Relations with China: A priority of Russia’s future foreign policy
The first impression that you get from reading Vladimir Putin’s article is that it’s based on balanced and objective assessments. I can hardly agree with those who believe that the article is “aggressive” or “anti-Western.” For example, when describing the principles underlying Russian foreign policy, the author writes that Russia must be respected, but it will be respected only when it’s strong and stands firmly on its feet. I share this opinion in full. The truthfulness of this statement is confirmed by the current situation and all of Russian history.
I was very interested in Vladimir Putin’s thoughts on the balance between human rights and national sovereignty. We’re being told that human rights are above everything else, including national sovereignty, but we should be very careful about such a statement. I agree with Mr. Putin’s view that we cannot violate national sovereignty or other people’s rights under the guise of protecting human rights. This should be clearly understood, all the more so since similar situations keep coming up.
The article shows that relations between Russia and China and other Asia-Pacific countries are a very important part of Russia’s foreign policy. The recognition of the growing international role of the Asia-Pacific region and its huge potential for future development is a very important factor.
Russia is China’s critical partner in the international arena, and our bilateral cooperation has huge potential. Vladimir Putin has provided a very accurate description of Russian-Chinese relations. This got me thinking again about our cooperation in developing Siberia and the Russian Far East, as a follow-up to our previous discussions at the Valdai Club’s Russian-Chinese section.
Another promising area that came to my mind as I was reading this part of the article involves joint efforts of our two countries to develop multilateral security and cooperation mechanisms.
Mr. Putin’s assessments are truly balanced. When he says that China’s consolidated power and its ability to project its strength beyond its borders is on the rise, you can’t but agree. Although, personally, I believe that China’s capability in this regard is fairly limited.
On the other hand, the article states rather objectively that certain aspects of Russian-Chinese cooperation need to be improved. We need to look into specific issues related to the trade structure of bilateral trade, the low level of mutual investment, etc. Admittedly, though, all such issues have not been resolved in third countries, either. However, these matters have been framed correctly and in an objective manner, which is important.
Feng Shaolei is Director of Centre for Russian Studies, East China Normal University.
Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.