pay tribute to the Land of the rising Sun.

The most successful model of "catch-up" development after World War II is generally recognized as the Japanese "industrial policy", which turned the devastated country into the second economic power in the world in a quarter of a century.

This model has become a model for all of East Asia-from South Korea and Singapore to Thailand and Vietnam. The long-term stable high rates of economic growth and improvement of living standards achieved by newly industrialized countries have become a record for the entire history of "catching up" developing countries. The World Bank has called this phenomenon the "East Asian miracle."

It was based on such components as a stable macroeconomics (moderate inflation rates, budget surpluses or moderate deficits), a high level of domestic savings and investment, a relatively high level of human capital with sufficient education to train qualified labor, a relatively independent and efficient administrative apparatus of the state, a relatively small income gap and a rapid rate of liquidation of the state budget. poverty reduction, export orientation, accelerated industrialization, attraction of foreign direct investment and foreign technical discoveries, technology and management.

The model of" catch-up "development of East Asian countries was figuratively called "flying geese". Unlike the Soviet Union, which threw all its forces into hard work-

* For more information, see: Rusakov E. M. In the captivity of patriarchy and provincialism / / Asia and Africa Today, 2010, No. 12 (ed. ed.).

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riyu, the first "goose" that paved the East Asian way, flew along almost the entire historical route of classical industrialization that began at the end of the XVIII century. This was Japan, which, focusing primarily on exports, first intensively developed light industry, especially textiles, then shipbuilding, automobile production and other heavy engineering industries, as well as petrochemicals, at the next stage - instrument making and electronics, and finally high-tech products-computers, boards, etc.

Four Asian "tigers" - South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong - passed through the same stages of industrialization, followed by "dragons" - Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, and finally China and Vietnam joining the goose wedge.

The second feature of this model is that flying at the head of the wedge, Japan, moving on to the next stage of modernization, freed up an export niche for four "tigers", and they - "dragons", etc.

By and large, the PRC is also following this path, trodden by Japan.

At the same time, the Chinese economic model has a number of political and economic features, primarily related to the "semi-communist-semi-capitalist" nature of this huge country. These features make it much more difficult for the countries of Southeast Asia (SE) to adopt the Chinese experience, with the exception of Vietnam, which has already made significant progress on the path of market reforms and participation in economic integration processes within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its partnerships.

What can the Philippines, Indonesia or Bangladesh learn from China? In general, they do not need radical political liberalization and democratization, which remain one of the most difficult problems for the PRC. They also swallowed the liberalization of the economy so much that they had to cough up a lot during the Asian crisis of 1997-1998. But it is also useful for them to return to the nationalization of the economy only in medical doses.

In other words, for the majority of emerging and emerging market economies, the experience of accelerated industrialization and improved living standards of East Asian new industrial economies has not yet lost its value, especially if we learn from their mistakes. It seems that they (and, most likely, Russia) are closer to the experience of South Korea or India.

And about one more manifestation of "delight", about which now there is only one memory.

In the late 1960s, in the wake of Japan's rapid economic growth, Mr. Kang and a number of other American experts predicted that in 2000 Japan would surpass the United States in terms of gross domestic product (GDP), 12 and the twenty-first century would become the "century of Japan". This myth persisted until the early 1990s, when the Japanese economic bubble burst.

Where is it now, this "age of Japan"?!

The road from "catch-up" to organic, self-developed, self-created innovative economy is littered with spikes, potholes and undercurrents. Only after passing through it, or at least a significant part of it, can you aim for the status of a role model. Achieving a truly innovative economy requires qualitative changes in society as a whole, and these changes are difficult to achieve even in such a huge and successfully modernizing country as China.


Although Beijing has adopted the concept of "soft power" relatively recently, some preliminary results can be summed up.

First of all, I would like to mention China's rapidly growing regional and global foreign policy appetites and an active creative approach to finding the right tools to satisfy these appetites. For example, back in the mid-1990s, staff at the UN headquarters in New York noted that Beijing did everything possible to avoid involvement in" distant " African peacekeeping and domestic political affairs. Currently, China's exploration of the African continent's mineral resources and markets goes hand in hand with a rich agenda in all areas of cooperation. It is enough to mention the regular annual visits of Chinese President Hu Jintao to African countries.

