中国-ロシア討論の終幕

10年前、中国とロシアの改革プロセスの比較は知識人の間での流行だった。中国のように、まず経済面から進めるべきか。つまり、急速に富を手に入れる努力をする一方で、政治的には波風を立てないようにするのが良いか。それとも、ロシアのように、政治面から始めるべきか。つまり、自由を取り戻すことで成功が後を追うという、ミハイル・ゴルバチョフとボリス・エリツィンがとった道を選ぶべきなのか。

今日では、新たな比較論が始まっている。今回の主題は、もはやロシア対中国ではない。なぜなら、ロシアは比較対照に値しなくなって久しいからである。代わりに、アジアの新たな経済的、人口統計学的、そして政治的「巨人」として、中国とインドの二国が新たな討論の的になっている。中国の過去26年間の年間経済成長率はおおよそ8-9%を維持している。インドもまた、過去10年間は同様の成長率を記録している。

グローバリゼーションの進む「平らな世界」(トーマス・フリードマンの説得力ある隠喩を借りて言えば)の中には、ロシアの居場所は無いように見える。もちろん、現在もロシアは世界第二位の核保有大国であり、世界を先導する石油と天然ガスの輸出国として、昨今の燃料価格高騰から利益を得ている。しかし、ロシアの人口は見る間に減少している。男性の平均寿命わずか57歳というこの国では、年間約8万人が減っていく。実際のところロシアは、近代化する経済大国というよりも、壊れやすい石油産出国だと言える。

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