Goodbye Vladivostok, Hello Hǎishēnwǎi!
Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)
Center for European Policy Analysis (Washington, D.C.)
Chinese leaders may well have a better understanding of Russian decline than their Western counterparts. Russia is not a superpower but is treated as a superpower. There is a reason why Russia constantly threatens the use of nuclear arms; the country is an economic dwarf compared to its geographical size. Russian GDP is only nine times greater than the revenues of the American retailer Costco. The economic strength of Russia is limited; natural resource sales produce cash flow that can be distributed to keep the Russian people calm and elites happy, but not much else. Almost no one outside Russia seeks to buy Russian cars, household appliances, or TVs. It confounds logic for China to treat Russia as a superpower and an equal when Russia has a tenth of the economic torque unless China itself has fallen for the Russian propaganda and sable rattling. Sun Yat-Sen, the nationalist father of modern China, pushed for the decolonization of the Russian Far East and the resettlement of Han and Manchu Chinese on their ancestral lands until the Chinese Revolution halted further discussion.
Kallberg, Jan, "Goodbye Vladivostok, Hello Hǎishēnwǎi!" (2022). West Point Research Papers. 661.
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