The appeal to the American diplomatic experience is also not accidental: despite all the differences between the PRC and the United States, both countries are united by their "inner conviction in the predetermination of the status of a world leader for each of them, claims to an avant-garde global role" 13.

And this conviction arose a long time ago. Without delving into the hoary history, I recall a conversation with the military attache of the Taiwanese Embassy in Japan in the late 60s. To my direct question whether the Chinese consider themselves "above all else," the colonel, who graduated from the US Air Force Academy, did not hesitate to answer with pride: "Of course! Here in America, the Chinese emigrated in the XIX century., and chopsticks eat to this day, have preserved their culture!" It's not about the chopsticks, of course. (For the sake of justice, it should be noted that representatives of many nations, both large and small, have been thinking about their superiority.)

The first external impression of the differences between Washington and Beijing in the application of the concept of "soft power" is seen in the fact that in their public statements, Chinese representatives tend to be more reserved about the merits of the case, compensating for this restraint by grandiloquence about their good intentions. Washingtonians are more direct: after the usual words about the greatness of America and the "inevitability" of its "leadership" in world politics, they quickly get to the point, often without hesitation in expressions.

Which of these two approaches is more effective?

There is probably no universal answer. Although, of course, when Washington's straightforwardness turns into rudeness and aggressiveness, then there is no time for "soft power". (Which is what the first proof proved-

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The Presidency of J. R. R. Tolkien George W. Bush's son, when the country's foreign policy was run by neoconservative "hawks" led by US Vice President R. Cheney.)

But "eastern politeness" also has a downside: the gap between speech and deeds is too large.

As S. I. Mishina notes, the emphasis in Beijing's foreign policy was shifted from" peaceful elevation "to" soft power " around the middle of the first decade of this century. Moreover, the main object of the "smile diplomacy" was and remains Southeast Asia.

But by adopting soft power, Beijing has taken a serious step in the region that does not fit well with this concept.

In November 2007, the PRC announced the creation of a new county of Hainan Island province called Sansha, which includes the disputed islands in the South China Sea-Paracel (Xisha) and Spratly (Nansha)14. The former is claimed by Vietnam in addition to China, the latter by Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Sultanate of Brunei*.

This was done unilaterally, i.e. in the spirit of" unilateral diplomacy", which is usually associated with Washington, especially with the right-wing Republicans mentioned above. And "multilateral diplomacy", which Beijing also advocates, implies resolving disputed issues through negotiations and compromises, consultations with allies and partners, with the involvement of international organizations, primarily the UN.

The decision of the State Council of the People's Republic of China to establish Sansha County and its territorial jurisdiction over the Paracel Islands caused protests in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, which Vietnam has not seen in a very long time.

However, now there are positive changes in Beijing's position. The ASEAN - China summit held in Hanoi in October 2010 adopted a Statement on behalf of all participants, which set out "the commitment to fully and effectively comply with the Declaration on Principles of Conduct of the Parties in the South China Sea and the desire to adopt a Code of Principles of Conduct in the South China Sea based on consent". The speech of Chinese State Council President Wen Jiabao at the East Asia Summit, held the day after the ASEAN - China leaders ' meeting, was also seen as significantly more "constructive and open to cooperation" than the previous tough statements made by Chinese Foreign and defense ministers earlier at the Hanoi forums in 2010.**.

Events around the uninhabited disputed Diaoyu Islands (Senkaku) in the East China Sea, which are claimed by China and Japan, developed somewhat differently. In September 2010, the Japanese Coast Guard detained a Chinese fishing trawler in their area. In response to the arrest of the ship's captain, Beijing froze contacts between the two countries at the ministerial and provincial levels, imposed a ban on the export of rare earth metals, extremely important for the Japanese electronics industry, and demanded an apology and compensation from Japan for the detention of the ill-fated trawler. Coincidentally, four Japanese men were detained in China on charges of illegally filming military installations. Tokyo was forced to back down.

It seems that under international law, according to the fundamental documents of the post-war peace settlement, in particular, the Potsdam Declaration of 1945 and the San Francisco Peace Treaty of 1951, these islands, on the continental shelf of which rich oil and gas deposits have been discovered, belong to China***.

But the question of the proportionality of Beijing's response to this incident remains open. In any case, it fits the concept of Republican Theodore Roosevelt better than that of Liberal Democrat Joseph Nye. It seems that Moscow in this case acted wiser, calmly reacting to the symbolic admiring from the air

* For more information, see: Lokshin G. M. Clouds move gloomily over the Eastern Sea / / Asia and Africa Today, 2010, No. 8 (note). ed.).

