Since the time of the armed conflict on about. One of the most controversial topics in discussing probable military dangers and military threats to our country is the Chinese military threat, its military-political and strategic nature.
A large part of specialists believe that this threat tends to increase, and its transformation into war is a matter of time. At the same time, the gigantic population of China and the unprecedented growth of the economy and military potential serve as the objective grounds for these allegations.
Here are a few numbers. In China, there are 1 (data from 430) million people with a density of 2018 people / sq. km The population of Russia, according to Rosstat as of January 144, 1, is 2020 146 745 million people, which is 098 times less, with a population density of about 9,8 people / sq. km - 8,56 times less than in China.
China ranks second in the world in terms of GDP. China's GDP, according to the BASETOP rating agency, in 2019 amounted to $ 14242.705 billion, and Russia's GDP - $ 1754.285 billion, which is 8 times less than Chinese GDP.
The strength of the People’s Liberation Army of China (PLA) is about 2 million military personnel, and the combat-ready mobilization resource is estimated by various estimates from 20 to 40 million people.
Victor and Lilia Larina, Institute staff stories, archeology and ethnography of the peoples of the Far East FEB RAS give the following research results regarding the attitude of Russian citizens to China. In the 90s. XX - early XXI century. residents of the region (Pacific - author) considered foreign migration one of the main threats to Russia's security in the Pacific. For example, in a 2010 survey, half (51%) of respondents called it “an increase in the number of migrants from neighboring states." In the list of threats, foreign migration was in second place after the perception of migrants from East Asia by residents of Pacific Russia. In the Primorsky Territory, this “threat” generally dominated (56% of respondents), in second place in Birobidzhan (54%), and in third place in Khabarovsk and Magadan (48 and 56%, respectively)
The ex-ambassador of Ukraine to China Kostenko, a well-known "friend" of Russia, claims: China will not seize Russian lands by force. It will be a creeping peaceful expansion.
Among the active apologists for imminent Chinese aggression is Alexander Khramchikhin, deputy director of the Institute for Political and Military Analysis. In his opinion, the aggression of the PRC against Russia is not just possible: it is inevitable, how else to evaluate his assessment of the probability of a war with China at 95% and even 99%! A well-known expert, K. Eggert, associates with them, assessing China as a lying totalitarian country, which carries an undoubted threat to Russia, which he is very concerned about. It pleases, because most recently K. Eggert could not be suspected of tender feelings towards the Russian Federation.
Another part of specialists in assessing the development of military-political relations (VPO) of Russia and China comes from the proximity of their positions in the field of ensuring international security and building a world order based on the harmonious consideration of the national interests of all subjects of world politics. As evidence of the dominance of the positive vector in Russian-Chinese relations, they most often refer to trade and economic relations between the two states.
The following indicators are known from the report on foreign trade between Russia and China in 2019: commodity circulation, export, import, structure, goods, dynamics prepared by the Russian Foreign Trade website based on data from the Federal Customs Service of Russia.
In 2019, trade between Russia and China amounted to over $ 110 billion, an increase of 2,43% ($ 2 billion) compared to 6. The trade balance between Russia and China in 2018 was positive in the amount of over $ 2019 billion. Compared with 2, the positive balance decreased by 6% ($ 2018 billion).
The constructive political statements of the leaders of both countries about the mutual desire to strengthen interstate cooperation are well known. The results of the implementation of these statements indicate a significant development of cooperation between the PRC and the Russian Federation in many areas of interstate interaction, including economic, military, technological and military-technical ones.
The discord is understandable in opinions. Each of the researchers has its own system of indicators and criteria, a peculiar logic of their justification and builds its own model of the formation of interstate relations. Therefore, it is difficult to imagine the achievement of unity of opinion. Under these conditions, such a significant difference in assessments convinces us that we have not yet developed a methodological unity in analyzing the international situation and assessing military dangers and threats.
As an attempt to establish a common approach to assessing the tension in the military-political situation and the level of military threats, the author proposed and published methodological approaches to assessing military security. In the most general terms, the proposed logic is as follows. The tension of malware is determined by the policy of the opposing subject, reflecting the conflict of its interests with the interests of the Russian Federation. The tension of malware is assessed by the ratio of the combined potentials of the parties, the conflict of national interests and the intentions of the military-political leadership regarding Russia. At certain stages of exacerbation of malware, due to increased aggressiveness of the opposing subject, the conflict potential of malware is formed, which is determined by the combination of conflicting potentials of national interests, intentions and the ratio of military potentials of the Russian Federation with a geopolitical rival. The potential of a military threat is determined as a result of the interaction of the conflicting potential of malware and the Russian strategic deterrence potential, the magnitude of which depends on the effectiveness of the military and non-military strategic deterrence measures taken. Here, a military threat is understood as the residual, not compensated by strategic deterrence, value of the conflict potential of malware.
Depending on the size of the conflict potential, the following types of interstate relations are possible.
