Think Tank
Russia and China: A Complementary Partnership
List of speakers

On May 26, the Valdai Club held an online discussion in partnership with the CITIC Foundation for Reform and Development Studies of China, titled “Directions of China’s Economic Development and Opportunities for Russia”.

The moderator of the discussion, Yaroslav Lisovolik, Programme Director of the Valdai Discussion Club, noted that over the past decades China’s role in the world economy has increased significantly, and that during the pandemic the country led the rest of the world on the path of economic recovery. He stressed that the development of the Chinese economy opens up great opportunities for Russia and offered to discuss how Russia can use this chance.

Xu Tongkai, former head of the Eurasia Department of the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China, pointed out in his speech the common interests of Russia and China in many areas and the complementary nature of the economies of the two countries. In his opinion, Russia and China could jointly resist Western pressure and develop new technology. China can also help strengthen the Russian economic presence in the Asia-Pacific region and East Asia, the expert said.

Anna Kireeva, a research fellow at the Centre for Regional Projects and Comprehensive Chinese Studies at MGIMO University, described the current state of Russian-Chinese economic cooperation. She said that in addition to traditional spheres, the cooperation is developing in the field of mechanical engineering, petro-chemistry, agriculture, investment and IT. “Russia and China need each other as partners,” she stressed. Oleg Remyga, Head of China Studies at the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO, in turn raised the topic of cooperation in the green economy as one of the promising new areas of Russian-Chinese interaction.

Peking University Professor Cao Heping, outlining the situation with the post-pandemic recovery of the Chinese economy, said that the Chinese successes are associated with integration into the economies of Western countries. The Russian economy, accordingly, would benefit from integration with the Chinese one, especially since they are complementary, he said.

Zhou Liqun, President of the Union of Chinese Entrepreneurs in Russia, like a number of experts before him, pointed out that the Russian and Chinese economies complement each other, which entails great prospects for integration. He recalled the lengthy experience of Russian-Chinese cooperation, and also stressed the need to jointly resist sanctions.

Evgeny Markin, Chief Executive of the Russian-Chinese Business Council, emphasised the importance of creating platforms for building interaction and trust between the business communities of China and Russia, as well as the need to develop joint standards and unify the regulation of cross-border operations. Galina Erendzhenova, project manager for the development of export logistics at the Russian Export Centre, also devoted her speech to the issues of improving cross-border logistics operations.