THE INFLUENCE OF THE ‘CHINESE FACTOR’ ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF RUSSIANCAMBODIAN RELATIONS

Abstract


This article considers the specificity of Russian-Cambodian diplomatic relations which cele-brated 60 years in 2016. The author shows that in the 20th century ideological considerations, namely the po-litical rivalry between China and the USSR, largely dominated in bilateral relations. The ‘Chinese factor’ - China being ‘friend number one’ for Cambodia - drastically influenced USSR’s position on most issues relating to this country. The research demonstrates that both Russia and Cambodia are nowadays inclined to implement a purely pragmatic, non-ideological foreign policy, modifying it and their interests depending on the current situation. Thus, the ‘Chinese factor’ - China’s economic domination in Cambodia - can hardly become a major obstacle to the development of Russian-Cambodian relations, at least in the me-dium-term. Russian aspiration to solidify its position as an influential center of an evolving polycentric world demands the building of constructive relations with all ASEAN member states. This approach includes Cambodia - a relatively small country in terms of human, territorial and economic resources. It would also promote a more stable system of international relations in South-East Asia as a whole, while at the same time partially offsetting Chinese political and economic dominance in Cambodia.


N N Bektimirova

Principal contact for editorial correspondence.
nabektimirova@yandex.ru
Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia

Doctor of History, Professor, Head of Department, History of South-East Asia, Moscow State University, Institute of Asian and African Studies

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