Axis of Convenience

Moscow, Beijing, and the New Geopolitics

Axis of Convenience

Few relationships have been as misunderstood as the "strategic partnership" between Russia and China. Official rhetoric portrays it as the very model of international cooperation: Moscow and Beijing claim that ties are closer and warmer than at any time in history. In reality, however, the picture is highly ambiguous. While both sides are committed to multifaceted engagement, cooperation is complicated by historical suspicions, cultural prejudices, geopolitical rivalries, and competing priorities. For Russia, China is at once the focus of a genuine convergence of interests and the greatest long-term threat to its national security. For China, Russia is a key supplier of energy and weapons, but is frequently dismissed as a self-important power whose rhetoric far outstrips its real influence. A xis of Convenience cuts through the mythmaking and examines the Sino-Russian partnership on its own merits. It steers between the overblown interpretation of an anti-Western (particularly, anti-American) alliance and the complacent assumption that past animosities and competing agendas must always divide the two nations. Their relationship reflects a new geopolitics, one that eschews formal alliances in favor of more flexible and opportunistic arrangements. Ultimately, it is an axis of convenience driven by cold-eyed perceptions of the national interest. In evaluating the current state and future prospects of the relationship, Bobo Lo assesses its impact on the evolving strategic environments in Central and East Asia. He also analyzes the global implications of rapprochement between Moscow and Beijing, focusing in particular on the geopolitics of energy and Russia-China-U.S. triangularism.

Russia and China

A political marriage of convenience – stable and successful

Russia and China

This book depicts the sophisticated relationship between Russia and China as a pragmatic one, a political “marriage of convenience”. Yet at the same time the relationship is stable, and will remain so. After all, bilateral relations are usually based on pragmatic interests and the pursuit of these interests is the very essence of foreign policy. And, as often happens in life, the most long-lasting marriages are those based on convenience. The highly complex, complicated, ambiguous and yet, indeed, successful relationship between Russia and China throughout the past 25 years is difficult to grasp theoretically. Russian and Chinese elites are hard-core realists in their foreign policies, and the neorealist school in international relations seems to be the most adequate one to research Sino-Russian relations. Realistically, throughout this period China achieved a multidimensional advantage over Russia. Yet, simultaneously Russia-China relations do not follow the patterns of power politics. Beijing knows its limits and does not go into extremes. Rather, China successfully seeks to build a longterm, stable relationship based on Chinese terms, where both sides gain, albeit China gains a little more. Russia in this agenda does not necessary lose; just gains a little less out of this asymmetric deal. Thus, a new model of bilateral relations emerges, which may be called – by paraphrasing the slogan of Chinese diplomacy – as “asymmetric win-win” formula. This model is a kind of “back to the past“ – a contemporary equivalent of the first model of Russia-China relations: the modus vivendi from the 17th century, achieved after the Nerchinsk treaty.

Russia-China Relations in the Post-Crisis International Order

Russia-China Relations in the Post-Crisis International Order

The book explores developments in Russia-China relations in the aftermath of the global economic crisis, arguing that the crisis transformed their bilateral affairs, regional liaisons and, crucially, altered the roles both states play on the international arena. Discussing how Russo-Chinese cooperation has accelerated in energy trade, arms sales and in the Russian Far East, the focus is on how the still mutually advantageous relationship has become more asymmetric than ever, reflecting China’s meteoric rise and Russia’s decline. These dynamics are explored through three perspectives: domestic, regional and global. Domestically, the book traces the role of political coalitions and key interest groups involved in how the two states shape their reciprocal policies. Changes in the regional dimension are examined with particular reference to a new status quo emerging in Central Asia. The book concludes by explaining how the changing relationship is affecting the international order, including the balance of power vis-à-vis the United States as well as Russia and China’s changing attitudes towards global governance.

Design, User Experience, and Usability. Design Philosophy and Theory

8th International Conference, DUXU 2019, Held as Part of the 21st HCI International Conference, HCII 2019, Orlando, FL, USA, July 26–31, 2019, Proceedings

Design, User Experience, and Usability. Design Philosophy and Theory

The four-volume set LNCS 11583, 11584, 11585, and 11586 constitutes the proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Design, User Experience, and Usability, DUXU 2019, held as part of the 21st International Conference, HCI International 2019, which took place in Orlando, FL, USA, in July 2019. The total of 1274 papers and 209 posters included in the 35 HCII 2019 proceedings volumes was carefully reviewed and selected from 5029 submissions. DUXU 2019 includes a total of 167 regular papers, organized in the following topical sections: design philosophy; design theories, methods, and tools; user requirements, preferences emotions and personality; visual DUXU; DUXU for novel interaction techniques and devices; DUXU and robots; DUXU for AI and AI for DUXU; dialogue, narrative, storytelling; DUXU for automated driving, transport, sustainability and smart cities; DUXU for cultural heritage; DUXU for well-being; DUXU for learning; user experience evaluation methods and tools; DUXU practice; DUXU case studies.

Great Games, Local Rules

The New Great Power Contest in Central Asia

Great Games, Local Rules

The struggle between Russia and Great Britain over Central Asia in the nineteenth century was the original "great game." But in the past quarter century, a new "great game" has emerged, pitting America against a newly aggressive Russia and a resource-hungry China, all struggling for influence over the same region, now one of the most volatile areas in the world: the long border region stretching from Iran through Pakistan to Kashmir. In Great Games, Local Rules, Alexander Cooley, one of America's most respected international relations scholars, explores the dynamics of the new competition for control of the region since 9/11. All three great powers have crafted strategies to increase their power in the area, which includes Afghanistan and the former Soviet republics of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan. Each nation is pursuing important goals: basing rights for the US, access to natural resources for the Chinese, and increased political influence for the Russians. However, overlooked in all of the talk about this new great game is fact that the Central Asian governments have proven themselves critical agents in their own right, establishing local rules for external power involvement that serve to fend off foreign interest. As a result, despite a decade of intense interest from the United States, Russia, and China, Central Asia remains a collection of segmented states, and the external competition has merely reinforced the sovereign authority of the individual Central Asian governments. A careful and surprising analysis of how small states interact with great powers in a vital region, Great Games, Local Rules greatly advances our understanding of how global politics actually works in the contemporary era.

