China, Russia stand up to US bullying

By Cao Siqi Source:Global Times Published: 2018/9/29 23:38:40

Increasing cooperation, not confrontation the best choice: experts

China and Russia have shown closer cooperation and more cohesive interests in international affairs and have become major powers standing up to the US bully, Chinese observers say.

"The global economy is facing rising protectionism. China and Russia have shown more solidified interests in safeguarding the world's stability and promoting the reforms of international order," Gao Fei, a professor of international relations at the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Saturday.

Wang Xianju, a research fellow at the Euro-Asian Social Development Research Institute of the Development Research Center of the State Council in Beijing, said that the two countries have demonstrated closer cooperation in addressing international affairs under the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination.

The experts' comments come after Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov admonished the US on an array of issues ranging from multilateral agreements to its sanctions at the UN.

At UN Headquarters in New York during the ongoing 73rd session of UN General Assembly, Wang Yi said China fully supports the EU's proposal to set up a "special payments system" to facilitate trade with Iran and safeguard the Iranian nuclear deal. Russia has also vowed to support the EU plan.

Not only China and Russia, other countries have also agreed to participate in the system, which could be seen as a rebuke of US unilateralism, Wang Xianju said.

On the Korean Peninsula issue, Wang Yi pointed out that the situation has changed for the better, and China has made unremitting efforts to this end. It clashed with the US which warned the "enforcement of Security Council sanctions must continue vigorously and without fail until we realize final, fully verified denuclearization."

Russia backed China's call to review the sanctions, with Lavrov saying they should not become a kind of "collective punishment" and arguing that it is time to send a positive signal to Pyongyang to encourage concessions.

"The US' attitude toward North Korea is contradictory and the US President's intentions are still suspicious," said Wang Xianju.

Gao also noted that China and Russia have reflected on the Cold War and have realized that the best choice is cooperation not confrontation. Therefore, it is natural for the two countries to show more coordination in international affairs.

US driving countries closer?

Closer cooperation between China and Russia also came into the spotlight of Western media with many covering reports of China and Russia's take-up of the globalization mantle.

Some even referred to the cooperation as a game with the US as an opponent. An article published in the US-based Foreign Affairs suggested it may be the US that is driving the two countries closer.

Conventional wisdom in Washington and other Western capitals ignores the degree to which shortsighted US policies are pushing Russia and China closer together, read the article. 

Now would be a good time for US policy makers to rethink their sometimes needless antagonistic policies and to think more creatively about how to manage a new era of increased competition among great powers, the article said.

However, Chinese analysts argued that such understanding is biased and one-sided.

Gao said that China and Russia are not confronting the US, but are attempting to warn the US it needs to return to the right track. The two countries are exerting their power to stand up to the US bully, he noted.

Wang Xianju said the cooperation between China and Russia will help promote their bilateral relationship, regional stability and mutual development.

"Russia has been expanding its efforts to develop its Far East region and China has also been promoting the Belt and Road initiative. The revival of Northeast China also needs mutual cooperation," he said.

Bilateral trade between China and Russia maintained double-digit growth in 2018, and is expected to reach $100 billion by the end of this year, according to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.

"There is still huge space for the two countries to deepen its cooperation, especially at the local government level," said Gao.

The Russian government has rolled out new industrial policies in recent years for its Far East region. Under the plan, local authorities have accelerated the construction of an industrial park in Vladivostok, aiming to attract more foreign investment from China, Japan and South Korea.

Apart from economic cooperation, analysts also noted that China and Russia also cooperate in many other fields including military and cultural exchanges.

Newspaper headline: China, Russia resist US bullying

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