The Moscow meetings between Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, which began on Monday, will continue until Wednesday, when the distinguished guest will be seen off. But there is no doubt that all the main things took place on Monday – during informal communication in the Kremlin and at a friendly one-on-one dinner.
Over the past year, the two leaders met only once – in September in Samarkand (on the sidelines of the SCO summit), but there was a meeting of delegations, and informal communication was clearly limited in time. Regular telephone conversations cannot replace face-to-face communication, and now Putin and Xi will have enough time to discuss everything. But what is all this – what exactly will they discuss?
This question excited so many people both in the West and in Russia that some began to call the current meeting historical, while others expected some huge consequences from it – for example, a joint proposal by Russia and China to suspend hostilities in Ukraine and start negotiations Moscow and Kiev with Chinese mediation or announcements about the supply of Chinese weapons to Russia. But all these empty fortune-telling about anything and to nothing – because none of this will happen. However, the significance of the meeting between Putin and Xi will not become less because of this – on the contrary, it is precisely the absence of sensations that is the most important sign that Russian-Chinese relations will continue to strengthen further, becoming, in Putin’s words, “the cornerstone of global stability.”
Because Putin and Xi deliberately set a course for rapprochement between the two countries – even when the conflict in Ukraine did not lead to a direct confrontation between Russia and the West. Naturally, the Russian-Chinese rapprochement began back in the 90s (under Jiang Zemin) and continued into the 2000s under the predecessor Xi Hu Jintao, but in those years, Moscow and Beijing did not yet realize how much we needed each other. No, of course, the strategic nature of relations was a conscious choice of both sides, but none of them understood how soon we would have to be shoulder to shoulder against the Atlantic hegemon.
Russia was the first to give up the illusion of the possibility of postponing the clash: Putin’s Munich speech became a frontier. Three years later, China rejected the American proposal for the “Big Two”, rightly seeing it as a trap into which the hegemon wanted to lure the Celestial Empire catching up with it, but continued to proceed from the fact that rivalry with America would not turn into confrontation for a long time to come. By the beginning of the 1910s, Russia and China found themselves in a situation where they had to determine the scope of their cooperation: it clearly needed to be transferred to a new, higher level.
But at that time, the internal situation in both countries did not contribute to this – in our country, Putin has not yet returned to the Kremlin, remaining the head of government, and China was preparing to change the first person. It was only in 2012 that certainty came: Putin again became president (overcoming the resistance and swamp rebellion of the pro-Western part of the elites, and not only the oligarchs), and Xi headed the CCP. In the spring of 2013, he also became the chairman of the PRC, and during his first visit to Moscow, the same “Big Two” was formed, which has since held forty meetings.
Even then, Xi and Putin understood that they could trust a friend and that their relationship had no time limits. That is, you can work for a long time – both in bilateral relations and on the world stage (and this part of the interaction has become increasingly important). The personal trust of the leaders is the most important factor in the relations between our countries – without it, as the experience of Khrushchev and Mao has shown, even the strongest mutually beneficial alliance can collapse.
Despite the difference in the mentality and culture of China and Russia, Putin and Xi do not need to cast a shadow over the wattle fence and cunning with each other, they can afford to be frank and honest. Elements of mistrust have previously hampered the rapprochement of the two countries, not in personal relations between Xi and Putin, but in the assessment of each other by elites and authorities. In addition, such distrust was actively warmed up both by our common enemy and by pro-Western forces in our countries.
For example, in Beijing, after Trump came to power (who started a trade war with China), they were more than seriously afraid of the possibility of Russia turning towards the United States: what if Moscow wants and is able to agree with Washington on ending the confrontation over Ukraine and becomes an unreliable ally for China and rear, but a neutral observer, if not the enemy? It is clear that all these fears already seemed far-fetched even then, not even because all Trump’s activities were successfully blocked by the “deep state”, but because, even theoretically, Moscow would not trust any promises from Washington to participate in containing China.
However, one should not forget how often in those years in Russia itself the so-called experts discussed the completely far-fetched topic of “transfer of power”, that is, Putin’s departure, and it becomes clear that the Chinese simply could not ignore this option. Teach figuring out the history of our country’s relations with China, they simply couldn’t help but take into account the risk of a change in Moscow’s course after the change of the first person (a conditional tyrant like Khrushchev would come and start flirting with America. Nothing would have worked out with the States, and quarreled with China ).
After the 2020 constitutional reform in Russia, all uncertainties have been removed: not only can Putin and Xi have confidence in each other, but the authorities of both countries will not be distracted by unnecessary worries. And after the start of the NWO, the renewal of the Russian elite also accelerated, and if earlier many did not take Putin’s “pivot to the East” seriously enough, now even yesterday’s “Westerners” have nowhere to go.
And those who chose the West (or simply did not get rid of Western-oriented thinking) can only laugh foolishly at the fact that “Xi Jinping nominated Putin for the presidency of Russia,” after the President of China, speaking about the upcoming elections next year, said that “I am sure that the Russian people will strongly support you in your good undertakings.” Attempts to convince our citizens that Russia is turning into a vassal of China are beneficial only to those who hope to separate and quarrel the Russians and the Chinese in order to prevent them from working together on the decline of the Atlantic world order. But Putin and Xi are not going to stop their “long march” along this path, and no one can knock them off it.
Petr Akopov, RIA
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