Russia and China. Harmony and Balance
The G20 in Hamburg is a very complex political structure of the world's leading states. It involves competition, and mutual suspicions, resentment, hopes and disappointments, fears, some sort of fuss, tension and mismatch. Against this background, there were only two state leaders who produced the impression of calm confidence. It's largely because they have almost common understanding of international issues. I mean the leaders of Russia and China. Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping.
This week President Xi started his European visits with Moscow where a joint document was signed in a relaxed atmosphere. It was a Joint Russian-Chinese Statement on the Current Status of Global Affairs and Important International Issues. It has 22 articles listing the points of convergence in black and white. It seems that the subject is boundless from calling on creating an honest international counter-terrorist coalition to suggesting elaborating an international convention in the field of information and communication technologies. Both countries are concerned about the US missile defense system threats to strategic stability the militarization of space. In this field, our common proposal is to conclude an agreement on preventing the deployment of weapons in outer space.
China is with us on the need for a set of international rules for the Internet and for well-ordered cyberspace against the arms race on the Internet. Moreover, Russia and China are for an open world economy. Our positions coincide on Syria, Afghanistan and North Korea. Moscow and Beijing avoid the word «union» regarding our relations. Obviously, they don't want to encourage block thinking. But Xi Jinping stresses that whatever happens in the world, our countries will remain together. Mr Putin and I share the view that, whatever the changes in the international situation, Chinese-Russian relations won't be affected. We intend to further strengthen mutual support and deepen all-round cooperation to advance our cooperation so as to achieve bigger, real results to the benefit of our peoples and the peoples of the whole world. But what drives Beijing? People dealing with the Chinese foreign politics understand that it's largely driven by the wisdom of Confucius.
Once, I asked my Chinese colleague, the head of the International Radio of China what the core of Confucianism was for him in one word, essential, for everyday life. And he replied: «Harmony, balance» the right balance of motion and rest. Is it not what Russia is also striving for in the world? But hearing from the Chinese about the harmony I immediately remembered that my friend and television teacher Eduard Sagalayev once, about 25 years ago, had asked the founder of CNN American Ted Turner what the main thing in life was. The answer was immediate. In one word, too. Expansion. Whom to choose to be your friend? The one who'll help you build harmony or the other, who'll seek expansion, at your expense? China, like everything of a large scale, is turning slowly. But, like everything of a large scale, doesn't vibrate for nothing. Russia is turning eastwards. China is turning westwards, towards Russia. I must say, they have help from the side of the Pacific. Here are some examples. At the end of last week, the US announced its decision to supply a huge amount of weapons to Taiwan for almost $1.5 billion and American vessels were allowed to enter Taiwan's ports. Until now, the US has not dared to do this so as not to anger Beijing because this is a direct violation of the «one China» policy according to which the island of Taiwan is the sovereign territory of the PRC. For Beijing, US weapons supplied to Taiwan are categorically unacceptable. From bad to worse. Last Sunday the USA pointedly sent the destroyer USS Stethem to the disputed islands of Shisha in the South China Sea.
China regards the islands and territorial waters around them as its own disputing them with Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines. Important shipping routes lie near the islands. And the shelf has considerable oil reserves. China labeled the US actions on the eve of the G20 summit as a «serious political provocation». And Chinese navy and fighter planes sent the American destroyer packing. Finally, on Tuesday, the second day of the PRC President's visit to Russia North Korea successfully launches another missile. It's announced to be the intercontinental ballistic missile «Hwaseong-14» capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. Not a most pleasant event for China either not only because it's close but also because the USA threatens with a war against North Korea in case China can't calm down its neighbor on its own. Moreover, in response to the North Korean launch clearly timed to the US national holiday on July, 4 Americans conduct joint maneuvers with the South Koreans. Russia and China immediately react with a joint statement on the Korean Peninsula issue. It calls on so-called double-freezing. The North Korea is supposed to announce a moratorium on nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches and the United States and the South Korea should, accordingly, refrain from large-scale joint exercises and stop the deployment of the US anti-ballistic missile defense system THAAD.
It's reasonable, but as long as Americans immediately said «no» the North Koreans are silent as well. Actually, here are just some fresh touches for the background of increasingly close Russia-China friendship. Another factor is the information war that the West is waging against our two countries. Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of RT TV company and Rossiya Segodnya agency spoke about it before Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping. We live in unique times, when the media – the so-called fourth estate – in many countries is trying to become, and sometimes becomes, the first: sets the rules of the game, controls public opinion. Few countries in the world are exposed to such information attacks real information terrorism, dare I say it as often and as consistently as our countries, Russia and China. Fake news has become a trap, snaring millions of people used to trusting major media names who shouldn’t be trusted for a long time now. Blatant lies that used to be reserved for tabloids are now doing the rounds in the world media, and from their pages, those lies are put into the mouths of the newly-minted leaders".
The report was abundant with examples, which seemed to impress Putin. Thank you very much, Ms. Simonyan, it was very convincing. On the whole, the Russian-Chinese meeting in Moscow on the eve of the G20 was very warm. Putin awarded the guest with the highest Russian state award the Order of St Andrew the Apostle with the official wording: «for special services to the strengthening of friendship and cooperation between the nations». At the end of the week, both leaders were already in Hamburg. The neighboring Baltic Sea is to host at the end of the month joint Russian-Chinese naval exercises «Marine Interaction 2017».
Interestingly, the flagship of the Chinese squadron that is heading for the Baltic Sea is the largest surface ship of the Chinese navy exclusive of the aircraft carriers. It's the brand-new Changsha missile destroyer. The Chinese press modestly calls it one of the best destroyers in the world. The Xinhua News Agency reports that the exercises should «strengthen and expand strategic partnership and coordination between China and Russia and deepen friendship and substantive cooperation of the two fleets». And, let me guess. if the joint Russian-Chinese naval exercises in the Baltic are scheduled for the last week of this month and we traditionally celebrate our Navy Day with a naval parade on the last Sunday of July will not the military seamen of the two countries appear together in the ranks on the holiday? Is it coincidence? Yes, it's a coincidence.