** For more information, see: Lokshin G. M. Russia-ASEAN: new projects and formats of cooperation / / Asia and Africa Today, 2011, No. 2 (editor's note).
*** For more information, see: Rusakov E. M. Ni prava (mezhdunarodnogo), ni zdravogo smysla [Neither Law (international), nor Common sense].
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South Kuril Islands by Japanese Foreign Minister S. Maehara.

For many centuries, East Asians have both admired and feared the Celestial Empire. These mixed feelings remain to this day. But now the countries of this large and important region have other role models (America, Japan, India, etc.), and counterweights, primarily in the face of the United States.

Beijing's harsh response to the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Chinese dissident Li Xiaobo is also instructive.

As we are well aware from Soviet times, the issue of human rights and interference in internal affairs is a sensitive and sensitive topic. But Beijing's worldwide campaign of pressure on various countries to organize a boycott of the symbolic award ceremony in absentia seems unlikely to have paid dividends in the sense of"soft power".

It came to a diplomatic embarrassment even with countries as far away from China as Colombia and Ukraine, which counted on loans from the PRC. At first, they decided to ignore the ceremony under a plausible pretext, but then the West said a weighty word, and representatives of these states still witnessed the presentation of the award to Li Xiaobo. Most countries were represented at the event, including Indonesia, which is the largest country in ASEAN and the Muslim world by population.

The line between PR and reality, between "soft power" and "bludgeon"is not clear.


Before telling the saga of how Pyongyang's antics affect the" soft power "(and not only" soft") of the PRC, I will touch on such a well-worn topic as "the only remaining superpower".

Initially interpreted so broadly that in a certain sense it has become more of a cliche, a slogan, even a myth, this term requires significant clarification.

Immediately after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, it began to be strongly promoted by far-right American supporters of US hegemony in the world, who considered and consider what happened a "victory" for the West in the Cold War. But most experts, including American ones, rightly explain the collapse of the USSR mainly by internal political factors, although external factors also caused significant damage, especially in terms of exhausting the Soviet Union in the arms race and various conflicts, primarily in Afghanistan. In essence, the former superpower still "defeated" itself, finding itself in an economic and political impasse.

Gradually, the idea that the United States had become "the only remaining superpower", which was reveled in and is still reveled in by the most militant American neoconservatives, also moved into wide use. And, most surprisingly, it was picked up with a kind of voluptuousness of self-abasement in many countries, including ours, and precisely in the interpretation of the right-wing "hawks".

The latter interpreted it as an indulgence for permissiveness and the so-called unilateral policy, which implies that Washington should take into account even its allies to the extent that it does not see "partners" and others at close range. And, without hesitation, they proclaimed the "only remaining superpower" an "empire" and began to urge Washington to act in an imperial way, taking advantage of America's unprecedented power.

One of the heralds of the right, a well-known American international journalist and editor L. Kaplan wrote:: "These days, the idea that the United States is a global empire has become commonplace; the question is how the American empire should act tactically." The Weekly Standard's chief political editor, W. Kristol, kept saying: "Don't be afraid to overdo it in na-

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growing your strength. Let them call us an imperialist power - we will survive. " 15 And together they were surprised: "What's wrong with ruling in the name of healthy principles and high ideals?!"16

At first glance, everything looked logical: there were two superpowers, one of which was gone. So, there was only one left, "the one and only."

But this is geopolitical arithmetic, not algebra.

Leaving aside the subject of this article ("soft power"), it is generally assumed that there are three main components of State power in international relations: economic, political, and military.

In fact, the end of the Cold War weakened rather than strengthened the United States in two important components of strength: the economy and foreign policy. Domestic political support for the latter also suffered the same fate: the American people "relaxed", and it became much more difficult to achieve "unity around the flag" in America itself in the absence of a scarecrow in the form of an "evil empire", at least before the terrorist attacks on the United States in September 2001.

Even in the early 70s, it was recognized that the United States, even in the West, had lost its status as the only economic pole. This dispersal of the economic power of developed market countries was reflected in the creation in 1973 of a non-governmental Trilateral Commission represented by major political, business and public figures in North America, Western Europe and Japan, and in 1974 - the "Big Seven": the United States, Japan, Germany, Great Britain, France, Italy and Canada. Initially, it dealt mainly with economic problems.

