„The Moscow talks were more important for Xi Jinping than for Putin“

21.3.23 in Moskow: Xi Jinping & Waldimir Putin making history | Quelle: Screenshot YouTube

 China has made its stra­tegic choice in favour of Russia

„Now there are changes that have not been seen in 100 years, and we are driving these changes.“
Xi Jinping, as he said goodbye to Vladimir Putin

By YURY TAVROVSKY | Chinese presi­dent Xi Jinping summed up to the point the results of two days of commu­ni­ca­tion with the presi­dent and the commander-in-chief of Russia. The four-and-a-half hours of secret face-to-face talks and the three-and-a-half more in the presence of those closest to them clearly concerned more than just current issues. The tip of the iceberg is reve­aled to the world in a poli­tical state­ment and an economic agree­ment. A much more massive and signi­fi­cant part below the surface will probably make itself felt soon.

It seems that the Moscow talks were more important for Xi Jinping than for Putin. Presi­dent Putin is steeped in Ukrai­nian affairs and sees rela­tions with Beijing through this prism. It is a good thing that China in the Pacific is pulling back some of the stra­tegic power of the West, redu­cing the poten­tial for an onslaught on Russia. It is good that China buys energy resources that have fallen under sanc­tions and ensures the supply of neces­sary goods. But Moscow still has no time to look beyond the horizon.

Xi Jinping found himself in a quali­ta­tively diffe­rent situa­tion. He did not fall into the trap set by the Ameri­cans in Taiwan, and did not start his own „special opera­tion“, but asym­me­tri­cally respon­ding to Washington’s provo­ca­tions by rehe­ar­sing the blockade of the rebel­lious island.

Xi cancelled the three-year all-out war on CoV and began revi­ving the economy. But, most importantly, the Chinese presi­dent received full appr­oval from the ruling party for his actions during the previous 10 years of rule under the motto „New Era“ and carte blanche for the next dozen years, until 2035.

China‚s “Long March” 1934 – 35 to avoid encir­cle­ment by Kuom­in­tang forces
Quelle: Map of the Long March 1934–1935-en.svg: Rowan­wind­whist­ler­de­ri­va­tive: Furfur, CC BY-SA 4.0 <creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0&gt;, via Wiki­media Commons

In the style of Chinese poli­tical culture, this period has been labelled the „New Campaign“. You don’t have to be a profes­sional Sino­lo­gist to see a refe­rence to the „Long March“ that the Commu­nists under Mao Zedong carried out in 1934–35. Five years ago, at the XIX Congress of the Commu­nist Party of China, it was decided to „not forget about the original ideals“, and since then, the socia­list compo­nent has become more and more prono­unced in poli­tics and ever­yday life in China. At the XX Congress in 2022, it was actually announced that Deng Xiaoping’s pro-Western course, which the party and the country have followed since 1978, would be revised. The slogan „tzu wo ge ming“, „revo­lu­tion within yourself“, does not imply a loud vili­fi­ca­tion of the „archi­tect of reforms“, but a real change in his legacy. As a matter of fact, Xi Jinping did not wait for a party consensus and began an „inward-looking revo­lu­tion“ from the first days of his rule.

The „Chinese Dream“ he proclaimed at the end of 2012 consisted of several stra­te­gies linked toge­ther like the gears of a single mecha­nism. The „New Norma­lity“ reori­ented the economy from the prio­rity of ente­ring foreign markets at any cost to serving the dome­stic market. „Hunting tigers and flies“ cleared out corrupt offi­cials of various cali­bres of produc­tion and supply chains within the Middle Kingdom, and reduced the dange­rous level of social tension.

The weak­e­ning of depen­dence on foreign markets led to greater inde­pen­dence in foreign policy, „coming out of the shadows“, in which the Middle Kingdom remained for 30 years at the behest of Deng Xiao­ping. The Belt and Road Initia­tive was supposed to create reliable land trade routes to the West and become a „road of life“ for China in the event of a blockade of sea routes that trans­port 80% of all traded goods.

Russia’s role was not limited to its key loca­tion on the New Silk Road. Russia, which has begun to recover, has retained important mili­tary tech­no­lo­gies and, most importantly, has become an example of conduc­ting an inde­pen­dent policy worthy of a great power. Even the size of our economy, which was not compa­rable to China’s, was offset by Moscow’s stra­tegic acti­vity and expe­ri­ence, which Beijing initi­ally lacked.

