Vladimir Putin started his official visit to China
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s official visit to Beijing started on December 1. On account of this fact, the attention of the Chinese media to Russia has increased considerably. There have appeared several publications pertaining to the perspectives of the economic cooperation. The official Xinhua news agency reported about the monument to Russian great writer and poet Alexander Pushkin in Shanghai. The English version of People’s Daily website published an article under the headline “China-Russian Relations Remain Better Than Russian-US Ties.” These are just a few example of the news stories that can now be found in the Chinese media.
The People’s Daily newspaper also published the detailed statement of the interview that Vladimir Putin gave to Chinese journalists. The article in the newspaper makes it clear: the interview was presumably devoted to the issues of foreign politics, particularly to former USSR republics’ incorporation in NATO. By implication, President Putin rejected the commentary, which had been previously published on the People’s Daily. The article affirmed that Moscow did not have any reaction to NATO’s further eastwards expansion.
Putin stated during his conversation with Chinese journalists that such a military bloc as NATO was not supposed to expand under the conditions of the current global situation. In the opinion from the Russian president, the expansion does not help to overcome international terrorism, or nuclear weapons issues. However, he said that any sovereign state is entitled to define its foreign policy priority, including the issues of membership in various organizations. Putin stated that Russia did not have a necessity to join NATO, although Moscow did not exclude an opportunity of further cooperation with the bloc. Yet, this opportunity might become possible, if the bloc starts changing its functions, and if its activity coincides with Russia’s national interests.
It goes without saying that the interview highlighted the relations between Russia and China. Questions and answers help to foresee the subjects of the official negotiations in Beijing. Speaking about trading and economic links, Putin emphasized the cooperation in military and energy fields. The Russian president stressed out that the two countries should strengthen the coordination in most important political problems, like the stability in the world, non-proliferation of nuclear and mass destruction weapons.
Judging on the text, which was published in the People’s Daily, the interview did not touch upon topical subjects as USA’s coming aggression against Iraq, or the unexampled growth of American supremacy in the whole world. Yet, the tone of the interview allows to hope that those questions will not be ignored during the Beijing summit. There is a hope that the participants of the summit will not refuse to seek for the counterbalance to that ambition, despite the willingness to keep up good relations with the “supremacist.”
The Chinese media reported about the opinion poll, which recently took place in Russia. The results of the poll showed that 42% of Russian respondents treated China rather well. The percentage of the people, whose attitude to China is negative is only 12%. Sixty-seven percent think that the economic development in China is more preferable than in Russia. Seventy-three percent of the respondents think that Russia’s role in global affairs is a lot higher than China’s.
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov