When examining realism the People’s Republic of China and The Russian Federation come to mind as the quintessential examples of Realism as defined by Viotti & Kauppi. Realism is based Realism as defined by Viotti & Kauppi consist of four elements, the first being that states are the primary actors or the most significant actors. Viotti & Kauppi place great emphasis the fact the importance of the state is primary in realism. The progress and success of the collective state almost lends itself to nationalist ideology in the sense that policies are generated and pursued based on the needs of the state rather than various entities within the state.
When the economic policies of China and Russia are examined, one can clearly see that he objectives of both states is to further the states position on the world stage. With China it is apparent that they wish to be the world’s largest economy thus there is an overt desire to influence world economic affairs by loaning countries that have currency shortages large sums of cash at low interest rates thus giving them a large sum of debt to hold and use to influence international policies when favorable to China. This is not the goal of any one particular interest with China rather the collective goal of both the Chinese people and the Chinese government. Russian Federation Policy is that the interest must and will be engineered to regain its position of influence once held by the late Soviet Union. The success of the individual or a specific group is irrelevant. What makes Russia unique is that it establishes this view based not only on the current domestic Russian borders but on its neighbors that were until 1990 part of the Soviet Union and the greater Caucus region. Their idea of an open society, markets and media is limited and sometimes even prohibited when in conflict the progress or mission of the state This nationalistic goal reemergence is not goal of any party such the “Soviet Party “ rather the collective goal of the Russian people and government .
Viotti & Kauppi established the second factor is the unitary actor or “facing the world from the outside” (Viotti & Kauppi 1998).. This is most appropriate in regards to the political mechanism To the point of focused definition of Viotti & Kauppiof the states in this China and Russia “speak with one voice “ in regards to major policy unlike the west where competing factions make public statements in major issues to discredit or posture there perspective faction or caucus. China has a unified position on subjects such as reunification of Taiwan, Tibet and its role in the South China Sea and well as on issues such as monetary policies and censorship. The Russian Federation has long mastered this position of unitary actor during its days ruled by the Soviet Party. In the Russian Federation all information is filtered through the Kremlin to the office of Presidency. This is authoritative in nature do the fact any deviation can and will be enforced by the authoritarian function. A perfect example of this is Boris Berezovsky a Russian business man and mathematician, and member The Russian Academy of Sciences and a former government official and Deputy of the Duma or Russian Parliament who challenged the newly elected Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2000 who is currently Russian Prime Minister. He now resides in exile in the UK. Boris Berezovsky made his fortune in the privatization of state assets during the Yeltson years and challenged the authoritarian governance through public statements and open descent of the Putin administration.
The third factor of realism is that of unitary state as actor or “the state is essentially a rational actor”. Viotti & Kauppi define this as a calculated and formulated decision making process by decision makers with in the governing body(Viotti & Kauppi 1998). China’s economic policy was has been coined “The Five Year Plan”. “The Five Year Plan” purpose is to transform the PRC‘s economic and social development model. The plan as laid out by U.S analyst is for the PRC (People Republic of China) to oversee the acceleration and restructuring of the economy towards a free market economy. The Russian Federation goal is to emerge from the 1990’s with a quasi free market economy where Russia is an exporter of goods and services other than there oil and military weapons. This will come with very strong regulation from its authoritarian government seeing as Russia does not want to lose social or fiscal control over its state. Capitalism has been the enemy of the state since the days of Oligarchs and Russian Revolution, so it is with no surprise that the Kremlin is guarded to the idea of free market polices. Viotti & Kauppi makes the case that government officials may not have all the answers to the issues that the state may encounter. Viotti & Kauppi also argues that he “Human account has to be calculated and presents a variable that is difficult to quantify.
Viotti & Kauppi fourth and final point focuses on the point that international issues that take priority in the “hierarchy” as described Viotti & Kauppi (Viotti & Kauppi 1998).. Viotti & Kauppi puts great emphasis military and national security issues are paramount. The People Republic of China and the Russian Federation spend a vast amount of their countries wealth on arms. The Russian Federation is one of the world largest exporters or military arms second. The People Republic of China has increasingly place much of the wealth gained from its economic explosion into modernizing its military technology. The border issues with India and Regional conflict with its neighbors Japan and Vietnam as well the massive U.S naval presence in the Pacific gives the Chinese great pause. Dr. Harry Kissinger has been noted that he understands the Chinese resentment of American interference in the PRC’s internal issues and affairs. Dr Kissinger states the Chinese are content to remain within their historical realm of influence. The Russian Federation in 2008 showed aggression reminiscent of its policies in the 1950’s. The Russian Federation has shown great resentment to the U.S missile defense shield program and the move to incorporate former Soviet Republic states such as Georgia, Ukraine in missions. The Russian Federations’ strategic nuclear stock pile positioning is pertinent to their military hierarchy. Viotti & Kauppi four underlying principles of realism are as follows analytic units, unitary actor, of unitary state as actor and international issues that take priority.