At the recent St. Petersburg International Economic Forum held in St. Petersburg Russia, comments by two of the world leaders in attendance provided us with a very clear vision of where the global geopolitical reality is headed. It also provides us with a picture of the unanticipated repercussions of Washington’s flawed model of diplomacy; rather than Washington versus Russia and China separately, the leaders of both nations made their agenda and relationship quite transparent.
Let’s start with the comments from Russia’s President Vladimir Putin after his meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping noting that all bolds are mine:
“I am very pleased to receive President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping in Russia. This state visit by China’s President is taking place in a year that marks an important date – the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our countries. I am pleased to note that Russian-Chinese relations have reached an unprecedentedly high level. This is a truly comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction.
Mr Xi Jinping and I maintain close contact. We regularly exchange visits, talk on the sidelines of international events and pay close attention to Russian-Chinese cooperation in the political, economic, humanitarian and other spheres.
In the course of the talks that just ended, we discussed the current state of and prospects for bilateral cooperation in a business-like and constructive manner and reviewed, in substance, important international issues while paying close attention to Russia-China cooperation in areas that are truly important for both countries. During our discussion and while speaking with our colleagues at the table, I noted that specific and comprehensive work was underway in each area, in addition to the interaction mechanisms that we now have in place.“
Mr. Putin goes on to note that China is Russia’s leading foreign trade partner with trade rising by 25 percent on a year-over-year basis to a record $108 billion. Here is a graphic showing the top export destinations for exports from Russia showing that China imported goods from Russia which accounted for 11 percent of Russia’s total exports:
Here is a graphic showing the top import destinations for imports into Russia showing that China accounted for 20 percent of Russia’s total imports:
Russia is the leading oil exporting nation into China and the two nations are co-operating in the development of the Yamal LNG plant which is 29.9 percent owned by China. The two nations are also co-operating on the Arctic LNG 2 project as shown here:
The two nations are also co-operating in the manufacturing sector as shown in this quote:
“We focus a lot on strengthening bilateral cooperation in the manufacturing industry. The opening of a plant operated by China’s leading automaker, Great Wall Motors, is timed to coincide with President Xi’s visit. This plant will use advanced technology to make 80,000 vehicles annually, and local content will reach about 70 percent. Today, the President and I will see the products that will be made at the new plant.
Our plans include projects in aircraft and helicopter manufacturing, space exploration, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and other knowledge-intensive industries. We agreed to hold years of Russian-Chinese scientific, technical and innovation cooperation in 2020 and 2021.“
Here is a key comment from President Putin particularly given that both Russia and China are being subjected to economic punishment by Washington:
“Russia and China intend to develop the practice of conducting financial transactions in our national currencies. We have just signed an intergovernmental agreement to further expand the use of the ruble and the yuan in bilateral trade to ensure the failsafe bank servicing of transactions in conditions of instability on global markets.”
President Putin concludes with this observation about the evolving global geopolitical reality:
“During the discussion of topical international and regional issues, the sides stated that their views are identical or very close on most matters. The joint statement on strengthening global strategic stability we signed emphasizes the principled stand of Russia and China that any attempts to destroy the existing system of agreements on arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation are unacceptable.
I would like to stress that our countries share identical assessments of the situation around the Korean Peninsula and carry out a joint roadmap for settlement. We proceed from the premise that there is no, nor can there be, any alternative to the peaceful, political and diplomatic settlement of the region’s problems, including the nuclear issue.
We will continue cooperation with our Chinese partners to reduce tensions on the peninsula and enhance security in Northeast Asia as a whole. Russia and China are working for the peaceful settlement of the crisis in Syria, favour stabilisation in Venezuela, and remain committed to the full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran’s nuclear programme.
During the talks, the sides reaffirmed their intention to continue building up bilateral cooperation within the framework of the UN, the SCO, BRICS, the G20, APEC and other leading multilateral venues.”
Now, let’s look at some comments from President Xi with all bolds being mine:
“I am happy to see you together with my old friend President Putin. This is my first state visit to Russia during my second term as the head of the Chinese state. This is also my eighth visit to Russia since 2013. President Putin and I have established close working relations and a strong friendship.
We have met almost 30 times in the last six years. Russia is the most frequently visited foreign country for me and President Putin is one of my closest friends and a great colleague. This is the best reflection of the high level of bilateral relations and close strategic cooperation between China and Russia.
President Putin and I have just held very productive talks in an open and friendly atmosphere. We thoroughly discussed our bilateral relations and also items on the international and regional agendas that are of mutual interest. We have reached important mutual understanding in several areas. We have also signed and published two important joint statements. The relevant agencies and companies have exchanged the signed documents in our presence.
President Putin has just summed up our talks and I fully agree with him. Together we reviewed the development of our diplomatic relations for the last 70 years. All of us believe that as a result of the developments in the last 70 years, Chinese-Russian relations have reached an unprecedentedly high level. We now see new opportunities. So we decided that we would take advantage of this historical experience in the spirit of neighbourliness, friendship, cooperation and mutual understanding, and that we would develop our comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation in this new era and raise our bilateral relations to a new and higher level.
Our countries will further consolidate mutual political trust, build mutual support and assistance in issues that concern our key interests in the spirit of novation, cooperation for the sake of mutual advantage, and promote our relations in the new era for the benefit of our two nations and the peoples of the world.“
President Xi also offers his opinion on the evolving global geopolitical reality:
“The international situation is undergoing profound changes not seen in the past century. Peace and development remain the spirit of the times. However, protectionism and one-sided approaches are increasing, and the policy of force and hegemonism is intensifying. We have a long and difficult path to go before we arrive at peace and development.
As leading world powers and permanent members of the UN Security Council, China and Russia will, in conjunction with the international community, show a sense of duty and resolutely protect the international system, under UN auspices, based on international law, and actively promote political settlements in the hotbeds of tension; we will protect the multilateral trade system, impart positive energy to an extremely difficult international situation, and make new contributions to building a common destiny for all of humankind.”
As you can clearly see from the comments by the leaders of both Russia and China, they have a very clear grasp of the new multipolar reality facing the American Empire. The combination of both nations will make it extremely difficult for Washington to impose its hegemonic agenda without serious repercussions as two of the world’s leading military forces seek to increase the level of co-operation between their nations. These two gentlemen have also come to the conclusion that co-operation is the only way to succeed when it comes to convincing the current administration in Washington that it is involving itself in a no-win situation.