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Friday, 18 September 09:24 (GMT -05:00)

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Why Does China Need Russia?

China and Russia are going for tighter cooperation in multiple fields, whether you like it or not. When it comes to cooperating with a neighboring country, cooperation is always welcomed. Still, some experts say that if this is Russia's attempt to reorient its economy to Asia, this is a dead-end solution. Even some Russian media assume that this is exactly what Putin is going to do...




Asian Turn?

Russia has two points o interest when it comes to closer cooperation with China - a local one and a global one. As for the global aspect, Russia is a European country rather than an Asian one. This is reflected in the dominating religions, as well as the culture and customs.

With that said, a conscious shift from the West to the East is going to make Russia a kind of the China or Japan of the lat 19th century rather than the modern ones (self-isolation and lack of competitiveness), some experts believe. Still, we are now living in a fast-changing world, so Russia lacks time to change its mind.

The thing is that today's Asian dragons are those Asian nations that make use of the benefits of the European civilization, including technologies and investment principles (like China) as well as democracy (South Korea, Indonesia, Singapore).

As for the local aspect, the question is whether the shift to China is able to bring Russia at least mid-term benefits... It should also be noted that Russia's decision to have closer ties with China is taking place amid a global economic slowdown, which affects the Chinese economy, the world's biggest manufacturer and exporter of various products. It is not accidental that China has to reorient its economy to domestic consumption. The Chinese economic boom seen over the last few decades was triggered by relatively cheap labor power and low living standards, which made CHina an excellent choice for outsourcing and competitive exports backing the economic rally. Since then, the living standards and the labor power cost have improved drastically. The modern Chinese society wants further changes while the ambitions look ambiguous, which may eventually undermine the current social stability in the world's second bigest economy.

So why does China need Russia?

First of all, it is a strategic partner against the USA. It is not a secret that The USA is the major rival to China's ambitions, both economic and geopolitical ones. While Russia is suffering from multiple sanctions imposed by the USA and its Western allies, China is willing to support its Northern neighbor since together they are stronger. Still, the China-USA relations are ambiguous to some extent. Despite China's ambitions, the Asian dragon is not interested in the USA's immediate decline since the USA is China's major trading partner and outlet, not to mention the fact that China is the USA's biggest lender (holder of US bonds).

Secondly, China sees Russia as a major commodity source. China does want Russia's oil, gas and other commodities on beneficial terms and conditions in exchange for geopolitical support.

China seem to have consciously chosen the way of catching up with the West and have succeeded a lot since then. As for Russia, at this point this concept doesn't seem to look politically correct since it contradicts the reality and Putin's ambitions...


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