Closer Sino-Russian ties not targeting West

Source:Global Times Published: 2014-5-20 0:28:02

Russian President Vladimir Putin is paying a state visit to China and attending the Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia  in Shanghai Tuesday and Wednesday. Putin's China journey this time has drawn keener attention than previous visits. Sino-Russian joint military exercises in the East China Sea also kick off today. In addition, Beijing and Moscow are expected to ink a massive deal for natural gas supply as well as 40 other agreements, all of which make Putin's visit a fruitful prospect.

Almost all Western media outlets have been focusing on the giant triangular geopolitical dimension of China, Russia and the US, bestowing unusual significance on closer China-Russia ties. Western states led by Washington are reluctant to see this and there has long existed an opinion that their displeasure is worth heeding as it may lead to Beijing's estrangement from the West.

However, those with such a concern have mistaken state-to-state ties for interpersonal relationships. If Beijing, Washington and Moscow were three individuals, closeness between Beijing and Moscow would definitely damage their respective relations with Washington. But another logic applies when they are three powers.

To put it simply, as long as China and Russia refrain from forging an alliance, developing closer ties will help improve their capacity to boost relations with the West. The present Sino-Russian comprehensive strategic partnership helps hedge US strategies to exclude any one of the two states.

The strategic partnership between Beijing and Moscow is not designed to counter the West but a result of their relevant interest structures. Pressure imposed by the Western world has propelled the two nations to discover that they tally with each other's national interests. Nevertheless, problems exist in bilateral relations given a relatively short period of political trust and complicated historical memories.

Consequently it might make sense when some hold that China and Russia will not get too close. The two states in actuality have developed articulate strategic considerations regarding their bilateral ties.

Their closer relations are not directed at any third party but play an important role in supporting each other in safeguarding strategic space and avoiding external pressure.

In recent years, Beijing's ties with Washington have never been upset by its closeness with Moscow. Therefore we do not have to worry that closer China-Russia ties will displease the West, which will not estrange us anyway but improve their attitudes toward us.

Though China-Russia relations involve diplomatic and strategic emphases, they should first of all be "natural" instead of being "artificial."

A natural relationship will boast more vitality and make it easy for the two countries to maintain. Beijing and Moscow developed strategic cooperation in the post-Cold War era and hence maintaining the momentum of healthy growth constitutes a wise and rational choice.

Posted in: Editorial

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