The third Ghent - Russia Colloquium

Russia and China in the 21st century: Between Cooperation and Competition at the Regional and Global level
Ghent, 4 November 2019


Ghent Russia ColloquiumThere is broad recognition among scholars that the liberal world order that emerged in the post-Cold War era is under strain. While growing political polarization in Western societies is undermining the current world order from within, non-Western powers are increasingly challenging Western hegemony and are attempting to shape a new world order. The colloquium will focus on two of the main protagonists of this global transformation, namely Russia and China. In particular, the conference seeks to shed new light on how Russia and China (are seeking to) create a new international order. Importantly, Russia and China are also neighbours, with a contentious historical relationship, and in their mutual strive to create a non-western international order, they are not only partners but also competitors. Nowhere does this duality emerge more openly than in Central Asia, a region traditionally dominated by Russia but increasingly becoming under China’s sphere of influence. Moreover, Russia is itself witnessing the effects of China’s rise, as China is making several inroads into Russia. Indeed, as China further embarks on implementing its Belt and Road Initiative, it is slowly changing the face of Eurasia, including Russia.

With the purpose of shedding further light on the role of Russia and China in these ongoing regional and global developments, we invited contributions from a wide array of disciplines, including political science, international relations, economy, law, anthropology and area studies.
Selected papers may be published in a special issue of Eurasian Geography and Economics.


Download the full programme

Keynote speakers

  • Timofei Bordachev is Associate Professor at the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, Higher School of Economics (Moscow), and Programme Director of the Valdai Discussion Club.
  • Yang Cheng is Professor of International Relations and Assistant Dean of the School of International Relations and Public Affairs, Shanghai International Studies University.


The slides of the different presentations are available, as well as some papers for which the authors gave consent to publish them online.

Panel 2: The energy dimension of Sino-Russian cooperation

Panel 3: Towards a new international order: conceptualizations and reflections of the role of China and Russia as great powers

  • Mary Papageorgiou (University of Minho): Strategic partnerships 2.0? Balancing through partnership:The Sino-Russian relationship in the post-Cold War era”

Panel 4: Economic competition between China and Russia: what implications for Central Asia?

Lyailya Nurgaliyeva (Nagasaki University): "Revealing Sino-Russian relations in Central Asia: view from Kazakhstan"

Panel 5: Narratives, images and metaphors: Local perceptions of China in Russia

  • Maxime Danielou (French Institute of International Relations): “Intensive and illegal wood logging in the Russian Far East: How emerging representations on China hide Russian internal malfunctions” - paper

Panel 6: Russia and China in Eurasia: between partnership and rivalry

Panel 8: The economic dimension of Sino-Russian cooperation

  • Jean-Christophe Defraigne (UCLouvain): “To what extent can BRI affect the EAEU and the capacity of Russia to act as a regional economic centre vis-à-vis its periphery?” - paper
  • Riikka Nuutilainen (BOFIT, Bank of Finland): Future of China-Russia economic relations”
  • Boris Vinogradov (Sorbonne University): Chinese-Russian cooperation in the automobile field, experience and prospects 2000-2019” - paper

Panel 10: Comparative perspectives on elites and rent extraction in Russia and China


Pictures of the event are available on the photo gallery


The first Ghent Russia colloquium
The second Ghent Russia colloquium