Following the June 5th meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin, MSM began a new propaganda campaign, that is aimed at throwing shade over the expanding Chinese-Russian relations.
A very recent example of the new campaign is a report by Germany’s Die Welt, which claims that “If even Putin is afraid [of Xi Jinping] then help us God.”
According to it, the China-US trade war, among other things has created a necessity for the improvement of relations with Russia, but not on equal terms. And according to the report, the Russians fear the Chinese.
As China’s President Xi Jinping’s visit to Russia showed, relations between countries are developing more than ever: China’s share in Russian trade has almost doubled over the past five years. Only in 2018, trade turnover grew by almost a quarter and amounted to $108 billion.
However, according to Die Welt, when building relations, Moscow and Beijing are not equal. Although China is interested in its northern neighbor as a supplier of raw materials, Russia plays a minor role in Chinese exports. Since Moscow needs Beijing as a potential investor who will replace the “Wes”t, Beijing is taking advantage of this and taking a tough stance in negotiations, aiming at really “tasty morsels.”
As the newspaper notes, while the Kremlin is trying to keep its composure while looking at its “poor hand”, the Russian people are allegedly skeptical of China. Although in the survey on Russia’s closest allies, China was in second place after Belarus. Nonetheless, Die Welt claimed that in private conversations, almost no one hides skepticism and fear of the Chinese. One of the main speculations is that Beijing will “take over” the territory in the east of Russia. This fear, according to the article, comes from being under the Tatar-Mongol yoke.
It is also noted that the head of the People’s Republic of China is the only leader who has not been “teased” by Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to Die Welt diplomatic sources in Moscow and Beijing, Xi Jinping will not ignore the insults. Also, the leader of China, is the only person for a meeting with whom Putin is never late, while other colleagues and high-ranking delegations have to wait for the meeting for hours.
Now, nonsensical as that seems, Die Welt got some things right. The Chinese-US trade war is among the reasons behind the rapidly developing Chinese-Russian cooperation. In addition to that, what reinforces the drive to improving relations is the US unhidden interest in Taiwan’s “independence,” their continuous freedom of navigation exercises in the South China Sea.
On Russia’s side, it is no secret that the US accuses the Kremlin of meddling in almost everything that can potentially be meddled in – elections in the US, in Africa, in Europe.
Allegedly Russia “blackmails” the EU in its natural gas economic “trap.” Russians are doing God-knows-what in Africa, especially in Central Africa.
China is also being accused of attempting to spread its influence in Africa, and of course it is malign.
And the Arctic, Russia said it would cooperate with China in the region, of course that wouldn’t stand for the US, since the US wants to lead the way in the Arctic and profit from its massive resources.
The only issue is that the US doesn’t nearly have the capability to do so, even if Russia didn’t have the world’s biggest Ice Breaker fleet, and China actively working on constructing its own massive Nuclear Icebreaker.
With the US’ recent antagonism it has become more than apparent for Beijing that being neutral, and only barely supporting a multipolar global status quo was impossible, especially since that neutrality is beginning to put its interests under direct and significant threat – be it economic, diplomatic, military, etc.
The examples of its interests being under duress are numerous: the Huawei ban, the US tariffs, the continuous “exercises” in the South China Sea, the general discontent with the Belt and Road Initiative.
At the same time, Russia is customarily antagonized by the US and many of its interest correlate with those of China.
Russia is an important partner of Beijing in energy and military-technical cooperation spheres, and a key partner in some regions around the globe.
During Xi Jinping’s visit, he and Vladimir Putin visited a Chinese car manufacturing plant in Russia that began work recently. According to data from March 2018, China’s weapons contracts with Russia are worth approximately $7 billion.
The Vostok 2018 military exercise was the biggest ever since Soviet times. Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoygu said Moscow engaged in tri-service mock-operations involving 36,000 military vehicles, 1,000 military aircraft, two of Russia’s naval fleets and all its airborne units.
China’s Ministry of National Defense announced it sent nearly 3,200 troops, 900 weapons, and 30 fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters to the exercise.
In the post-USSR regions both Russia and China have strong interest and are concerned with keeping stability. The same goes for the Korean Peninsula, which both countries are trying to assist in currently.
In Africa, Chinese and Russian interests appear to be less aligned, but at the same time, they are both strongly antagonized by the US, which in itself pushes them to cooperate. The same goes for Latin America, and specifically Venezuela.
In terms of diplomacy, it is quite apparent that the US is attempting to reinforce its global dominance, which appears to be failing in recent years, by fueling coups, supporting “moderate rebels”, opposition in various countries and so on. The sanction regime blackmail is still an active tool of the US.
Both China and Russia are hindered by these actions and have a direct interest in counteracting them.
Going directly against its recent, at least formal, neutrality are many of the economic projects that were inked with Russia over the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, when Xi visited on June 5th.
As a result of the meeting, the following was concluded:
- Cooperation on the production and sale of LNG is being increased. The third stage of the Yamal LNG plant opened in November, one year ahead of schedule. A sizeable share in this plant – almost 30 percent (29.9 percent) belongs to China. We welcome cooperation on another large project – Arctic LNG 2;
- The possibility of creating a Russian-Chinese agricultural holding company in the Primorye Territory with an investment of 10 billion rubles is being discussed;
- The two sides agreed on establishing two more interregional cooperation mechanisms between Russia’s Central Federal District and North China, as well as between our Northwestern Federal District and the maritime provinces of Southeast China;
- Both leaders signed a joint statement on strengthening global strategic stability that emphasizes the principled stand of Russia and China that any attempts to destroy the existing system of agreements on arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation are unacceptable;
- Both countries share identical assessments of the situation on the Korean Peninsula and are carrying out a joint roadmap to solve the situation;
- The countries reaffirmed their intention to continue building up bilateral cooperation within the framework of the UN, the SCO, BRICS, the G20, APEC and other leading multilateral venues;
- Russia would continue efforts to link the EAEU integration processes with the Chinese Silk Road Economic Belt Initiative;
Recent blocks of UN resolutions on Venezuela, Libya, among others show that Beijing has given up on neutrality and decided the time has come to counteract unilateralism.
Rather than Russia being secretly afraid of China, while celebrating 70 years of successful relations, it is mostly the US that is intimidated by a closer China-Russia relationship.
And it is ironic that Washington is creating the reality that it fears by its own actions. Naturally, there will be attempts to try and reverse the situation, but it may be too little too late.
A similar example could be seen in Syria, with reports by US and Israeli media claiming of various spats and issues between Russia and Iran. And it is not unlikely that both countries have their own agenda for the post-conflict scenario, but there are nowhere near cause to lead to tensions, to the degree alleged by media.
MORE ON THE TOPIC: