January 2015

Jinglue Haiyang: The Naval Implications of Xi Jinping’s New Strategic Concept

By Ryan D. Martinson

In studies of Chinese expansion in the near seas of East Asia, one topic that has been almost entirely ignored is the concept of jinglue haiyang, recently endorsed by the Party-state as a facet of China’s maritime power strategy. The word jinglue is not in common usage; indeed, most dictionaries do not define it. It is a verb combining jing, the character for manage or administer, with lue, the character for strategy or stratagem. According to the 1979 edition of the Cihai Dictionary, it means “handling an issue on the basis of prior planning.” A useable translation might be “strategically manage,” with the full phrase rendered as “strategic management of the sea.”

Stratfor: Poland and Baltic states will continue to promote Ukraine's Western ties

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As the standoff between Russia and the West over Ukraine continues into 2015, the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will come to play an increasingly important role. Even before the crisis, the three Baltic states — as well as neighboring Poland — were among the most active EU member states attempting to bring Ukraine closer to the West and to challenge Russia's role in the former Soviet periphery. Their efforts along these lines will intensify this year. Ultimately, however, more powerful players in the standoff will limit the impacts of their efforts, particularly Germany and the United States.

ASTANA IS READY TO UKRAINIAN SUMMIT

By Arthur Dunn

The summit in Astana of the leaders of the four powers – Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany – scheduled for January 15, has been postponed till some later date. So far, the preliminary talks of the heads of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs (MFAs) of these countries, have failed to reach the consensus that could make the above summit productive.

The Turkish-Armenian border gate

By Kamer KASIM

Although the closed Turkish-Armenian border is just one of the issues in Turkish-Armenian relations, it has time and time again made its appearance on the agenda. Despite Turkey’s recognition of the independence of Armenia after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, normal diplomatic relations could not be established. Armenia’s state policy regarding genocide allegations and its tentativeness with respect to the Kars Treaty, which draws the Turkish-Armenian border, have created a rift in the two countries’ relations. The Armenian Declaration of Independence states that “The Republic of Armenia stands in support of the task of achieving international recognition of the 1915 Genocide in Ottoman Turkey and Western Armenia.” Here, the term “Western Armenia” refers to territories within modern Turkey. Despite this, the Turkish-Armenian border remained open until the Armenian forces’ occupation of Kelbecer, which clearly indicated that Armenia had no intention of withdrawing from Azerbaijani territories. On the contrary, the Armenian forces continued to occupy more ground during the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict. As a result, Turkey closed its border with Armenia in order to demonstrate its support for Azerbaijan. After a ceasefire to the conflict was arranged, Turkey has used diplomatic channels to pursue a permanent solution. However, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has not been resolved and violations to the ceasefire have increased the risk of war.

Europe and Russia after South Stream

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The crisis in Ukraine, and in particular Russia's recent cancellation of the South Stream natural gas pipeline project, has had substantial ripple effects on the energy dynamics on the European continent. The Russians and Europeans both have put forth several potential replacements for the now scrapped pipeline, with Turkey likely to play a pivotal role either way.