Strong Russia Of Strategic Importance To China

7 March 2012 — Global Times

Putin’s win chance to assess ties with Russia

Both Russia and China are facing growing external strategic pressure. Collaboration between the two will touch many interests of other countries.

Putin’s victory is a positive factor for the stability of China’s northern border and its global strategic environment. As China’s competition with the US intensifies, this becomes a valuable asset. China’s growing influence will also in turn provide support for Russia’s path ahead.

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Putin’s overwhelming victory in the Russian presidential election has been scorned by some Western media. Many Chinese were similarly affected, believing that Putin’s easy victory was abnormal. It is important for Chinese people to form an objective view toward Russia.

The Western media have taken a similar approach in denying democratic reform in Russia, as in China. For the Chinese, reading Russia correctly is a process which will help to look at itself objectively.

Domestic politics and global context jointly shape the political landscape of Russia. No doubt the current Russian government had the ability to influence the election, but such influence exists everywhere, in varying degrees. It was not the dominant factor in Putin’s win. Today around the world, the public will is strong enough to topple an unpopular authoritarian regime. It will not bow to an order on how to vote.

The West has set its attitude toward Putin and is questioning his victory. This tone has shaped Western media coverage of Putin, resulting in emotional reporting of the election. This betrays journalistic ethics. Time and again, Western media have traded professionalism for political standpoints.

The Chinese people need to keep an independent mind toward Russian affairs. The public will is important for China to maintain a sustainable strategic partnership with Russia.

Both Russia and China are facing growing external strategic pressure. Collaboration between the two will touch many interests of other countries.

Domestic public support is all the more crucial to cementing the bilateral relationship. But in reality, this support is lower than it should be. Media should try and fill this gap.

Besides reading the Russia of today correctly, including its top leaders, the Chinese people need to have a new way of thinking about the importance of Russia to China. Historical factors should not weigh in too much in assessing the interests of today.

Putin’s victory is a positive factor for the stability of China’s northern border and its global strategic environment. As China’s competition with the US intensifies, this becomes a valuable asset. China’s growing influence will also in turn provide support for Russia’s path ahead.

China is not passive in the Sino-Russian relationship as many assume. Mutual respect and equal treatment are deeply rooted. This relationship can go further at an international and a local level.”

 

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