The Russian-Chinese conference of the Valdai Club started in Shanghai. In his welcoming speech, Andrey Bystritskiy, Chairman of the Board of the Foundation for Development and Support of the Valdai Discussion Club, pointed out that it is important for Russian and Chinese researchers to move together along the path of cognition and prediction of changes in the international environment. He also outlined that the expert dialogue within the framework of cooperation between the Valdai Club and the East China Normal University has reached a level, which gives us the opportunity to study some significant issues where both states have a strong interest.
During Session 1, titled “Situation in the World: A View From Russia and China,” the participants discussed some key issues of international relations. Chen Dongxiao, president of the Shanghai Academy of International Studies, pointed to the contradiction between the signs of a new world of convergence and a new Cold war, noting the great influence of man on Earth and the non-linearity of the current changes. Competition is growing. The hegemonic system with the US as its leader is shattering. The US itself, where social instability is growing, is becoming the most unstable power in the world.
Sergey Karaganov, Dean of the Faculty of World Economy and World Politics of the Higher School of Economics, pointed to several trends, with the collapse of all current world orders playing a central role. The world has entered a long period of turbulence – the European project faces many difficulties, and the US dominance project has come to an end. The West ceased to act as a dominant power with military superiority, and that fact has become evident. That very superiority allowed the West to make everyone play by its rules and tilt the world’s GNP in its favor. Both Russian and Chinese speakers agreed that a coordinated attack by the West is on the way; it attempts to pressure both states simultaneously. The West pushed Russia away and it became closer with China, while the global balance of power changed. The next 10-15 years is the time to create a new world order, and Russia and China must support each other to remain relevant on the international arena and ensure that this world order will not repeat the old one. Professor Karaganov proposed to make the Shanghai Cooperation Organization more efficient, to develop a common vision for the future and a common strategy for Russia and China.
Yu Bin, Professor of Political Science at Wittenberg University, noted in turn that some factors cause uncertainty in the international system – the disintegration of the liberal order and the new strategy of its former leaders – the US and Britain. Radicalism is growing, including in Western societies. This leads to unpredictability of the entire international situation and to aggravation of what Sergei Karaganov defined as “the West’s unilateral war West against China and Russia.” During the discussion that followed, participants pointed out that Russia and China have a common vision of threats they face from the West. It is a new trend both for the bilateral relations and for the quality of awareness of common problems for both states.