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President Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping

Russian-Chinese ligament change the world

By Pjotr Akopov, ВЗГЛЯД, Cyplive

Vladimir Putin’s trip to Beijing for the celebration of the anniversary of 70-victory in World War II would be his already 14-th visit to China. Relations between the two countries consistently improved all 15 Putin years, but in the last two years, the convergence of our nations is becoming a major event in geopolitics. The very history of our two countries are destined to become the guarantors of peace in Eurasia, and hence in the world.

Russian and Hans met in Eurasia by historical standards, not so long ago. The Chinese, the oldest preserved its statehood nations began to come into contact with the Russian in a difficult time for the Han civilization.

Except for a short residence time in the same state – after 13 century Russian and Han Chinese were part of the power, which was first called the Mongolian government (Horde), and then the empire Yuan – the very first contacts took place only four centuries ago, when the Russian began to systematically develop Siberia. But the first contract was signed just 325 years ago, more or less regular contacts and study each other began after visiting Beijing Russian Spiritual Mission in 1712 year.

By this time, Russia has greatly expanded to the east, reaching further, however, to the Pacific Ocean, and our countries have become neighbors. However, we are touching only the borders of the empire, which generally did not live the representatives of the titular nation. But that was not the main obstacle to a rapprochement with each other, and not even a closed and self-contained nature of the Chinese state. There were two subjective reasons associated with periods of our own countries.

One of them was the fact that at that time the main focus of Russian power was concentrated on the western and southern borders of the country. Before remote and undeveloped East really was difficult to even get to the same policies as the Europeanization of the country, and the elite, starting with Peter the Great, was decisive. And the second reason was that China was already approaching the period of crisis in its history. Like everything else in this country, he had a great time scales: from the end of 18 century, China is beginning to weaken, and his wealth reaches out to master and subdue the whole world is almost the West.

In 19 century China military power forced open to make it, including to plant opium locals. The main “discoverers” were, of course, English, but other Western countries are not left behind.

It began a century of national humiliation and chaos. China has lost control over trade, power weakened, began internal unrest and rebellion. 19 century in Russia went to the Pacific, with China entering into the same unequal treaty, as well as Western countries. We got Primorye, which, however, at that time almost was not inhabited and was considered likely territory vassal China than was part of the empire. And then we rented a number of cities in Manchuria, through which began to build a railway to Vladivostok and received from the Chinese in the rent a naval base of Port Arthur.

In 1900 year when China’s blazing revolt against foreigners, Russian troops as part of a coalition of Western powers, took Beijing. It seems that China is finally transformed into a huge semi-colony of the West and Russia. Indeed, Russia and enter China, looking at how it hosted the Western countries – not so much afraid not to have time as wanting to create a counterweight to the military and geopolitical presence of Europeans on their eastern borders.

Soon 1966 in China entered a period of internal party and the class struggle, “the Cultural Revolution”, and the country went into a complete withdrawal, limiting contacts with individual countries in Africa and Asia and Maoism sympathetic to the revolutionaries. China has lodged itself as the mainstay of the world revolution, bearing in mind not only the Third World but also Western countries. Mao became the idol of the leftist riots 1968 years in Europe and the “Black Panther” in the US, but in 1971, Kissinger flew to Beijing, and in the triangle of the USSR – the United States – China occurred revolutionary changes. Mao still feared the Soviet Union, it is unfair considering the heirs of Khrushchev, Brezhnev and Kosygin “Soviet hegemonists” (it was a lightweight Marxist verified synonymous with the term “imperialist”), and went on to reconciliation with Washington, with which more than two decades, did not have any contact.

States had the opportunity to play the “China card” against the Soviet Union and the “Soviet” against China, and building relationships with both countries in the absence of communication and feud between Moscow and Beijing, to take a winning geopolitical position. By the time when the Soviet Union and China have matured to search for the path of reconciliation – and this happened in the middle of 80-x, even before coming to power of Gorbachev – it was too late to restore the old or build new.

In China, we were already in full economic reforms to attract foreign investment (initially, however, ethnic Chinese – from Huaqiao, overseas Han), and reforms in the Soviet Union clumsy and naive foreign policy Gorbachev plunged the country into crisis. Gorbachev’s visit to Beijing in May 1989-th did not historic – the first thirty years of high-level contacts completed replica of Deng Xiaoping, who called in a conversation with his assistant secretary-general, “a fool.” Not because of the “great-power chauvinism” and the Secretary General after hearing arguments about the reforms in the Soviet Union and its “new thinking for the whole world.”

In the same 1989-m China came under American sanctions, and the Soviet Union began to lose Eastern Europe and two years later fell apart. All 90-e China gaining strength – without challenging the United States and strengthening its internal power and starting economic expansion in the developing countries (in the search for raw materials). The Russian elite have tried to make it part of the Western world, and China sees our country only as a trading partner, trying to learn a lesson from the rapid collapse of communism in his former stronghold.

Although we had a common interest to prevent the penetration of the US in Central Asia, our allies, the country could not be – a non-self-distrust Beijing geopolitical thinking of the Russian authorities and the Russian ruling class orientation to the West, leaving no place for strategic relations. Therefore, Yevgeny Primakov, with his concept of the axis Moscow – Delhi – Beijing, and even Boris Yeltsin, with its famous “How we Jiang Zemin say, so be it, not Bill Clinton will decide,” he said in Beijing three weeks prior to retirement with the post of president, there were only hints at the fact that relations between the two countries can develop quite differently.

Vladimir Putin has been building the first years of a purely economic relationship with China. But Beijing itself by that time had not yet matured to the announcement of an open global ambitions. Led in the zero years of China, Hu was careful to dim the leader, as the era of accumulation of forces required. But it came to power in 2012 year, Xi Jinping is quite a different type – the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao and Deng. And, most importantly, China itself has entered a phase of movement to the peak of its power – the year of the “Chinese dream” has long been called 2020-th. Putin’s return to the Kremlin and the election of President of China Xi coincided by chance, but the aggravation of relations of both Russia and China with the US was quite natural.

Putin announced a turn to the East after the formal start of the conflict with the West over Ukraine and strategic relations with China and priority to the development of the Far East have been announced already in the beginning of his campaign articles 2012 years. Forming a strategic partnership has been predetermined common geopolitical goals of the two states – the need not just to resist the policy of deterrence, which the US is carried out in relation to that of China (still in a mild form) that Russia (already tight), and start working on the creation of a new global architecture – and financial and economic, and geopolitical. The designs, which will replace the crumbling before our eyes the world by American, which scrapped as possible smooth, it is essential for the further development of both Russia and China.

But not only pragmatic interests cemented the union of two great neighbors – we are united also similar ethical attitudes underlying spiritual codes of our civilization (which, incidentally, is manifested through such a strong love of Chinese to the Soviet war films, such as “The Dawns Here Are Quiet “). Of course, for the most part, and Russian, and the Chinese were convinced that it is so, it is necessary to overcome the stereotypes imposed by the global matrix, make even greater efforts for mutual recognition. With regard to relations between the two leaders, not only of their personal qualities, but their experience and understanding of the union 50-ies, including both objective and subjective reasons for its collapse, will allow them to build a better foundation for relations between the two countries.

If Putin and Xi will be able to reinforce the geopolitical alliance in the course of mutual sympathy between the two civilizations that put intangibles above material, such a bundle can be not only durable, but also much stronger union 50-ies.

That is the fulcrum that really will change the world.

By Peter Akopov on Russian VZ
Translated in English by Cyplive
French translation by Histoire et Societe
Italian translation by Aurorasito-Alessandro Lattanzio
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