Cover Osteuropa 7-9/2023

In Osteuropa 7-9/2023

Reactionary Revisionists
Russia and China in the Putin and Xi Era

Gerd Koenen

Deutsche Fassung


China and Russia are revisionist powers. For a decade now, they have been striving to improve their position in global politics by means of territorial expansion, an approach many thought had been overcome. Neither pursues its form of revisionism from a position of strength and stability, although in China's case, this might appear to be the case given its economic dynamism. Putin and Xi are driven by their own grandiose fantasies – and by the conviction that they must realise these in their limited lifetime and tenure. The West finds itself in a new pre-world war constellation. Escalation into global war is not inevitable. Political, economic, and military means of containment are available. The war in Ukraine, in a more felicitous scenario, could help resolve international tensions if the country is not abandoned.

(Osteuropa 7-9/2023, pp. 47–74)