Our viewers think that China and Russia are best friends and perhaps even allies. Until quite recently it was not so.
Despite the extremely friendly and even whiny tone of official Moscow in dealing with Beijing, the Kremlin is not happy with any of the retraction of the former Soviet republics of Central Asia into the Chinese economic orbit, no intentions of China to build an Intercontinental transport system (New silk road), which Russia proposed to be built as one of several Junior partners.
While the Chinese leadership in 2014 politely but firmly rejected the Russian allusions to the desirability of promoting to a military-political Union, particularly persistent in the hectic year.
And now something has shifted.
Tokyo just will not give up Moscow to Beijing
Almost in all activities, accompanying the Eastern economic forum in Vladivostok, business or social, the President XI Jinping pointedly took the Central place, pushing to the periphery, and the forum itself, and his high-ranking guests from Japan and South Korea, not to mention Mongolia. Under the leadership of Putin and XI held Russian-Chinese talks. XI and Putin met with the participants of the round table on Russian-Chinese cooperation. Putin and XI attended the photo exhibition dedicated to the history of Russian-Chinese cooperation. XI and Putin visited the exhibition "Street of the Far East" (preparing and eating pancakes). Putin, XI and other guests awarded the participants of the far Eastern regatta for training sailing boats. The message the Kremlin is illustrated a cute picture: in the center — Chairman of the BBC two Russian children, which he was awarded for first place in the children's version of the regatta on the sides — Putin and distinguished guests from other countries, and from the edge of the main winners of the regatta with the Cup, which they handed to the head of Russia.
And, by the way, another instructive photo taken a day later on the range Tsugol in Transbaikalia, to the great teachings of "Vostok-2018", in which took part also "infantry, armored, artillery, air defense, engineer, pontoon units and aircraft of the people's liberation army of China".
Normal rehearsal for war
Enjoy a rare spectacle in a friendly country arrived the Chinese defense Minister and chief of the joint headquarters of the PLA. The official photo of Vladimir Putin talking to the smiling Minister of war Wei Penha, next to Sergei Shoigu, and the chief of the Russian General staff Valery Gerasimov stands to the side, keeping a polite distance.
But back to Vladivostok. Here is what said the President of the si at one of the friendly events: "in the middle of XVII century, Russia sent students to study in China and thus opened a cultural exchange between our countries. In 50‑ies of the last century, China sent a huge number of students to the Soviet Union... the youth — the future of the state. If young people are smart, and the smart country if the youth are strong, the country strong, if young people are progressive, and the country progressive. Famous Russian writer Anton Chekhov also expressed the sense that the important thing is not to waste my youth and energy, and work... the age-old friendship between China and Russia should pass from generation to generation..."
Agree that the placement of accents speaks to the growing favor of our great far Eastern neighbor. Words of a military Alliance and this time did not sound, but the atmosphere and some scenes would have designated it a possibility — and even the distribution of the roles.
Trump takes Brussels and Beijing on the weak
Why now? Because tramp America, the main economic partner of China, Beijing is a trade war. In the Vladivostok speech President XI criticism of the "unilateralism and protectionism" (without mentioning names of countries and names) is repeated many times. On the other hand, Russia becomes the object of all the new sanctions waves, primarily American. Its isolation from the West is growing. The course of events pushes the two powers towards each other. Hardly only this movement to a close and equal Alliance. Of course, the Kremlin hopes to find in China force, which in the case of what could lean on. And provide markets for Russian energy, are out of the West, and at the same time access to their financial system, since the dollar is ripped from his hands. But we must remember that the Chinese market did not become a major for Russia. In the first half of 2018 at him had to 15.2% ($50 billion) turnover of our country, while on the EU to 43.8% ($144 billion). In the foreseeable future, China cannot replace Europe as a market, although a fifth of Russian oil exports is already directed there, and this proportion will continue to grow.
Chase the world — to catch up is impossible
There is no reason to exaggerate and political solidarity of China. In Skrobala he did not cover the Moscow, taking the usual moral-neutral position. To do something bigger he simply does not have reason: neighbor to the North he is working on deepening its own isolation, and as this isolation increases, coming up without any special effort.
As for Beijing, it coordinates relations with America — something the Central, and the friendship with Russia — the only card played in this game.
Last year China's GDP (calculated at purchasing power parity) amounted to $23.2 trillion and equal to us ($of 19.4 trillion) and Russia (4.0 trillion) combined. And if you count the exchange rate, the ratio will not be as striking for China, but Russia is still winning. Considering the parities, the Chinese economy is almost six times larger than ours, and at rates of exchange — eight times ($12 trillion vs. $1.5 trillion). For the Union of equal soil no.
Sino-us trade last year approaching $600 billion — seven times more Chinese-Russian. To say that the second can replace the first, is not necessary. But defiantly to punish America for protectionism, eliminating purchases of its shale oil and increasing netimport from Russia — a move that suggests itself.
"Peace without annexations and indemnities"
Chinese military spending in 2017 more than three times higher than the Russian ($228 billion versus $66 billion — the data of SIPRI, the Stockholm Institute for peace studies). Why be afraid of Russia Chinese is not necessary. But saber Russian weapons to impress and its far Eastern neighbors, and the United States — it is a rational tactical event.
Here you have the basis for an asymmetric Alliance between the two powers. If it suddenly comes to the present Sino-American confrontation, the Alliance and indeed can turn into a fighting Union, where our state can be assigned only the role of a vassal and the barrier shield. But more likely another option: is Beijing just going to constantly use "Russian argument" to squeeze concessions from its main partners-rivals.
And in that and in other case, such non-winning system of relations promises our country few benefits and many problems, from moderate to very large. But the Beijing power does not make. Everything happens voluntarily.
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