Allied with conflict potential - 2.
Partnership with conflict potential - 1.
Neutrality with conflict potential - 0.
Competition with conflict potential - 1.
Hostile to conflict potential - 2.
In allied and partner relations, conflict takes on conditionally negative values, reducing the conflicting potential of malware (in fact, in this case a positive potential is formed that is subtracted from the conflict potential of malware). And, on the contrary, with competitive and hostile relations, the conflict potential in interstate relations grows: the more aggressive the relations are, the higher their conflict.
Using this methodology, calculations were made and graphs were constructed that can be used to analyze what level of threat can come from an abstract state interacting with Russia under the conditions: Russia has the potential for strategic deterrence, the analyzed state surpasses our country in terms of aggregate potential (it includes self economic, political and military potentials) more than 3 times.
Any of the states that surpass Russia in aggregate potential by 3 or more times can play the role of an “abstract state”. For example, the United States or China.
The calculations revealed the dependence of the probability of the formation and implementation of a military threat on the strategic deterrence potential, which reflects Russia's ability to prevent military conflicts by applying a range of measures - non-military (political, diplomatic, economic, sociocultural) and military, based on nuclear and non-nuclear deterrence in the scale adopted in the methodology from 0 to 3. To calculate the characteristics of the variant of hostile relations, it is accepted that an antagonistic contradiction has developed between the Russian Federation and the analyzed state and the military-political leadership of this state has aggressive intentions towards Russia. The antagonism of contradictions between states for other options is reduced to the extent that there are none.
Calculations showed that under any conditions of the military-industrial complex, the military security of the Russian Federation is guaranteed by strategic deterrence. Nevertheless, there is a significant quantitative difference in the conflict of interstate relations, built as negative (hostile, competitive) and positive (partnership, alliance)
Under the conditions adopted, it remains to be seen which option the relations between Russia and China are approaching. For this, it is necessary to evaluate the size and nature of the following groups of factors related to each other. The first is the presence and nature of the contradictions that exist in relations between countries. The second is the aggressiveness of the PRC leadership towards the Russian Federation. The third is the nature of interstate relations.
Fundamental in the analysis of interstate relations is the question of the presence of contradictions in various fields. Among their main varieties are territorial, trade, economic, political, civilizational. The degree of antagonism of disagreements in each case can be different and the determination of the military-political leadership to use force to resolve the existing contradiction and satisfy their national interests depends on its level.
Let us turn to Russian-Chinese relations. As you know, the territorial differences between the states have been settled, and the border has been demarcated. There is no territorial issue on the agenda of interstate relations and there are no territorial claims between the countries, which was recorded in 1989 by the Treaty signed by Gorbachev and Deng Xiaoping. At the same time, along with such unconditionally important political decisions, it is necessary to take into account geopolitical aspects. For example, in China, Russia is seen as a regional power, representing the “rear” of Chinese geopolitics. At the same time, Russia is considered the country that caused China the most significant damage in the three-century geopolitical confrontation., Which ended only on October 14, 2008, when the ceremony of installing the last pillar on the Russian-Chinese border was held. So, no more, no less, some Chinese geopolitical colleagues value our relations.
As often happens, in ideas about the relations of neighboring countries, there are a considerable number of myths. The main one is "creeping Chinese expansion in the Far East." Some experts, based on the facts of overpopulation of the northern provinces of China, especially in comparison with the low population density in the Russian regions of Siberia and the Far East, speak of demographic expansion. At the same time, some Western analysts cite menacing figures. So, Dr. E. Gilbo, Ph.D. in Economics at the Diplomatic Academy of Peace at UNESCO, estimated the number of Chinese in Russia at 8 million.
In the Far East, the largest number of Chinese migrants is really concentrated. The second center of concentration is Moscow. However, the scale of migration from China is not comparable with migration from the CIS countries. According to statistics from Rosstat, in 2014 the number of Chinese arrived in Russia was almost 13 times less than that of Uzbeks and 12 - than Ukrainians. Until 2014, the number of Chinese migrating to Russia grew annually with a simultaneous increase in the number of people leaving: if in 2012 their ratio was 2 to 1, then in 2014 it was 5 to 4. Here it should be noted that the main part of Chinese citizens entering Russia is 2016 was tourism combined with "shopping" and the duration of their stay in our country did not exceed 15 days. According to the All-Russian Census in 2010, 28943 people included themselves among the Chinese, while in 2002 they were 34577 people.
According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, for the first half of 2019, one in ten foreigners who came to Russia is a Chinese citizen. During this period, 863 thousand Chinese were registered with migration. On the one hand, this is 30% more than in the first half of 2018 (664,8 thousand). But on the other hand, the lion's share of the arrivals were tourists (72%), who arrived for a period of up to 30 days. Of the 204,2 thousand Chinese who arrived with different intentions, 71,3 thousand indicated work as the purpose of their arrival, 36 thousand indicated their studies, 11,7 thousand indicated a “private” goal, and 85,2 thousand indicated “other ". Compared to the same period last year, the number of those who came to work increased by 13,1%, educational migrants - by 18,4%.
