Friday, 24 June 2016

Strategic Sino/Russian Relations

Ahead of Putin’s June 25 state visit to China to discuss growing bilateral ties and issues of mutual concern with his counterpart Xi Jinping, he was interviewed byXinhua at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) last week.
After Soviet Russia’s dissolution in 1991, both countries established “constructive partnership” relations in 1992, followed by a 1996 “strategic partnership,” and a treaty of “friendship and cooperation” in 2001.
Putin earlier remarked about special Sino/Russian relations, telling Xinhua last week both countries “see each other as close allies, so, of course, we always listen to each other. By this I mean we keep in mind each other’s interests.”
Last year, he met with Xi five times, collaborating closely on matters of mutual interest and concern. He told Xinhau Sino/Russian relations are “at a very high level…an unprecedented level of mutual trust (and) collaboration.”
“To say we have strategic cooperation is not enough anymore,” he explained. “This is why we have started talking about a comprehensive partnership and strategic collaboration.”
“ ‘Comprehensive’ means that we work virtually on all major avenues. ‘Strategic’ means that we attach enormous inter‑governmental importance to this work.”
He called Xi his “good friend and a reliable partner.” Both leaders share similar views on vital issues. “This similarity or coincidence is backed by concrete work, including efforts on the technical level,” he explained. “We are in constant contact, and we consult on global and regional issues.”
Over two dozen Sino/Russian subcommittees and intergovernmental commissions operate the same way, their goal to foster mutual cooperation and find solutions to matters of mutual interest, Putin explained.
Both countries are moving in the right direction, he stressed, including diversifying their ties, “making them more sophisticated, and paying more attention to the high-tech area of our collaboration.”
“I am looking forward to substantive negotiations, intensive ones. They are always held in an atmosphere of amity and mutual trust.”
He noted Xi launched a new Silk Road initiative, “aimed at increasing cooperation with all countries of the world” – mainly with Russia and other neighboring ones “because wherever the road goes, it first runs through” these nations.
He noted talks are on two tracks – bilateral and with the Eurasian Economic Union, five nations comprising an integrated single market.
China intends increasing its involvement in Russia’s energy market, its investments furthering mutual ties, Putin explained.
Sino/Russian collaboration in international affairs contributes to the stability of world affairs,” he stressed, a vital counterweight to America’s drive for world hegemony, the greatest threat to world peace – my words, not his. I doubt he’d disagree.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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