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Partnership with China strengthens our international positions

Partnership with China strengthens our international positions

Vasily Kashin

Candidate of political sciences, senior researcher of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (ACT)

Vasily Kashin, Ph.D. (Political Science), senior researcher at the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (AST):
- China is now in a transitional period of its development. It is becoming an aging society with a shrinking workforce for the second consecutive year. Labor becomes more expensive. The least technologically advanced industries go to Southeast Asia. In 10 years there will be no such expression as "Chinese consumer goods". There will be Vietnamese or Indonesian. China is striving to reorganize itself towards the production of more complex and high-tech products. Consumption of all types of raw materials and the country's dependence on the outside world are growing. For example, it reached 60% of oil imports, but this is only part of the dependence on raw materials. China has become a very large importer of hard coal. It imports large quantities of uranium ore for power generation. In the future, the country will import a very large amount of food, because they have little suitable for cultivation. It is overloaded with a huge amount of applied mineral fertilizers and is constantly being built up. After some time, China will not be able to ensure its food security. He will need almost all types of energy, mining and food raw materials.

Russia and its resources

China's need for resources is so great that Russia alone is unable to cover it. Our entire oil export is 230 million tons per year, and China imports 300 million tons.

There is a myth that our country is an unlimited source of resources, and if China takes this source, then it will solve its problems. But this is not so. He must move to all countries of the world, as the US does. China's GDP is 2,5 times "poorer" per capita than in Russia. If China achieves at least the level of economic development of today's Russia, then its needs will exceed the needs of America many times. But from the point of view of resources, Russia is important for China: it reduces dependence on imports of resources from the Middle East and reduces dependence on vulnerable sea routes.

The Chinese market has unlimited prospects for us from the point of view of natural gas and other types of raw materials, we only need to build the infrastructure. Already, China is our largest trading partner with a turnover of more than 80 billion dollars. Our partnership with him strengthens our international position.

In the current conditions, Russia's importance for China is growing. He avoids steps that could frighten our country.

The fears of the two powers

Does Russia see any threats from China? Yes. There are a number of concerns. Now we have - mutual understanding with China. But no one can predict long-term how the Chinese political system will develop. The Chinese are looking at the example of Singapore, they have an example of managed democracy in Hong Kong. They do not know what they will build in the end.

In addition, the Chinese are tough trade negotiators. If we allow monopolization of our relations with him in Asia, we will lose a lot. It is very important for us to simultaneously develop ties with countries such as Japan, South Korea and Vietnam. In general, the economic ties in Asia are the future. The main thing - to prevent full orientation to China.

The Chinese also have their concerns. After 11 September, Russia, in order to improve relations with the West, supported the deployment of American troops in Central Asia. In 2001 – 2002, Russia was two steps away from the accelerated entry into NATO, bypassing the procedures adopted. That would be a nightmare for China. They take into account the possibility of the arrival of a US-oriented regime hostile to them. Therefore, both parties do not have long-term confidence in the prospects of their partner. Although everything is fine now, a certain level of military planning is being maintained, intelligence activities are being conducted.

Read the full talk by Vasily Kashin on the prospects for the development of Russian-Chinese relations in the series of lectures on “Forecasts on Threats” of the project to Aif.ru: http://www.aif.ru/politics/world/1105395

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