Although these figures seem significant, the vast majority of visitors from China quickly leave Russia. That is, they do not fall under the definition of “migrants”.
So, in the first half of the year, 863 thousand Chinese citizens were registered, and 805 thousand were deregistered. Considering that some of those who arrived with short-term visits at the end of the first half of the year were deregistered, they did not fall into the last report of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the second half. And this means that the number of short-term guests is even greater. This is confirmed by the Federal State Statistics Service, which isolates those who arrived for less than 9 months from the statistics of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. According to the agency, in the first half of the year, the migration increase (the number of arrivals from China for 9 months or more minus the number of departures) amounted to only 3,5 thousand people.
Therefore, talking about Chinese demographic expansion is still not necessary.
A considerable number of myths about the cross-border expansion of China in the Far East originated from the infamous period of the 90s of the last century. It should be noted that this was the “peak” period of shuttle trade, the development of cross-border trade and economic relations, which for various reasons, including due to the slowness and corruption of the authorities, were not developed, and the depreciation of the ruble in 2014 completed the end of cross-border purchases of Chinese consumer goods . In the same period, rapidly developing Chinese border super cities were frozen in development, and Russian border settlements during that period did not receive any noticeable development.
The already mentioned Victor and Lilia Larins in their studies note the positive dynamics in assessing the current attitude of the population of the Far Eastern region of Russia to the PRC. The danger from the growth of foreign migration is believed by half the number of inhabitants of the region: 24% along the Pacific coast (2017 survey) and 25% along the Russian-Chinese border (2019 survey). Even less is the proportion of the population (17 and 21%, respectively), which considers the growth of China's economic and military power a threat. US policy and “insufficient consideration of the interests of the Far East by federal authorities” seem to the inhabitants of the region a much more serious problem than China and its politics.
The geopolitical ideas of China have always emphasized the need for peaceful coexistence with neighboring states. In China, it is believed that if the bordering countries do not “bother” China (“bu saorao”), then they can be considered as not representing a direct threat to China. Perhaps this is due to the fact that for thousands of years China was the only great power in this region and was deeply influenced by the “ideas of humanism” and the “middle ground” of Confucius.
China's interests have long been directed southward. It is interesting that the compass invented in China was equipped with an arrow pointing not to the north, as we are used to, but to the south. Summarizing the aforesaid, one can quite confidently believe that there are no territorial claims, let alone contradictions between Russia and China.
Historically committed to peaceful cooperation with neighboring states while protecting its national interests, China, like Russia, clearly understands the need to develop partnership and friendly relations. They meet the fundamental interests of both parties and bring more and more benefits to the two countries and their peoples.
The possibilities of China allow developing trade and economic cooperation on a much larger scale, however, the low capacity of the Russian economy and the understandable desire of the Russian side to provide more favorable conditions for interstate cooperation impose their limitations. The pragmatism of the Chinese negotiators is well-known and justifiable. Therefore, one cannot help but see the danger of developing unequal trade and economic relations between Russia and China. While maintaining in Russia the current level of economic development and the principles of its management, the existing technological level of development of the national economy, in the medium term there is a risk of turning our country into a raw material appendage of the PRC. This threatens the emergence of a new hegemon in the role of which China will act. However, it is more likely that the weakening of Russia will lead to a significant reduction in the power of the anti-Western center of power, led by the PRC and the Russian Federation, and the formation of a unipolar world led by the United States.
Nevertheless, at present and in the near future it can be considered that trade and economic relations between the PRC and the Russian Federation are built on conditions of mutual benefit with a development vector focused on strategic partnership.
The absence of contradictions in the field of relations on territorial issues, together with the development of trade and economic relations, suggests building partnerships between countries, which in all principal cases are expressed in the unity of assessments of the international situation. The aggressive intentions of the military-political leadership of the PRC towards the Russian Federation have not only no evidence, but also grounds.
With these values of these factors, the probability of the formation and implementation of the Chinese military threat is close to zero.
Let us return to the aforementioned geopolitical motive for the rapprochement of the interests of Russia and China and answer the question whether the risk of their very existence as full-fledged independent states is real and how great is it now and in the future?
In recent years, the USA and NATO countries have given rise to doubt their leading role in world politics. The established tendency to increase awareness of national sovereignty in many developing countries of the world retains its viability and development prospects as long as the combined power of the BRICS and SCO grows, supported by the growing capabilities of China, the military-political and diplomatic potential of the Russian Federation. Under these conditions, the primary task of the United States and the coalition led by them is the destruction of the BRICS and the SCO as a result of either attracting the most powerful players, such as China, India, or destroying the dangerous geopolitical tandem of the PRC - Russia in various ways.