22 in March, Chinese President Xi Jinping will make his first international trip, he is going to visit Russia and three African states, as well as take part in the BRICS summit. The fact that he will visit Russia on his first trip abroad after being elected chairman will show that China intends to develop Chinese-Russian relations. China’s desire to strengthen ties between countries is connected with what, Leonid Ivashov, president of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, told in an interview with Nakanune.RU.
Q: Xi Jinping is making her first overseas visit to Russia on a new post. Then follow the countries of Africa. Leonid G., as far as it is symbolic, with what do you connect it?
Leonid Ivashov: China is positioning itself as the center of the East. Today, against the background of his successes, he does not want to go to the West, understanding the essence of the West, cooperates with the West only for reasons of pragmatism, but China does not have spiritual affinity or affinity with the West, and never will, like Russia, by the way. And today China has a turning point: last year, in the Renmin Ribao newspaper, the main party media, it appeared that China and Russia should create an alliance against the West. The fact that China is now again speaking with the ideas of internationalism, and the fact that they held a plenum of the Central Committee of the party last year, at which they discussed the issue of cultural security of the PRC, Chinese identity - this suggests that Russia today can become China’s main partner only in the economy, not only in the hydrocarbon raw material sector, but also the main partner in the reorganization of the world. And here the two vectors coincide, and the Chinese oriental vector, and the Russian Eurasian vector, about which Putin, Nazarbayev, Lukashenko spoke. And so the new head of the Chinese Republic wants to clarify the position of Russia - is Russia really leaving the western direction and wants to find allies in the east.
In China, geopolitics is based on two principles: the principle of “wall” is a certain “autocracy” - not to let into its space what is not traditional, not typical for China, that is, this western corruption, the western model of the financial system, the liberal economy, and so on. .d And another principle on which China’s geopolitics is built is the principle of “the way” - to go into the world, carry your values and goods into the world, and at the same time take everything that is valuable in the world. This is manifested today: what will be useful for the Chinese economy, for the Chinese civilization as a whole, even in the West, they will take, and they will “give” their goods, their culture.
As for Russia, yes, Russia does not follow the socialist path, but those Putin’s attempts to change Russia just say that Putin is ready to go for a planned economy as the basis for the development of the state. And in this we are close with China. The fact that Russia traditionally gives priority to a certain spirituality, intellectuality, the development of the integrity of society - this also coincides with the Chinese approaches. Therefore, a visit to Xi Jinping will be intelligence, as far as Russia is really ready to carry out its development, making the Eurasian vector, the Asian vector, a priority. If a serious conversation with Putin is obtained, then the Shanghai Cooperation Organization can already be developed into a large Eurasian alliance of civilizations.
Question: And as for the Customs Union, in this regard, China is not worried that its creation will limit the ability to export Chinese goods?
Leonid Ivashov: Now, if we form the Eurasian Union on the basis of the SCO, then we will no longer enter the space of a new continental bloc - Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Kazakhstan, and we will be one organized core. This is China should not be frightening, because we are one.
Question: Are there any contradictions between Russia and China nowadays that manifest themselves inside the SCO?
Leonid Ivashov: There are no fundamental contradictions, China is waiting for Russia to abandon the imposition of a Western value system on its country and the post-Soviet space, on the priority of the Western direction. China is especially interested in our resources so that they do not flow into Europe, but turn in an east direction. We have coinciding plans for the development of the Arctic, the Northern Sea Route, and we need to offer this to China, and India, to other countries of the East. There are no fundamental contradictions, if Russia chooses the traditional Eurasian way of development for itself, then together with China in the framework of the new union, it is possible to create a new economic model that is different from the model of the West. What else positive China sees in cooperation with Russia is that Russia never prioritizes any internal political issues of the partner country, as the West does: human rights are violated in China, the yuan is not devalued there. Russia does not climb into such matters, which means it is a more profitable long-term partner for China.
Question: It can be said, the West is on the alert. Do you think Western countries mistakenly believe that China, having become richer and more powerful, and is now “too self-confident”?
Leonid Ivashov: This confidence in them was present before. But earlier, the high rates of economic development formed a whole stratum of Chinese businessmen and politicians who saw their prospects in the West, came out with appeals for rapprochement with the West, for almost allied relations with the West. Today, China is disappointed in this, China feels that the West is waging a powerful war against the development of China, the Chinese are well aware that a strike on Libya, a strike on Syria, on Iran is an arrow launched towards China. He is being squeezed out of this zone, trying to limit influence, being squeezed out from the African continent, today we see such latent fights against China’s expansion into the Latin American continent, the Americans are increasing their presence in the Strait of Malacca, in the South China Sea.
