On the RBC-TV channel we reviewed an interesting topic, here's the transcript, I would also like to hear your opinion on this issue.
The official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, "People's Daily" in an editorial article criticized Russia. According to the Chinese "comrades", the crisis exposed the weakness and vulnerability of our economy. Beijing counted at least six defects in the Russian economic model. At the same time, Chinese officialdom believes that the pace of the reforms carried out by the Kremlin does not correspond to the challenges of the time. Why does China criticize Russia?
Just a few days ago, an article appeared in the main newspaper of China, “Renmin zhibao”, in which the future of Russia and the perspectives of the new president are quite strictly described. So frankly, that is completely unusual for the Chinese style. The question arises: what is the reason for this behavior of the Chinese comrades. On this subject, today we will talk with my guest Alexei Voskresensky - the dean of the faculty of political science at MGIMO.
Hello. What do you say? Why did the Chinese decide so frankly to poke us with our noses in our problems.
A.Voskresensky: Chinese newspapers publish different opinions. In a publication of this kind, I would not see something extraordinary. 6 years ago, in the provincial newspapers, I saw forecasts of the development of Russian-Chinese relations, where roughly the same was said.
M.Hazin: But provincial newspapers are one thing, and an editorial in People's Daily should be read in all garrisons, in all naval crews, in all party cells. Read and study. In fact, the entire Chinese people have been told that Russia is not a serious country. This was also told to us, a couple of weeks before the inauguration of our president.
A.Voskresensky: I would not agree. The article was not offensive. The article contains a statement of well-known facts and problems that our economy is facing. The article is written about the challenges that face the president of Russia.
M.Hazin: But the format is something like this: you have completely failed all previous 15-20 years, now you have such and such problems, and if you don’t solve them, and you don’t most likely solve them, then there will be nothing to talk about. The subtext is this.
A.Voskresensky: I would say that the appearance of such an article rather indicates that the debate is coming to the surface about the place Russia may occupy in the new lineup in the world. Export of resources - there is nothing new in this, there is a positive side for China, because 8 spoke about the need to double the turnover of the Russian Federation and the PRC years ago, bring the billion dollars to 60. So it came to the pre-crisis period, even exceeded 60 billion , and now a little less. All this is due to the fact that resources have risen in price. The problem is that the announced course on modernization by President Dmitry Medvedev is a challenge for Russian-Chinese trade.
M.Hazin: Well, that's the question. China explains quite clearly: the year of the Black Dragon has come, China is taking off, he associates himself with the dragon, he begins to express his geopolitical positions distinctly. China has for many years been the first in the world in the real sector; today, it is likely that it has already overtaken the United States and in terms of formal GDP, if it is considered honest. And in this situation, he agrees with the United States, including the division of the world.
Relevant arrangements, they have been going since the beginning of the 1970s, but now they are getting stronger all the time. And in this situation, Russia begins to behave in a strange way. It seems that during the election campaign she said that she would pursue a certain patriotic policy, after which she unexpectedly opens a NATO base on her territory, creates a certain campaign for the development of eastern Siberia and Primorye, and at the same time in all comments, including officials it is said that investments will be attracted from Japan, Europe and the USA, and nothing is said about China. Is this behavior from the point of view of China a challenge? Who is Russia to make decisions about the political division of the world? That is, either she declares herself a US satellite, with an appropriate response from China, is extremely tough, and the six points listed in People's Daily are a demonstration on which points will be struck. Or it is a fundamental error. That is, China actually puts Russia in its place.
A.Voskresensky: I would not quite agree. Because, according to the figures of industrial production, the difference due to different methods of calculation is approximately 0,2 or 0,3%. In addition, in China, counting methods take into account the production of electricity, water supply, mining, but this is not taken into account in the USA. Therefore, a comparison of economic figures rather reflects ideological or political-economic requests for the challenge of China to the United States. In fact, I think that China is experiencing no less difficulties from the crisis than other countries, it’s just not so obvious, because if consumer demand is reduced, it becomes harder to sell your goods to other countries.
M.HazinA: Indeed, the PRC has very big problems related, in particular, to the fact that the United States sharply reduces the import of Chinese goods into its territory. But China says that it does not care about such an artificial indicator as GDP. He is worried about what is called cumulative power. And in this situation, China has a very strong advantage.
A.Voskresensky: again I do not agree with you. If you look at the calculations of the total power of 1990's, then there are some brilliant American works that show that the total power is exactly in 1990. USSR exceeded the USA. We know what came of it. Therefore, I am more skeptical about such calculations. But I would agree that the discussion about the role of Russia pushes to the idea that if you trade with us only with resources, your contribution to the partnership may be more significant from the point of view of geopolitics. It is not by chance that we see that the Russian Federation more actively supports the PRC in its geopolitical positions than China and Russia.
M.HazinA: China believes that our positions are not symmetrical. We are a small country on an economic geopolitical map, and China is big. It is ridiculous to say that the USSR in the 1970s would seriously attend to the interests of some African country. He had allies within the framework of US opposition, but it was precisely these relations that determined his relations with any African country.
A.Voskresensky: Do you mean Reagan's Upper Volta with Nuclear Missiles?
M.Hazin: At that time it was a direct lie. And today it is true.
A.Voskresensky: it does not quite correspond to reality. Despite the fact that Russia's place in the global economy is really not very big, but the Russian Federation is still not an African country, and so far it remains, and I hope that it will not.
M.Hazin: She is certainly not an African country in anything else. We still have space, atomic energy, but we no longer have engineering schools, science. China lists all this carefully and in detail: the leakage of highly qualified personnel, human capital, the uncomfortable situation, the role of oil and gas in exports is too great, and in the conditions of the economic crisis it will fall, and cannot be compensated by anything from the inside. Well, and so on.