Hardly anyone disputed in the early 1990s, especially now, that the United States was not and has not become the only economic superpower. Although the US economy is indeed the most powerful (GDP - almost $14.9 trillion), the European Union exceeds this figure ($16.1 trillion).

After the end of the Cold War, Western Europe took a tougher stance in trade and economic disputes with the United States, including protectionist measures against American goods and a boycott of French cheeses and champagne in America. The formation of the euro zone was also a significant blow to the financial and economic monopoly of the United States.

Japan, on the other hand, had gained so much weight and growth that Americans were seriously alarmed by the prospect of a near-future lag behind the Land of the Rising Sun and the final loss of US economic hegemony. The press, the speeches of politicians were imbued with the spirit of "defeatism".

I was particularly struck by a conversation between two local businessmen in the far northern state of New Hampshire, where I was part of a group of foreign journalists covering the presidential primary election in February 1992.These New Hampshires were not interested in the fateful elections: they complained with despondency that the Japanese were putting American business on the back burner. At that time, almost no one knew that Japan was already entering the period of stagnation and deflation mentioned above, and America was on the verge of the longest peacetime economic boom in their history, which in fact ended only with the last financial and economic crisis of 2008-2009.

And then China began to step on the heels of the Western economic giants.

Thus, the idea that the United States remained the "sole superpower" in the economic dimension was initially a myth.

In foreign policy terms, the end of the Cold War was a tectonic shift that, by and large, undermined the basic foundations of Western Europe's military and political dependence on the United States. At that time, both Democrats and Republicans publicly acknowledged that saving NATO from degeneration in the new conditions was the only way to preserve the remnants of US political influence in Western Europe.

The role of China and India has increased on the world stage, and a new Russia, Brazil, and a number of other countries have sprung up.

The administrations of moderate Republican George W. Bush's father and Democrat B. Clinton actually sought to pursue a "multilateral" policy, consult with allies, even with partners, including China in 1997. 17 By the way, J. Nye served under Clinton as Undersecretary of Defense for International Security Affairs.

And only in one of the three main components of "hard power", namely in the military, the United States really remains the only superpower (even though in strategic weapons, to a certain extent, approximate parity with the Russian Federation remains).

Just look at the quantitative indicators. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), US military spending in 2009 reached $661 billion, or 43% of global spending. The United States outperforms the next 17 major military powers combined. China ranks second in the world (according to SIPRI estimates, approximately $100 billion) 18.

This, of course, does not mean that Washington can do everything. The limits of the "omnipotence" of the "sole superpower" were eloquently demonstrated by the hasty withdrawal of American peacekeepers from Somalia after the death of 18 American special forces in Mogadishu in October 1993, a catastrophe that was compared to the CIA fiasco in the Bay of Pigs in Cuba in 1961,19 And Washington intervened in the war in the Balkans only in 1995, after urgent requests In many ways, it is in the name of saving their European allies before the eyes of a decaying NATO, and not Bosnian Muslims or Kosovars.

By itself, military power in peacetime is not always converted into political influence.

But excellence in this area is still important.-

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a non-political trump card in the traditional rivalry of great powers for influence in world politics, although it does not have a pronounced ideological character and is subject to great variability, or, as it became fashionable to say after the global crisis, volatility.

In certain circumstances, such a trump card works. This seems to have happened as a result of the aggravation of the situation on the Korean Peninsula.


China is successfully strengthening its economic and political positions in East Asia, including Southeast Asia, objectively pushing the United States and Japan.

It is also building up its military potential. In January 2011, US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said that China's new weapons developments "have reduced the combat effectiveness of some US weapons systems." The Pentagon is taking countermeasures against, among others, anti-ship ballistic missiles, anti-satellite weapons and fifth-generation stealth aircraft.20
But it seems that the PRC is militarily inferior and will continue to be inferior to the United States in the foreseeable future. Suffice it to mention that China does not have a naval component of its nuclear arsenal - nuclear submarines with nuclear missiles, a semi-regional navy, and, most importantly, a serious lag behind the United States in the most modern and innovative military technologies. It is hard to disagree with Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guangle, who said at a joint press conference with Gates in Beijing about Chinese weapons systems: "Our lag behind the advanced countries is at least two to three decades."21.

