Eurasian Studies: Geopolitical Landscape and Future Trend of Eurasia in 2020

On the morning of December 25th, 2020, Prof. Sun Zhuangzhi, Research Professor at the Institute of Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), conveyed a lecture entitled “Geopolitical Landscape and Future Trend of Eurasia in 2020” to doctorate candidates of Institute of International and Area Studies, Tsinghua University (IIAS-THU) at Conference Room 205 of the Central Main Building.

In 2020, the turmoil in Eurasia continued, including the social and political chaos caused by the presidential election in Belarus, the war in the South Caucasus triggered by the Naka conflict, and the third “revolution” in Kyrgyzstan. Under the influence of Russia and other regional powers, the geopolitical landscape and future trend in Eurasia deserve our attention. Prof. Sun summed up that countries in Eurasia are facing three crises, namely political power, sovereignty and security, and reviewed them in three parts, i.e., historical roots, Russia’s geopolitical dilemma and international changes and public crises.

When looking back at the historical roots of turmoil in Eurasia, Prof. Sun pointed out that in the past three decades after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Eurasia has experienced four waves of turbulence. Later, he reviewed Russia’s geopolitical dilemma and stressed that Russia is facing heavy pressure from the West and economic downturn due to the Crimean issue. However, it is difficult to provide much-needed economic, technological and cultural supports for the Eurasian region while trying to drive the process of “post-Soviet” integration. Finally, he mentioned that the COVID-19 outbreak is a “catalyst”, which deteriorates the existing political, economic and social problems in the hinterland of Eurasia and may trigger a number of geopolitical changes, such as the further escalation of the game between big powers, the increasing instability of regional security landscape and the ineffectiveness of the existing multilateral mechanism.

Prof. Sun Zhuangzhi is Research Professor of International Politics, Doctor Supervisor and Director of the Institute of Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. His research interest includes international relations in Central Asia and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. He is the author of Foreign Relations of Five Central Asian Countries, New Pattern and Regional Security in Central Asia, Security in Central Asia and Afghanistan, The “Colour Revolution” in the States of CIS and Cross-border Cooperation in Central Asian Countries.

By: Hua Xiuli