Chinese President Xi Jinping
has arrived at Sochi, Russia, on invitation for the opening ceremony of the 22nd Winter Olympic Games slated for tomorrow. This is the first time for China's leader to attend a large-scale sports event overseas and also for Xi to pay an official visit to a foreign country this year. While most world leaders, notably those from the US, the UK, France and Germany, will not go to Sochi amid a specter of censure, Xi's presence makes close Sino-Russian ties even more prominent.
The Sochi Games have been politicized by Western public opinion and Russia is facing the same scenario as China in 2008. Despite the March 14 Lhasa Riots, the US and French presidents, George Bush and Nicolas Sarkozy, finally made it to Beijing for the opening ceremony of the 28th Summer Olympics, and UK prime minister Gordon Brown attended the closing ceremony. Russia has seen no serious events in the past couple of years, but Western countries still keep attacking the nation.
Though Russia has generally accepted the Western political system with a multi-party institution and democratic election, the West has long been carping about it, which is indeed chilling. It is estimated that as of now, there have been a multitude of news reports criticizing the Sochi Games by revealing corruption cases, bureaucracy, abuses of public power, pessimistic human rights, a degraded environment, media censorship, anti-gay laws, unfair treatment to economic migrants, ethnic conflicts and other social quandaries in Russia.
The first warning Sochi 2014 has rendered China is that implementation of "Western-style democracy" will not help reach a mood of détente with Western nations, which adopt attitudes toward big powers like China and Russia in line with their geopolitical interests.
Xi's attendance at the Games in no way implies that China is in confrontation with the West. In actuality, the aggregate power of both Beijing and Moscow is still far less than that of the Western world.
Nevertheless, bilateral cooperation between Beijing and Moscow is highly resilient. Political dynamics determines that the two global strategic powers are unlikely to be isolated, so it is doomed to fail when the West attempts to separate China from Russia.
Xi's presence at the 2014 Sochi Games constitutes an unconventional protocol in China's diplomatic endeavors, but this is also anticipated by strategic analysts. This represents Beijing's support for Russian President Vladimir Putin, reflecting a certain feature of Sino-Russian relations.
The bilateral ties are enjoying the best time ever in history though they have embarked on different paths of political development. Meanwhile, China's relations with Vietnam and North Korea are far more sensitive, fully showcasing that state-to-state relations are so intricate that it is naïve to view them from the perspective of ideology.
The Sino-Russian friendship is a significant pillar of world peace and balanced global power, which is further proved by the Sochi Winter Games.