Now Bush’s announcement of a proposal to create a single transatlantic zone on trade between North America and Europe is to create a powerful economy to counter the Chinese economy, and they are trying to do the same in the Pacific zone. The Chinese understand that in the fight against the united West not only by states, but also by large world finances, he will not cope alone, he needs long-term allies, and China sees Russia as an ally of 21 century as its main ally.
Question: You said that China was "squeezed out" from the zone of possible influence, but do you think China has a definite plan of action in the region after the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan?
Leonid Ivashov: Of course, China has some options, but still it will not cope alone. On the one hand, it is a powerful country with a dynamically developing economy, with a huge GDP, but on the other hand, China today has many weaknesses. Including overpopulation, lack of resources, and it is getting worse every year, so China will now, with the new leader, actively form Chinese-centric Asia so that the countries of the Asia-Pacific region are in alliance with China. China has a strong position for this: the Chinese diasporas in these countries, despite their small numbers, dominate at least in the economy, which means that they can also influence politics. But Russia does not need to go "under China", Russia needs to build its configuration of forces. The same Iran - it is necessary to radically change our attitude towards Iran; India is the same - it should be our main economic and political partner, and here in this space there is a balance of power, a balance of interests, this will allow us to survive, at least. Today we are jerking between east and west, as a result we get pressure from the east and from the west.
Question: Will the United States in every way prevent China from creating China-centric Asia? What are your predictions about the US position in Central Asia?
Leonid Ivashov: This is their old dream - to control Eurasia - not through Russia, because now it snorts and wants independence, the Americans are beginning to work hard in the Central Asian region, they are trying to tear away other countries from Russia. With Uzbekistan, they do it; the second is to embroil so that countries live like the Arab East in a conflict state, they are then one by one easier to manage, because the US will provoke a revolution.
Question: As for China’s close neighbors - Japan? The Japanese prime minister accuses China of the fact that the latter is building its patriotism on anti-Japanese sentiment, that the open economy of China is pushing it towards the sea and making Beijing aggressive. Should we expect a deterioration and so not too friendly relations between neighbors?
Leonid Ivashov: In fact, Japan is beginning to look for ways of rapprochement with China, in general, this is not bad. The Japanese are well aware that America abandoned Japan, sometime after World War II, she was dragging Japan, but today Japan is a big economic competitor for the United States. Japan has a strong influence in the Asia-Pacific region, and the Americans are trying to dominate there. From the economic point of view, the Chinese need to support the “enemy syndrome” in society, they have too close economic ties with the Americans, they act cautiously in this regard, but to draw the image of the enemy from Japan is important for patriotism.
There will be a certain transformation of the Communist Party itself, the communist ideology, which is proceeding, but still slowly, will acquire a traditional Confucian character. On the other hand, while quarreling with Japan, implicitly, the Japanese and the Chinese will look for such prospects for their joint survival that Russia has the opportunity to be some kind of arbiter. Do not forget that the Japanese are living in constant fear of extinction - several such tsunamis, like the last one, will repeat, and the existence of Japan as a state will be in question.
Question: Do you think that China can lose Japanese and other foreign investments if it continues its aggressive policy - what makes the Prime Minister of Japan scared China?
Leonid Ivashov: Yes, China is not afraid of loss of investment! China has a huge gold and foreign exchange reserve, they have powerful state planning, plus a huge export from China. The only thing that scares Chinese economists is the possibility of a recession in general, what is happening in America. Then the Chinese factory will produce surplus goods that will not be able to go to other markets. And investments, especially production investments, are not the main thing for China now, they tried to put surplus of their products on the domestic market, but they cannot go there, because they need currency.
Question: But now, apart from the obstacles that the West is building for China, there are also accusations of cyber espionage? How do you assess the relationship of America and China in this regard? Is there a cyberwar threat?
Leonid Ivashov: You understand that when Americans come up with something like this for other countries or for all of humanity, they first launch an information and psychological attack, as it was in Yugoslavia. The fact that they, it seems, felt sorry for the Albanians, they invaded there, it became a shame to the Shiites - they destroyed the state of Iraq, then they destroyed Libya - for this they come up with everything. After all, today the Pentagon created cyber command, where the staff number is just crazy - 4 thousand, and most of the cyber command units are classified. Secret people, secret actions, that is, the Americans are launching this war in order to justify their activities, they need to find some kind of mythical threat. Cyberwar is coming - and it must be admitted, it was the Americans who organized and launched it, but now we need to find a scapegoat.
Here China and need to unite with Russia. By the way, according to our data, at the Pentagon there are 15 Russian young guys somewhere, but this is only from verified data, most likely there are much more of them. Chinese people work there, they look for such people, take them away, secret them, and they work. It must be said that Russian youth now have much more potential for these cyberwarfare than even the Chinese. Therefore, here some kind of agreement on countering cyber attacks is necessary, it is necessary to unite efforts, we cannot stand alone against the united West in such areas. We need to unite for the purpose of our security.