Resurgence of Russia and China: Implications on Greater Mid-East & the wider Islamic-world

[tab title=”Rational & Scope” start=open]

As the US starts to scale down its ‘heavy footprint’ from the Islamic-world, the resurgence of new powers becomes crucial to evaluate. The rise of today’s regional and tomorrow’s global power and their internal and external policies will determine future discourses. Among the rising economies and military powers, Russia and China stand out the most. Russia has become a key global actor in the aftermath of Syrian revolution. It is the first time since the end of the Cold War that Russia is not only directly involved in managing global affairs, but has even managed to dictate them, in Syria as well as in Georgia Taking further advantage from its new role of an emerging global power, Russia is now seeking new relations in different regions of the Islamic-world i.e. Middle East (Egypt, Syria), Central and South Asia etc.

Chinese foreign policy in the different regions of the Islamic-world can be seen a combination of foreign policy approaches. The over-riding themes of Chinese foreign policy however remains limited to the projection of ‘soft power’ mixed with economic interaction and developmental strategies. This paradigm may not be sustainable in the near-future as the global system seems to shift towards multi-polarity. Chinese inter-relations with the US hard power and their economic interdependency may empower its soft foreign policy approaches. If however, these trends continue to change as the current geo-strategic trends demonstrate, Chinese foreign policy may have to radically change in terms of projecting its economic and military power in order to cater for its huge energy demands, resources and raw material etc. Furthermore, although China and Russia may have different geopolitical interests; they have also found common grounds and convergences of interests on different global issues. As the US tries to ‘rebalance’ Asia Pacific and Eastern Europe the convergences of interests are likely to steadily grow in the near to mid-term future. Finally, as the internal unrest grows in many parts of the Islamic-world; the role of emerging power such as China and Russia will be hugely important to monitor.

[tab title=”Key Features”]

  • Analysis of China and Russia’s historic development in the last few decades;
  • Analysis of contemporary socio-political trends within China and Russia;
  • Analysis and evaluation of current Chinese and Russian foreign policy models and paradigms, particularly in the regions of the Islamic-world;
  • Exploration and evaluation of China and Russia’s military and defence strategies;
  • Exploration and evaluation of Chinese cyber-warfare capabilities;
  • Analysis of fragility or sustainability of western power and Pax-Americana;
  • Analysis of the inter-relation of the emerging powers i.e. India, Brazil, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar etc. with China and Russia;
  • Analysis of new blocs particularly Shanghai cooperation organisation (SCO) or ASEAN and Chinese influence and Russian led ‘custom’ and ‘trade’ Unions;
  • Establishment and anticipation of different Chinese and Russian foreign policy models, using ‘futurology’ studies and by the above mentioned analyses of current and emerging trends etc.

[tab title=”Methodology”]

Our research methods are hybrid of the following:

  • Secondary research (resident researchers);
  • Primary research (extensive field work on the ground);
  • OSINT (Open source intelligence centre). We analyse related information from open sourced information however we also collect ‘closed intelligence’ mainly through our primary research;
  • Experts input (Renowned experts to produce structured and semi-structured advice);
  • Project affiliation with local/regional organisations: We look to work with like-minded organisations on the ground.

[tab title=”Deliverables”]

  • Key strategic updates;
  • Short to mid-term policy analyses;
  • Regional and country specific analyses;
  • Long term strategic analyses.



SITUATION ANALYSIS | Downing of Russian Plane: Aftermaths and Impacts 

NOV 24 2015

IISA’s situation analysis on the possible impact and aftermath following the downing of the Russian plane by Turkish forces.

downing of russian plane cover


OCT 2015 | BLOG

Kyrgyzstan Election:  A New Hope for the Region

Zenobia Homan discusses the recent election in Kyrgyzstan and its importance.

Kyrgyzstan election blogpost pic

SEPT 2015 | BLOG

Reading China’s troops cut: Some Possible Reasons

A blog post discussing China’s announcement of troops cut and the possible reasons behind it

Reading China troops cut blog post

ANALYSIS | China’s Djibouti Naval Base: A Litmus Test for China’s Hybrid Naval Base Strategy

“The recent announcement that China may build a naval base in the small African nation of Djibouti and the release of a new defence white paper which makes clear the ‘active defence’ doctrine has been regarded as a confirmation of a new assertive approach from China. The new naval base will give China’s navy far greater regional reach, allowing it to taking a larger role in international security”.

China's Djibouti naval base article

APRIL 2015 | ‘Ibn-Khaldun’ Series

 Strategic Brief on ‘Resurgence of Russia and China’

Ibn-Khaldun paper series is a annual paper series focusing on key strategic issues in the Islamic-world. This year’s annual Strategic Brief draws upon a year of research on the impact that Russia and China have had, and continue to have on the international system. With a specific focus on the Islamic world, IISA has traced how each region has both affected change and been changed by the geopolitical forces in the past year.

Below are the links for the full report and its executive summary:

Executive summary:

Strategic brief, executive summary


Full report:

Strategic brief full


ANALYSIS | ‘Sinicising’ Christianity: China vs the west?

March 2015

The Chinese Government has, through its Director of the State Administration of Religious Affairs Wang Zuoan, underscored the importance of promoting the development of a Chinese Christian theology. The idea of doing this stirs controversy, considered by some as hyper-nationalist rhetoric which may further worsen religious freedoms in China and is likely to incur significant criticism, particularly from the West. Yet China defends its right to sovereignty over religious affairs and the idea of ‘sinicising’ (nationalizing) Christianity. The debate over the role of Christianity in China strikes at the heart of relations between the West and China and is perhaps indicative of where their relationship may move in the future. To bring deeper understanding, three main elements are assessed: the past historical accounts of Christianity in China, the present perception of Christianity in China as a growing threat