Why China-Russia bilateral cooperation serves global security and development
Updated 19:45, 28-Mar-2023
Timofei Bordachev
Why China-Russia bilateral cooperation serves global security and development

Why China-Russia bilateral cooperation serves global security and development.mp3


Editor's note: Decision Makers is a global platform for decision makers to share their insights on events shaping today's world. Timofei Bordachev is the programme director of the Valdai Discussion Club and academic supervisor of the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies at the National Research University Higher School of Economics. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily those of CGTN.

The strategic partnership between China and Russia is unique because it's a broad and deep peacetime partnership that simultaneously supports building a more just international order. The first means that the relationship between China and Russia was not created for the sake of the struggle with other members of the international community, as has been the case with traditional military alliances on many occasions in history. It means simply "no-alliance, no-confrontation and not targeting of any third party." The main goal of this relationship is the development of both countries in a rapidly changing international environment.

The second is due to the fact that China and Russia are playing a key role in the rearrangement of the international order, in which there will be no place for what Chinese President Xi Jinping defined in his recent article published in Russia as "damaging acts of hegemony, domination and bullying" of a narrow group of states. Therefore, the other countries of the world are open to dialogue with China and Russia and understand that it will not push them to confrontation with any of the others.

The state visit of President Xi to Moscow from March 20 to 22 was the largest international event of recent times and an exceptionally successful one for the development of bilateral relations. Unfortunately, it also provoked alarm and negative reactions in the West, although this was not the goal of China and Russia. The Joint Statement of the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation on Deepening the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of Coordination for the New Era, issued during the visit, is a document of the new multipolar era, reflecting the views of Moscow and Beijing on the key issues of the day.

The decisions on bilateral relations opening up a new stage for trade and economic ties between two countries, are the main priority, as President Vladimir Putin said in his address before officials and media. Leaders of China and Russia outlined policy priorities in supporting business relations amid global economic turbulence and taking into consideration the widening distortions of globalization caused by Western "sanctions" policies. In this regard, the fundamental importance will be, as the joint statement stressed, the stability and security of supply chains.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin hold large-group talks at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, March 21, 2023. /Xinhua
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin hold large-group talks at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, March 21, 2023. /Xinhua

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin hold large-group talks at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, March 21, 2023. /Xinhua

At the same time, China and Russia clearly indicate what they see as the reasons of the difficulties experienced by the global economy and security. It is, first of all, attempts by some Western countries to maintain their "hegemony," as the Russian President writes in an article published in China on the eve of the meeting. Such attempts are now simultaneously destabilizing Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. As stated in the China-Russia joint statement, this leads to the creation of exclusive group structures, general militarization and the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Russia also supports China's initiative on European security and peaceful resolution of the conflict in Ukraine.

The current challenge for China and Russia, as the leaders of both countries agree, is to ensure a peaceful transition to a more just global order in which the UN and international law will play a central role. Therefore, Moscow and Beijing have shown restraint with regard to the actions by the U.S. and NATO that could have dramatic consequences for the fate of all mankind.

For Russia and China, international stability and globalization are central to development. This means that both sides will oppose attempts to split globalization or divide the world into opposing camps. Just as Moscow and Beijing have emphasized that their partnership is not a "Cold War politico-military alliance,” the two's partnership is different from NATO, which continues the tradition of confrontation between blocs and seeks to reproduce the divided world.

At the same time, globalization needs new tools to survive. China and Russia are strengthening their energy cooperation and security based on mutual trade in national currencies. More and more other nations are now following the same path. It is very possible that in the future, globalization can become less centralized and dependent on the financial instruments of the West. In general, changes that happen once in 100 years, cannot happen overnight. For the new world order to become a reality, states need long, painstaking work and patience.

Contemporary relations between China and Russia are also not the result of a diplomatic revolution. They stand on the foundation of the complex and consistent work that has been carried out by the two countries over the past 30 years. After 2013, cooperation between China and Russia received a new impetus. Now we are seeing the first serious results.

Last year, the Sino-Russian partnership passed a serious test of its strength and proved that its foundations are resistant to the broadest external challenges. This causes concern for those powers that have no sympathy for cooperation between China and Russia. During President Xi's visit to Moscow, both powers showed that they are ready to continue their efforts, even though their relations are already at their highest point. The coming five years will be a crucial stage in which a more just international order should emerge.

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