Russia Today featured Martin Hennecke, an associate director at a financial services firm in Hong Kong, commenting on the Russia-China relationship. This was during the backdrop of Vladimir Putin’s meeting with Xi Jinping, who is expected to inherit Chinese President Hu Jintao’s job in 2012. The Russia Today news anchor said “Russia and China today agreed to help each other to increase their clout in global affairs” of the leaders meeting. While the news was back in March 2010, I think it is still relevant today.
Back in 2008, before the Beijing Olympics, Russia and China signed the final agreement to completely demarcate their 4,300km border, the longest in the world. I think the global political climate helped the two come together with urgency to put this 40-year thorny issue to rest. With that out of the way, we can see their relationship expanding. Last year, Russia and China agreed to dump the USD in their bilateral trade. A 1,000km oil pipeline also started operating at the beginning of 2011, expecting to carry 15 million tons of crude oil to China annually from Russia.
As Hennecke says, China understands Russia would like the relationship be more than just raw materials trade.
With NATO attempting to bring former Soviet Union satellite states into its fold, Russia feels encircled. With U.S. in Central Asia now and trying to strengthen her presence in East Asia, it is only natural Russia and China strengthen SCO. Don’t get me wrong though, as I have always argued, the relationship on the global stage is that of cooperatition. (See my opinion of the U.S.-China relationship in that light, “Opinion: Keeping a cool view of the U.S.-China Cooperatition.”)
Russia (and the other former Soviet Republics) is what happens with a country that went with the Formalities of Democratization, which is not much in substance, and a whole lot of nationalism.
Long buried ethnic tensions, while kept in check by a public USSR’s face on equality, shred into open blood boiling ethnic hatred and nationalism.
The USSR PR of ethnic unity might have been a facade, but is it any worse than the decades of Balkan conflict/genocide and a Russia that is now clearly resentful of what is done to it by the West?
Russia is clearly not cheering for the West.
The West is definitely headed toward Islamophobia, another McCarthy Era.
That’s how the Soapbox crumbles. When one stands and pounds too long on a box of weakly glued together moral righteousness, one finds its hot air-ness unable to hold up one’s weight of sins.
Let’s face it, NGO’s are no saints, they are just as likely to be spewing hate messages.
China and Russia don’t share the longest border. At least, Argentina and Chile have a longer one: 5.150 kilometers. Russia has a longer border with Kazakhstan: 6,800 kilometers. Canada and the United States also share a longer border.
i’m all for closer Russian-Chinese relations; it’d also be great if Russia could rein in their ally India; seems these days the Indians are getting restless and are cruisin’ for a bruisin’ where China is concerned.