In other words, US military superiority is a trump card that, under certain circumstances, can strengthen the US position in Northeast Asia (this region includes China, Japan and the Korean Peninsula, as well as Mongolia), and to some extent in Southeast Asia. This is exactly the situation created by Pyongyang's acquisition of nuclear weapons and all sorts of incidents on the Korean Peninsula.

It has never been a secret to anyone that Beijing is always looming behind Pyongyang. The PRC, formally (as a member of the UN Security Council) and de facto (as the main supplier of food and other important elements of life support for North Koreans), reduces to almost zero the possibility of effective sanctions aimed at cooling Pyongyang's ardor.

Only thanks to Beijing, supported by Moscow, it was possible to more or less hush up the incident with the sinking of the South Korean frigate Cheonan along with 48 sailors in March 2010.

But after the North Korean shelling of the disputed Yeonpyeongdo Island on the border between the two Koreas in November 2010, which resulted in the deaths of several South Koreans, the whole story began to look more like the infamous" appeasement " on the eve of World War II. Moreover, Pyongyang has threatened to launch a "holy war" with the use of nuclear weapons in response to the US-South Korean maneuvers in the Yellow Sea. Although the United States conceptually reserves the right to use nuclear weapons first against other nuclear Powers, Washington has never publicly threatened to use nuclear weapons in a specific situation, not even during the Cuban missile crisis and the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, when the United States put its strategic forces on high alert.

Responding to a request from journalists to comment on the information that the DPRK fired artillery shots at South Korean territory, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said:: "What happened deserves condemnation. Those who initiated this and resorted to shelling the South Korean island in the area of the so-called "northern dividing line", of course, take on a huge responsibility. All exchanges of blows must be stopped immediately. There are already dead and wounded, and serious damage has been done... We call for immediate measures to calm the situation and prevent such actions in the future. " 22
Beijing has officially limited itself to calling for peace. Naturally, one can only guess what is going on behind closed doors in his talks with the leadership of the DPRK. But from the point of view of South Korea, Japan, and a number of Southeast Asian (SE) countries, Pyongyang plays the role of a Chaplin Baby who is bullied, relying on his overgrown patron standing around the corner.

Washington, through the mouth of high-ranking representatives of the US administration, in fact laid on Beijing a share of responsibility for Pyongyang's" bad behavior " 23.

In a telephone conversation with Hu Jintao in December 2010, Barack Obama called on the Chinese side to explicitly state to Pyongyang that "its provocations are unacceptable." 24
In the end, Beijing and Washington managed to calm down Pyongyang and Seoul, respectively, to a certain extent. After another escalation of tension on the Korean peninsula, another "happy ending" has arrived.

But a bitter aftertaste remained (not to mention the ongoing development of nuclear and missile weapons in the DPRK).

Judging by the comments in Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asia, Beijing has suffered losses in terms of "soft power", i.e. confidence in its statements. After all, the biggest" leak " is actions. Actions speak more eloquently than any words, even if these words are under the "header ""top secret", "only in person" and only occasionally come to the surface, as happened with Wikileaks. And when there is a large gap between words and actions, words are devalued as a tool of "soft power".

The idea that the pole of the world economy is shifting to East Asia has long been commonplace. But there is also a threat of shifting the center to this region

* For more information, see: Rusakov E. M. The ghosts are returning from the "cold" / / Asia and Africa Today, 2010, N 10.

page 32
world political confrontation between the great powers, first of all the People's Republic of China and the United States, with which Japan is bound by a security treaty. In itself, the clash of interests of the world's three largest national economies is an unsafe phenomenon. But the last reserve of the Cold War, the Korean Peninsula, is still smouldering there, where after Pyongyang acquired missile and nuclear weapons, the explosive danger has significantly increased.

Escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula, coupled with the U-oh incident. Diaoidao (Senkaku) had pushed Tokyo into a desperate situation where it had no choice but to throw itself under the protection of the United States and humbly express gratitude to Washington for its support in a difficult time.