Now, at the begin­ning of a „New Campaign“, Xi Jinping is not only setting mile­stones on the uncharted path to the „Great Rebirth of the Chinese Nation.“ It revives the original ideals of the Commu­nist Party, rethin­king the acti­vi­ties of Mao Zedong and his asso­ciates, inclu­ding his father Xi Zhon­gxun. Among the achie­ve­ments of the first leader of the Chinese Commu­nists, he refers to the estab­lish­ment of the alli­ance with Moscow.

Nego­tia­tions between Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong in January-February 1950 allowed reaching the highest level of rela­tions between Moscow and Beijing — a mili­tary-poli­tical alli­ance that has not yet been surpassed. The docu­ment signed by the two leaders on February 14, 1950 in the Kremlin was called the Treaty of Friend­ship, Alli­ance and Mutual Assis­tance between the USSR and the PRC. Stalin and Mao estab­lished not only the union of two socia­list states in an inter­na­tional legal form, but also confirmed the tradi­tion of mili­tary-poli­tical inter­ac­tion between the two neigh­bou­ring Eura­sian powers. The contract was signed for 30 years, but it was actually valid for about ten. But even this time was so fruitful that histo­rians write about the „era of Soviet-Chinese friendship.“

Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin at their joint appearance in Moscow. | Source: Krelmlin.ru

Perhaps a new era is also opening up before our eyes. No wonder Xi Jinping said that China has finally made its stra­tegic choice in favour of Russia. It is not for nothing that he brought to Moscow virtually the entire new party, state and mili­tary elite for „combat coor­di­na­tion“ with Russian colle­agues. In fact, Xi Jinping suggested that Putin repeat the achie­ve­ments of Stalin and Mao Zedong and, by adding up the possi­bi­li­ties, ensure both the secu­rity of their count­ries and prevent a global conflict.

“You can’t enter the same river twice,” Hera­clid has been cited. The current situa­tion, at first glance, is not at all similar to the 50s of the last century. The older and younger brother swit­ched places. Now the Chinese economy is 10 times larger than the Russian one. China’s popu­la­tion is 10 times larger than ours. The yuan is about 10 times more expen­sive than the rubble. But the dispa­rity of economic and mili­tary power in the era of Soviet-Chinese friend­ship did not inter­fere with the mutual respect of poli­tical leaders, the combat coor­di­na­tion of Soviet and Chinese soldiers in the skies of Korea, and the sincere sympathy of students, workers, and scien­tists of the two count­ries. In addi­tion, Russia has preserved important mili­tary tech­no­lo­gies and, most importantly, has become an example of an inde­pen­dent policy worthy of a great power. China has only just begun to go global in this capa­city, and Xi Jinping is lear­ning from Presi­dent Putin’s stra­tegic experience.

How long will the new era in Russian-Chinese rela­tions last? The recently signed economic agree­ment ends in 2030. In 2032, the XXII Congress of the CPC will be held, which Xi Jinping clearly intends to lead. He wished Vladimir Putin victory in the 2024 presi­den­tial elec­tion and success in leading Russia for the entire six-year term stipu­lated by law. Of course, the future of rela­tions between the two great powers depends a lot on the fate of their leaders and their personal rela­tions. But the main role is played by national inte­rests. In the fore­seeable future, the deve­lo­p­ment of Russia and China will go parallel courses. The United States and NATO will take notice of that.

Today, Russia and China are a global meta­phy­sical Yang force, a force of posi­tive begin­nings, light, good­ness, and peace. The United States and the West are the power of „Yin“, the power of the nega­tive prin­ciple, dark­ness, evil, and war. Putin and Xi Jinping have achieved synergy within the Yang power. They estab­lished a consensus at the level of poli­tical higher mathe­ma­tics. But there is a danger that at the level of poli­tical arith­metic, clan groups, large banks and global mono­po­lies will slow down these decis­ions and under­mine them. This has happened many times before.

We must consider the pro-Western atti­tude of a considerable parts of the Russian and Chinese elite. As it prepares for a confron­ta­tion with the West, the Chinese Commu­nist Party is tigh­tening its control over banks, science, the mili­tary, and the media. Russia also needs to break passi­vity and hidden resis­tance and, follo­wing the stra­tegic coor­di­na­tion of the two comman­ders-in-chief, ensure the combat coor­di­na­tion of the armed forces and the mili­tary-indus­trial complex, the poli­tical coor­di­na­tion of parties and public orga­niza­tions, and the economic coor­di­na­tion of not only state mono­po­lies, but also medium and small businesses.

The success of Russian-Chinese coope­ra­tion will deter­mine the chal­lenges and turn of an era greatly and decisively.


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