On June 28th, a video conference took place place between President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping.
It coincided with the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Russian-Chinese Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation.
The Kremlin clarified that the presidents exchanged congratulations and assessed the current state and prospects for the development of strategic partnership between Russia and China.
The parties also discussed topical issues on the bilateral and international agenda.
The 20th anniversary of the signing of the Russian-Chinese Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation will be celebrated on July 15th, officially, with an extension of , but on June 29th in China the largest celebrations on the occasion of the centenary of the Communist Party are beginning.
The role of the CCP in Russian-Chinese relations is enormous, and over a century-long history it has affected both positively and negatively.
The signing of the 1950 Allied Friendship Treaty itself became possible after the CCP won the civil war and unified China.
And the ideological quarrel between the CPSU and the CPC (which, of course, had geopolitical reasons) in the 60s brought down relations between the two countries, making them enemies.
The communist parties of the two countries managed to mend their relations – but Moscow and Beijing began to talk to each other too late for the CPSU and the USSR.
The Soviet Union collapsed, and China has since made a huge leap forward, becoming the world’s first economy.
The CPC learned from the sad experience of the CPSU and the collapse of the Soviet Union: it managed not only to modernize the country, but also to change itself, while retaining the levers of power. And to build – naturally, together with Russia – a new model of Russian-Chinese relations. Putin and Xi talked about their future on June 28th.
The pandemic has not allowed the leaders of the two countries to shake hands for more than a year and a half, but communication has not been interrupted.
This time they talked via videoconference, and although only the beginning was published, the main words were said – and heard by everyone.
The most important formulations are also contained in the joint statement of Russia and the PRC adopted by the two leaders on the twentieth anniversary of the treaty, and they concern both bilateral relations and joint assessments of the international situation.
However, the second is inseparable from the first – after all, Moscow and Beijing are constantly emphasizing that they regard foreign policy interaction “as one of the key components of our strategic partnership.” As Vladimir Putin said:
“In the context of increasing geopolitical turbulence, the breakdown of agreements in the field of arms control, and the increase in conflict potential in different parts of the world, Russian-Chinese coordination plays a stabilizing role in world affairs.”
Xi Jinping also spoke about the same, noting that “the Chinese-Russian close interaction brings positive energy to the international community, creating an example to follow in the formation of a new type of international relations.”
This of course does not simply relate to a “more just international order”, but about a world that does not accept the dictates of the “outgoing hegemon.“
The joint statement explicitly states the status quo that does not suit both countries:
“The world is going through a period of turbulence, instability and uncertainty have noticeably increased. Humanity is facing a growing deficit of governance and trust in international affairs, growing uneven development and increasing conflict. Ensuring global security and promoting sustainable development are still the most important tasks. Individual states provoke rivalry and confrontation of major powers in the spirit of a “zero-sum game.” The role of the factor of power is increasing in international relations.
Among the negative factors are also attempts by some countries to divide the world along ideological lines, unceremonious interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states, arbitrary application of unilateral sanctions, and the undermining of the legal framework of the system of international relations, including the sphere of arms control. These actions complicate the process of resolving international conflicts and problems. Threats of terrorism, extremism and separatism are growing, especially in the territories of neighboring states and regions.”
The USA is not mentioned, but there’s hardly a need, either way.
China and Russia constantly emphasize that their relationship is “self-sufficient and not directed against third countries.”
The United States openly call Russia and China enemies, speak of the need to contain and counteract both countries, constantly declare that only the collective West have the right to establish the rules of the world community.
As such, China and Russia have long been not ashamed to speak directly about their dissatisfaction with American policy, but they do not proclaim “crushing the United States” as joint goals.
Because they are placing their main stake on the construction of a truly new, multipolar system of international relations, in which the United States will take its rightful place as one of the centers of power.
“Russia is interested in a stable and prosperous China, and China is interested in a strong and successful Russia. <…> As global turbulence increases, the urgency of Russian-Chinese strategic interaction is growing.”