Eastward: Ideology instead pragmatics?

Eastward: Ideology instead pragmatics?

By A.Medvedev

The importance of China to Russia, especially against the backdrop of sanctions, at times surpasses the importance of Russia for China


May 8 at the Kremlin held talks Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping. The meeting ended with a statement of the two leaders on deepening the comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation, as well as the promotion of mutually beneficial cooperation, in particular in the interaction between the Eurasian Economic Union and the economic belt "Silk Road".


China has become the exclusive partner for Russia, and the strategic and trade, economic and financial context. There and ideological rapprochement. Since May 8, on the channel "Russia 24" was the documentary "Russia and China. Heart of Eurasia "Alexei Denisov. Putin says there that in the 30s of the last century, "when China faced with aggression by Japan, the Soviet Union immediately came to the rescue and helped to China." He also said that the Russian-Chinese relations have reached a very high "unprecedented" levels, called the Soviet Union and China, countries that are stronger than others suffered in World War II, as suffered the greatest human losses.


In the presence of the Heads of State signed a number of major commercial contracts, in particular, the head of "Gazprom" Alexey Miller and Vice President of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) Wang Dongjin signed an agreement on the basic conditions of gas supplies from Russia to China via the "western route" - pipeline "Altai", which, according to experts, more is needed to "Gazprom", than to China - soon he will have to get gas on the Eastern route ("Power of Siberia"). The framework agreement on the supply of "western route" was signed in November 2014 and provides for annual supply China with 30 billion cubic meters of gas. However, the parties could not agree for a long time and costs: China, it is easier to focus on the Central Asian suppliers, and "Gazprom" it is difficult to compete with them. Details of this agreement were not disclosed.


Putin said that "Gazprom" has already started construction of the main gas pipeline "Power of Siberia" from Yakutia to the west and China in the near future work will begin on the Chinese territory. In addition, according to the president, now elaborate on the participation of Chinese companies in the project to develop the Vankor group of fields in the north of the Krasnoyarsk Territory. On the probability of China's access to the Russian shelf Putin said last year.


Putin also said that China will finance the project high-speed rail (HSR) Moscow - Kazan, totaling 300 billion rubles. The winner of the competition to design the SCM Moscow - Kazan was previously recognized the Russian-Chinese consortium led by JSC "Mosgiprotrans." The newspaper "Kommersant" wrote earlier that the Russian side has agreed to the use of SCM Chinese technology and equipment. Source edition is familiar with the preparation of the memorandum, he said that the project will be implemented in the form of concession-based public-private partnership. For this will be a joint project SPV-company. Key issues addressed in it should the shareholders unanimously. Distribution of shares stated. According to the newspaper, China will contribute to the charter capital of 52 billion rubles SPV. Beijing also intends to provide loans to 250 billion rubles. in dollars or Renminbi, he told the newspaper. It is possible the allocation of another 52 billion rubles. provided that these funds under state guarantees.


Develops and cooperation in military-technical cooperation. Moscow has recently announced a contract to supply China's most modern missile systems S-400. It means the beginning of a new stage in bilateral relations, under which Moscow threw all fears in the face of the emergence of a competitor in the market of China's military-technical cooperation (by copying the Russian military equipment). Russia goes to the geopolitical and military rise of China in the region, probably considering Beijing as a pole of influence, able to balance the geopolitical ambitions of the United States. However, it is important to note that China's problem of choosing between Russia and the United States is not: political, trade and economic cooperation between China and Russia is not comparable to their volume with the volume of cooperation with the EU and the United States.


Vladimir Putin also said that Moscow hopes for a speedy conclusion of the contract with Beijing to build heavy civilian helicopter. The engine for the Russian-Chinese draft heavy helicopter will be created in Russia, not Ukraine, as previously planned, said Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin. According to him, this means the independence of the Russian-Chinese draft from third countries. "Russia's contribution is not money, and technologies", - said Rogozin. Holding "Helicopters of Russia" for several years negotiating with partners from the Chinese corporation AVIC and companies Avicopter project jointly develop heavy civilian helicopter (AHL).


Opportunistic reorientation of Russia to China, first as a way of tightening of trade with the West, then as an attempt to weight their own game in Asia gradually leads to deeper institutionalization of relations, becoming autonomous from the nature of relations with the West. However, this does not change the fact that these relations have maintained and even increase disparities: China's importance for Russia, especially against the backdrop of sanctions, at times superior to Russia's importance to China. These imbalances will worsen the conditions of trade, economic cooperation and strategic options that could eventually have a negative impact on the prospects of Russia in the West: for necessary flexibility in the east weakens the possibility of trade with other partners. Relations with China also shows the crucial importance for Russia a kind of "ideological compatibility" with foreign partners: the comfort of work is no less important criterion for success than profitability. This is evidenced by an increase in the level of ideologization in decision-making.






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