And Seoul even began to ask Washington to return tactical nuclear weapons withdrawn from South Korea in the 90s. According to Gates, there has been a "tectonic shift in the mood of the South Korean public, which no longer wants to tolerate the provocations that the North Koreans have committed for many years." And "North Korea is becoming a direct threat to the United States." 25
It seems that the even tighter binding of Japan and South Korea to a military alliance with the United States, which followed Pyongyang's actions and was expressed, in particular, in the largest joint US-Japanese and US-South Korean exercises since the end of the Cold War, also leads to strengthening the front line of China's "containment" in the Pacific Ocean with the help of military bases military-political alliances or close ties along the line of the Japanese Islands, South Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior White House official (often an assistant to the US President for national security) said that Pyongyang's actions and China's apparent support for it are forcing Washington to reconsider its relations with South Korea and Japan with the prospect of a possible anti-Chinese bloc in Northeast Asia, which the administration does not want, but which may be necessary 26.

Thus, Washington has a reason to slow down, if not reverse, the process of changing the balance of power in East Asia in favor of the PRC. It turned out that Beijing willy-nilly entered the competition in the field where it is inferior to the CDJA.

Games with maneuvers and shooting on the Korean Peninsula have already acquired a nuclear connotation. And although they have ended with a "happy ending" so far, no one can guarantee that at some point they may not lead to irreparable consequences. Highly productive U.S.-China talks on a wide range of regional and global issues during Chinese President Hu Jintao's state visit to the United States in January 2011 once again pushed back such an unfavorable prospect (although the parties did not hide their differences). But the sluggish conflict syndrome remains.

* * *

"Soft power" is "intangible" and difficult to measure. Its tools can be attributed to a kind of diplomatic nanotechnology. The use of such tools requires hard work and a difficult search for a balance between "hard" and "soft" power, external and internal political realities.

The emphasis on "soft power" in Beijing's foreign policy is useful both for the PRC and for its partners and neighbors. But it seems that Beijing's ability to pursue such a policy is still limited and not sufficiently correlated with its actions and its "audience", primarily in East Asia.

1 History of the USA, vol. 2. Moscow, Nauka Publ., 1985, p. 276.

2 The Presidents. Reference History. Graff Henry F. ed. Simon & Shuster Macmillan, N.Y., 1997, p. 327.

Brands H.W. 3 T.R. The Last Romantic. Basic Books, N.Y., 1997, p. 529.

Nye Joseph S. 4, Jr. Soft Power. The Means to Success in World Politics. Public Affairs, N.Y., 2004, p. 67 - 68.

5 Ibidem, p. 145.

6 Ibid.

7 Ibid., p. 144.

8 Ibid., p. x, 7.

9 Ibid., p. 68.

10 Ibid., p. 56 - 57, 63.

11 Ibid., p. 63 - 64.

Kahn Herman. 12 The Emerging Japanese Superstate. Challenge and Response. Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, N.J., p. 181.

Davydov A. S. 13 "The Chinese Puzzle" for the Obama Administration / / Asia and Africa Today, 2010, N 4.

14; Hsiao Russell. China Exerts Administrative Control Over Disputed South China Sea Islets // The Jamestown Foundation. China Brief, Vol. 7, Issue 23. 13.12.2007 - s%5D=4611

15 Ibidem.

Kristol William and Kaplan Lawrence. 16 War over Iraq: Saddam's Tyranny and America's Mission. Encounter Books, San Francisco, 2003, p. 112.

Mann James. 17 About Face. A History of America's Curious Relationship with China, from Nixon to Clinton. Alfred A. Knopf, N.Y., 1999, p. 352.

18 SIPRI Military Expenditure Database -

Hamilton Nigel. 19 Bill Clinton. Mastering the Presidency. N.Y., Public Affairs, 2007, p. 192 - 194.

20 US Department of Defense website. Joint Press Conference with Secretary Gates and General Liang from Beijing, China. 10.01.2011 -; Robert Gates in China. He says The US don't like China's military build-up. Gen. GL Liang says Have no fear -

21 Joint Press Conference with Secretary Gates and General Liang from Beijing, China. Op. cit.

22 Website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. Transcript of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's speech and answers to media questions at a joint press conference with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus Sergey Martynov. 23.11.2010 - 7e4 0063cd2f?Open Document

Pomfret John. 23 U.S. raises pressure on China to rein in N. Korea. Washington Post, 6.12.2010.

24 White House website. The White House. Readout of the President's Call with President Hu of China. 6.12.2010 - china

25 U.S. Department of Defense website. Garamone Jim. American Forces Press Service. Gates: North Korea Becoming Direct Threat to U.S. 11.01.2011.

Pomfret John. 26 Op. cit.


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