A Framework for Efficient Government Investment

A Framework for Efficient Government Investment

Welfare economics, scope and performance of government, externalities, public goods, cost-benefit analysis, subsidies economize on spending without losing effectiveness by modifying the conceptual framework guiding state expenditures. The familiar framework says that state intervention is justified when the spending provides public goods or when the intervention addresses externalities, provided the social return is above a threshold. This paper argues that another consideration needs to be brought into the mix - whether, in spite of the externalities, the private sector has an incentive to undertake the activity. It is argued that these two considerations together define a more efficient framework under which to justify state intervention. According to this modified framework, even a benign state interested in social welfare would not in fact address every externality nor necessarily select expenditures with the highest social returns. These points are summarized in a graph which is then used to analyze policy rules, subsidies and effective interaction between the state and the private sector. It is hoped that this paper points to the kind of information that needs to be collected and acted upon so that states may achieve their goals more effectively.

Acoustics and Psychoacoustics

Acoustics and Psychoacoustics

Acoustics and Psychoacoustics is ideal for students of music technology, sound recording, traditional music and acoustics, as well as engineers studying audio, multimedia and communications systems. Gain a practical understanding of how real musical sounds behave and are perceived in real spaces with this accessible and interesting read. This third edition offers a CD of audio examples, crucial for a clear understanding of the concepts discussed. Visit the book's supporting website at http://books.elsevier.com/0240519957 for additional resources such as: * Questions and exercises to test your knowledge * Web links for further resources and research * Audio clips * Calculation facilities (eg. adding decibel values and converting between frequency ratio and cents/semitones) This website can also be reached via www.focalpress.com

CAD/CAM in Practice

A Manager’s Guide to Understanding and Using CAD/CAM

CAD/CAM in Practice

Little more than a decade ago computer-aided design and manufacture (CAD/CAM) was a very esoteric field indeed, not one that was of much practical concern to a manager or industrialist unless his business was on the scale of, say, a major automobile manufacturer or in a field of high technology such as aerospace. Like so much else, this situation was revo lutionized by the invention of the silicon chip, the arrival of the micro processor and the dramatic fall in the cost of computer hardware. Today, CAD/CAM has spread down the market, and down the price scale, to the point at which it is both a feasible and an affordable technology for a wide range of small-and medium-sized companies in areas as various as architec ture and general engineering, plastic moulding and consumer electronics. But the explosion - there is no other word for it - in the variety and capabilities of CAD/CAM systems, and their spectacular climb to the top of the hi-tech hit parade, has placed the potential purchaser and user of the new technology in a difficult position. On the one hand he is assured, not least by the manufacturers of CAD/CAM equipment, that a failure to invest in it will leave his company stranded in the industrial Stone Age.

Mao’s China and the Sino-Soviet Split

Ideological Dilemma

Mao’s China and the Sino-Soviet Split

The Sino-Soviet split in the 1960s was one of the most significant events of the Cold War. Why did the Sino-Soviet alliance, hailed by its creators as "unbreakable", "eternal", and as representing "brotherly solidarity", break up? Why did their relations eventually evolve into open hostility and military confrontation? With the publication of several works on the subject in the past decade, we are now in a better position to understand and explain the origins of the Sino-Soviet split. But at the same time new questions and puzzles have also emerged. The scholarly debate on this issue is still fierce. This book, the result of extensive research on declassified documents at the Chinese Foreign Ministry, and on numerous other new Chinese materials, sheds new light on the problem and makes a significant contribution to the debate. More than simply an empirical case study, by theorising the concept of the ideological dilemma, Mingjiang Li’s book attempts to address the relationship between ideology and foreign policy and discusses such pressing questions as why it is that an ideology can sometimes effectively dictate foreign policy, whilst at other times exercises almost no significant influence at all. This book will be of essential reading to anyone interested in Chinese-Soviet history, Cold War history, International Relations and the theory of ideology.

Security and Profit in China’s Energy Policy

Hedging Against Risk

Security and Profit in China’s Energy Policy

China has developed sophisticated hedging strategies to insure against risks in the international petroleum market. It has managed a growing net oil import gap and supply disruptions by maintaining a favorable energy mix, pursuing overseas equity oil production, building a state-owned tanker fleet and strategic petroleum reserve, establishing cross-border pipelines, and diversifying its energy resources and routes. Though it cannot be "secured," China's energy security can be "insured" by marrying government concern with commercial initiatives. This book comprehensively analyzes China's domestic, global, maritime, and continental petroleum strategies and policies, establishing a new theoretical framework that captures the interrelationship between security and profit. Arguing that hedging is central to China's energy-security policy, this volume links government concerns about security of supply to energy companies' search for profits, and by drawing important distinctions between threats and risks, peacetime and wartime contingencies, and pipeline and seaborne energy-supply routes, the study shifts scholarly focus away from securing and toward insuring an adequate oil supply and from controlling toward managing any disruptions to the sea lines of communication. The book is the most detailed and accurate look to date at how China has hedged its energy bets and how its behavior fits a hedging pattern.