A.Voskresensky: And what, the Russian political elite did not know about these problems?
M.Hazin: I doubt. After all, the elite is a certain organism, because each cell of the organism knows something, does not mean at all that the organism can make some kind of decision. I fully understand the concern of the Chinese. From the point of view of geopolitics, and for China any foreign policy activity is a war, they even have Gosplan as part of the general staff. They have an attitude towards Russia as their potential deep rear. This does not mean that Russia should become part of China. For example, Germany in 1930-s. could well occupy Switzerland, but this is quite purposefully not done. But the problem is that the Russian elite, in principle, ignores the interests of China. The entire Russian elite looks exclusively at the West, their children study in Europe, their capital is kept in the Caribbean offshore, and they ignore China in principle. It seems to me that this is a serious mistake of Russian politics today.
A.Voskresensky: The Russian elite is different, there is one that does not ignore China, which is engaged in the development of the Russian-Chinese partnership. It is important to note another thing - there is a discussion about where China will develop. I would not agree that we should definitely consider China as an expansionist state. In China, there are different concepts. And there is a famous foreign policy concept of harmonious peace, a harmonious environment for China, there are other concepts.
M.Hazin: As I understand it, in China in the near future there is another change of leadership.
A.Voskresensky: Yes, this is a discussion of what the country's course will be next.
M.Hazin: The candidate has already traveled to the bride in Washington, well, this is our bride, China just presented its future leader, Washington’s opinion about this manager is of little concern to him. But after this change happens, what will be the direction? It seems to me that the change will consist in the fact that gradually socialist rhetoric will change to Confucian. That is, it is the policy of the empire, where all those around should regularly come to the court of the emperor, crawling on their knees with gifts.
A.Voskresensky: As far as Confucian, the question is controversial. But I agree with this. The fact is that now we see a revival of the discussion that was going on in our synology in the 1960s, it arose when there was a split between the USSR and China. Then the concepts of imperial China, Chinese-centric concepts appeared. Western Sinology in 70-80-ies criticized the Soviet for the fact that it extrapolates this model to explain all the practices of foreign policy of the PRC. This in the second half of 80-x caused the urgent need to normalize relations with China. We can say that today the discussion resumes. We do not know whether this new China will be a responsible state or it will be a state that will center everyone around it.
M.Hazin: The difference between the socialist model and the Confucian, the socialist model is a red global project, a concept that assumes a global responsibility to the whole world and an offer to the whole world. Also, the United States acts globally with its Western global project. If China turns to Confucianism, then this is a purely national project. Responsibility to non-Chinese will not. This topic does not bother them at all. This is a very important place. I do not exclude that in fact China explains to us that the dreams that the USSR was once a great power should end, there are now two great powers in the world - China and the United States, and you have to decide. And you can decide in one of three ways: either you are in the US support group, and then you are hostile to us, and then excuse me, and then the anecdote about the Sino-Finnish border through 25 years may become relevant. Either you are in our group, to go to Washington, you will need to get permission from the Beijing Regional Committee. Or you radically change the very model of building your statehood, and then you become not a third force, but at least something of a non-aligned movement. Isn't this article a suggestion to decide?
A.Voskresensky: I think that the world is much more complicated than simple visits to one or another regional committee. And Chinese socialism, at least in its version, which was supported by Den Xiaoping, is by no means a global, but rather a national project. Because Deng Xiaoping said that the transitional period of building socialism can last a hundred or more years. Hence his statement is clear: no matter what color the cat is, the main thing is that people live well. It does not matter what the name of this society is, the main thing is that people live well, the main thing is that the Chinese people are good. This socialism is a national project. Another thing is that a departure from the socialist model, but this is not Confucianism, but rather Chinese nationalism, revives the 1960-s debate that today's China is the heir of the old imperial China, or it is something else. If we look at official documents, it says that China will be friends with the whole world. “The epoch of peace and development continues” - we do not see any deviations from this formulation of the Chinese Communist Party. Another thing is that there are various kinds of auxiliary doctrines within the army, or nationalist circles, which provoke such a heated discussion and various kinds of predictions about what China will do.
M.Hazin: If we talk about peace and friendship, then we can note one thing. China adopted the doctrine that it can defend its investments in foreign countries with military forces.
A.Voskresensky: And we have the doctrine of the first nuclear strike.
M.Hazin: Yes, but here it comes, relatively speaking, from Adam. And the maneuvers of the Chinese tank parts, when they rushed for 2 thousand km, where will they tear? They only have 2 thousand km to the Caspian Sea, nowhere else. They won't go north. There are no roads. I would say that this is a very dangerous place.
A.Voskresensky: I still think that the world has overstepped simple realism, a simple confrontation of military forces, because everyone understands that military actions will lead rather to greater losses than any compromises and the possibility of reaching an agreement. From here, let's carefully look at how events will develop in China. I think there should also be a speech of a future leader.
M.Hazin: Soon the congress will be.
A.Voskresensky: Yes, quite right. It will be necessary to carefully read the documents of the congress. No matter how this discussion develops, I do not think that there will be deviations from this cardinal point of “the modern era is the era of peace and development.”
M.HazinA: However, there are questions here, but this is where our program ends. I would like to say a few words that seem very important to me. Speech by the Chinese leadership in the People's Daily newspaper can mean two things. This may be a direct appeal to us, it is a demonstration of China’s discontent with something. It all happened shortly before the G8, the inauguration, before Putin’s visit to Beijing in the framework of the SCO. On the other hand, this may mean a demonstration of a change in the position of China itself. I cannot answer this question exactly yet, and I hope that we will return to this topic.
On this we finish our transfer. Our guest was Alexei Voskresensky - Dean of the Faculty of Political Science at MGIMO. Thanks for attention. Goodbye.