But on most of the world’s problems, Moscow and Beijing are already shoulder to shoulder.
On August 22, Russia and China convened an extraordinary meeting of the UN Security Council in connection with US plans to develop and deploy the recently banned types of medium-range missiles. This was reported by the media and. about. Permanent Representative of Russia to the organization Dmitry Polyansky.
The reason was the test of a cruise missile prohibited by the INF Treaty, the creation of which the United States, as they say, began only in February of this year. That is – only six months ago. If so, the pace in rocket science is simply unprecedented.
Naturally, suspicions crept in both Moscow and Beijing that, in fact, the corresponding development work overseas was actively conducted earlier. In violation of the INF Treaty itself, which at the initiative of the States ceased to operate only on August 2, 2019.
So far – under the pretext of participating in the international competition for military divers “Depth-2019”.
According to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu, funds for the creation of missiles that are subject to the restrictions of the INF Treaty were laid down in the US budget as early as 2018. Almost a year before the US withdraws from the Treaty.
But the Americans persist. Former US Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Countryman told RIA Novosti that the tests had driven a nail into the coffin in the INF Treaty and “there is no turning back at this stage.”
Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in response that US actions show Washington’s desire to unilaterally secure military superiority.
– This will lead to another surge in the arms race, the escalation of armed confrontation in the world and will have an extremely negative impact on regional and global security, – he emphasized.
It is understandable that in the face of a new threat, China and Russia immediately stood shoulder to shoulder. And not only at the UN. As many experts note, with their actions, the US is actually pushing the Russian Federation and the PRC towards even greater rapprochement, which only allows ensuring the security of these states.
This is also evidenced by the next joint military exercises, which will be held in September in Russia, including in the Caspian Sea. The Chinese military will take an active part in them.
In the same line is China’s support for the Russian concept of security in the Persian Gulf. And also – the intention recently announced by Moscow and Beijing to expand cooperation in countering interference in the internal affairs of countries “from other states”.
– This is a typical interference in Russia’s domestic politics, testifying to the hegemony of [the West], – said Gen Shuang, commenting on the situation with protests in Moscow.
By the way, in China they know firsthand about the active interference of these very “other states” in their own internal affairs. Back in June, large-scale protests began in Hong Kong, of which Beijing blamed, in particular, the United States for support.
According to Professor Alexei Maslov, the head of the School of Oriental Studies at the Higher School of Economics, Russia and China are now really unusually closely coordinating their efforts in the military-political field.
– In addition, it is obvious that Russia and China have developed a joint position on the threats that are now coming. Moreover, not only from the United States, but also as a whole for any destabilization of the world military and trade situation.
For China, closer cooperation in this matter with Russia is a serious breakthrough. Because Beijing rarely spoke and is speaking with someone. China has long been accustomed to holding onto any fight and calmly waiting for who will win.
Now we are talking about the vital interests of China. And alone, even him, something significant cannot be solved here.
Beijing is now very competently translating the situation with the confrontations “China vs. USA” or “USA vs. China” to a serious global level. Therefore, Russia, as the main interest in this situation, acts, in fact, from a stand in solidarity with China.
We have had similar interactions with the Chinese before. For example, on the North Korean issue, Moscow and Beijing developed a joint Roadmap. But in order to coordinate military-strategic issues, including on missile issues, this has not happened before. This is a new story.
– What can it lead to?
— Joint actions, ultimately, theoretically can lead to the creation of a serious military-political union of the Russian Federation and China. And not the fact that it will be in the form of a kind of “Asian NATO”, that is, some kind of broad alliance will arise. A system of cross-border interstate agreements can be concluded that formalize the creation of this union.
In the future, other countries of Asia can join the alliance. Among them are the former Soviet republics, which are extremely interested in stability in their region and largely depend on the policies of the PRC and Russia. This is a good base for expanding Russian influence.
– In addition to defense and security issues, problems in the economic sphere are aggravated. The trade war between China and the United States affects the world to one degree or another. What are the pros and cons for Russia? Will this situation bring the Russian Federation and China closer?
– Already, China is showing greater interest in economic cooperation with Russia. There are a lot of misunderstandings and false attitudes. Both from China and Russia. But most importantly, China has expanded the range of discussions on economic issues. In addition to the usual trade that has existed for decades, we began to discuss, for example, issues of cross-investment, the creation of joint research laboratories and centers, which should ultimately produce competitive products.
Over the past year, China has signed nearly $ 20 billion of investment agreements in Russia, which was not the case before. It is not a fact that China is ready to invest right now. But it’s obvious that he wants to show Russia that he is interested in her as an investment partner.
The question is different. As I said, China is always trying to keep its distance equally from all countries. It cannot be said that Russia is becoming a priority partner for him. Do not count on it.
In addition, China does not always understand certain “lenses” that come from Russia. And vice versa.
For example, many Russian campaigns that fit well with the situation in our understanding are incomprehensible to the Chinese. China did not perceive our Russian turn to the East. Although it seemed to us that this is a very successful formula.
Also, China does not accept the concept of “Greater Eurasia”, which we are currently promoting. Rather, it is our mistake to make offers incomprehensible to partners.
The same story is from the sides of China, when it talks about “One belt – one way.” A priori believing that all countries, including Russia, should join automatically and support. No, we believe that we cannot be a participant in this Chinese project. Although a positive attitude towards him.
The question of interaction is also a question of the right language. In the military-political sphere, it is understandable: there is a threat and an answer must be found to it. With the economic field, we have completely different potentials, we solve different problems.
For example, China is now deciding on the progressive development of a high-tech economy. The US is stopping this. Russia is solving the issue of import substitution and reindustrialization. And this staged development is not comparable. Therefore, what China offers is not always adequate to the opinion of Russia. And vice versa.
– And yet there is a clear rapprochement between Russia and China in their confrontation with the United States and the collective West. Can it lead to a revision of trade, financial and economic relations at the global level? For example, to strengthen the BRICS, SCO, weaken the WTO?
– I have a lot of doubts. Nothing prevented us from strengthening the BRICS and the SCO. But that did not happen. Because the countries gathered in these organizations largely do not trust each other. They have their own interests.
China, it would seem, has chosen the right formula – to create ambitious free trade zones, because trade is interesting to everyone. But many states, including Russia, do not join it. Because such an idea can harm the development of national economies. Since they are flooded with too many Chinese goods.
So far, between our countries there is a level of not mistrust that we have long overcome, but the protection of national interests. Of course, we will come closer step by step. In trade, in the military field.
Another point is that China thinks of itself as a global power. And it puts forward new ideas for development for the whole world, which are formalized in the form of “One belt – one path”. This is to some extent opposed to the American globalization of the world.
Russia does not have a global concept. The vast majority of our projects are aimed at the development of Russia and its regions. Thus, the ambitions in our country (Russia and China).
Are formulated differently. Therefore, it is difficult for us to communicate.
We are on unprofitable position of Chinese globalization. Because then we would get only a secondary position after China. We see some danger in this. It would be wrong for Moscow to become a political appendage of China.