23 June 2022 10: 37

China and Russia form an alliance against the West? Opinion Bloomberg

Russia wants to get at least something from China.

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China and Russia form an alliance against the West? Opinion Bloomberg

Are China and Russia inseparable as never before? It's time to put a question mark rather than equal. At least judging from the column by Nishid Hajari on the website of the American media giant Bloomberg.

Is the relationship between Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping really that strong? What is the reason for this friendship? And what does Nixon and Mao Zedong have to do with it. Nastya understood the topic

The bonds that bind the two countries together are stronger than during the Cold War, and the forces that could tear them apart are weaker. It is these words that Khajari puts at the beginning of his article.

The author recalls a telephone conversation between Putin and Xi Jinping last week, which was timed to coincide with the latter's birthday. And this, according to Hadjari, was a signal confirming Beijing's support for Moscow, despite the fact that the Russian armed forces are destroying most of the territory of Ukraine. Allegedly, in this way the presidents of Russia and China let the West know that the newly formed strategic unity of their countries would be preserved.

Union of Russia and China. Does he exist?

According to the author, the alliance between the two authoritarian giants represents the greatest geopolitical challenge to the West since the end of the Cold War. And finding some way to break it apart—as US President Richard Nixon did in his work with Mao Zedong 50 years ago—seems like an obvious priority. But, unfortunately for the author, there are absolutely no conditions for such a stratagem today.

Further, Hajari, referring to historical discourse, explains why.

A decade before Nixon's shocking visit to Beijing, the clash of personalities and ideologies between Mao and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev had already set the stage for the collapse of their alliance. Khrushchev, Khajari recalls, sought peaceful coexistence with the West, while Mao favored confrontation. Domestically, Khrushchev initiated the process of de-Stalinization. Mao saw him as a weak-willed revisionist who had betrayed true communist ideals.

By contrast, Khajari says Putin and Xi, who have met 2013 times since 38, are close friends. At least that's the official position. They have similar values ​​and a deep antipathy towards the West.

But, do not forget that everyone seeks to establish their sphere of influence in the geopolitical neighborhood of their country and sees the United States as the main obstacle to their vision of national greatness.

So let's not rush to conclusions.

Yes, in terms of national interests, Russia and China are more connected today than at any time since the end of the Cold War.

But, today their relationship, Hajari writes, is a marriage of convenience. Both Russia and China have always seen tactical benefits from such mutual "love", even if they lacked deep strategic trust. However, in recent years, the author notes, as their relationship with the US-led West became increasingly hostile, the alliance between China and Russia has turned into a marriage of necessity. For only a close strategic partnership can reduce their mutual vulnerability.

Russia in isolation from the world

Hajari also writes that there are several scenarios in which the new Beijing-Moscow axis could collapse.

The first is regime change in Russia, which will destroy the ideological and strategic foundations of the Sino-Russian alliance. This can happen if Putin leaves power and democracy returns to Russia, as the author emphasizes. But this scenario is unlikely, at least in the short term.

Second, if Putin, like Mao in the early 1960s, becomes disillusioned with China because Xi, like Khrushchev, chose to play the long game and maintain China's economic ties with the West, rather than provide unbridled support for Russia. But even here the author has doubts, and the main one is that in such a scenario, Russia is left alone with itself at the moment of isolation from the United States and Europe. And at least something from China is still better than nothing at all from the West.

In theory, the author writes, the rapprochement between the United States and China could alienate Beijing from Moscow. But this, as Khajari writes, is something on the verge of fantasy. The US has made it quite clear that it sees China as its biggest threat in the long run.

But what Hajari calls a real - possible, but least acceptable, strategy for the collapse of the friendship between Russia and China - is the support of Moscow from the US and Europe.

The author writes that Xi has long been worried that the West will be able to poach Putin. At their virtual meeting last December, Xi openly praised the Russian president for rejecting "attempts to sow discord between Russia and China," inadvertently demonstrating his misgivings about Western attempts to please Putin.

Xi is open praised Putin.

The easiest scenario for the end of Sino-Russian friendship, Hajari calls a decisive military defeat of Russia, which entailed the fall of Putin. But such a scenario, according to the author, is practically unthinkable due to the status of a nuclear power and the prospect of mass destruction.

Alternatively, the West could seek a quick end to the war on terms favorable to Putin, the author suggests. Then the Russian leader will have more room to maneuver and less dependence on China. However, this outcome seems less and less likely. It is with such a categorical thought that Khajari concludes his column.

But that's not all. The topic of China and Russia in the context of the war in Ukraine is one of the hottest. I would like to add one more authorship opinion Stuart Lau.

In his column on the Politico website, he says that today Xi shares Putin's position towards the West and NATO, but this does not mean that he will unconditionally support Moscow. Xi's main strategic concern is the prosperity and security of China, not the salvation of Russia.

According to the LAU, China will help Russia only to the extent that it does not incur sanctions and jeopardize its exports - the ability to sell goods to rich countries in North America and the EU.

An even more troubling sign for Putin is that China intends to set a high price for support. Beijing, for example, wants to limit Russia's highly lucrative arms sales to India, China's sworn enemy, Lau writes.

He also believes that Russia's need for an ally coincides with China's growing assertiveness. The more isolated Moscow becomes, the more it will have to help Beijing pursue its geopolitical ambitions.

Xi is fully focused on securing a third presidency, armed with a call to make China more prosperous, eventually overtaking the US to become the world's No. 1 economy. Sanctions will destroy this scenario - the author argues.

Putin, meanwhile, is in a more difficult position. He would be happy to take whatever he can from China, given his country's current position, even if that means Russia is seen as China's junior partner. This conclusion is made by Lai in his column on the website of the American publication Politico.

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