Over a week, due to the negative reaction, Russia “softened” the results of the Russian and Chinese leaders` meeting to a more easily boiled version: we did not obey but adopted the Chinese experience. There are no secret agreements, but there is a strong partner, which means that Russia still stands for something in the international arena.
After the end of the visit of Xi Jinping, the acting general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, to Russia, political scientists began to explain the importance of this event to the population. All estimates are divided into two groups: this is a global union and interaction, but it is impossible to say more specifically, this is a state secret. Translated into human language, Xi did not promise anything and all the achievements of this meeting are reduced to promises to give cheap gas to China in exchange for an illusory partnership (“Xi: China and Russia are good neighbours and reliable partners, connected by mountains and rivers”).
And the second, significantly larger group of narratives comes down to the fact that Russia will receive the protection of China. That is a completely vassal status.
1. Visibility of a secret alliance: important documents were signed, they just don’t tell us about it
Political scientist Maxim Zharov: “President Xi Jinping’s 2023 Moscow visit will certainly go down in history as one of his most mysterious visits”.
Yegor Kholmogorov: “Essentially a complete military-political alliance on an anti-American basis. What was agreed in Moscow on armaments can be seen from the Western reaction: depleted uranium, accelerated delivery of Abrams, and statements about Patriots. There are no visible reasons for such escalating statements by Westerners. That means there are invisible ones.
Political observer Andrey Perla: “The most interesting thing about Xi Jinping’s visit is that its consequences began to be felt even before the plane from China landed in Moscow. The new world was formed at the moment when it became known for certain that this visit would take place. It can be stated that instead of the unipolar world that has gone down in history, there are two – the one that remains under the rule of the Anglo-Saxons, and the free world”.
Eugeniy Minchenko, Director of the Centre for Political Elite Studies at IIR MGIMO: “The Russian leader suggested that Chinese President Xi Jinping build an anti-Western front”.
Only this front is on Russian territory and at the expense of Russia
MIG of Russia: “The words at parting speak about the nature of the meeting between Putin and Xi even more than all the documents signed”. Global. Transformation. of Peace.
Due to the lack of real consequences of the visit, the narrative “there are secret agreements between Putin and Xi that they don’t tell us about” has been transformed into “world leaders are meeting us, which means we are not thrown out of world politics”.
Political scientist Yury Svetov “Xi Jinping’s visit to Russia and the words about the strategic partnership are quite significant facts”. Joe Biden reacts painfully to the rapprochement between Russia and China and says it is supposedly exaggerated.
Political scientist Andriy Koshkin: “Nowadays China is demonstrating the possibilities for building stable relations and is trying to resolve the conflict that the United States has created around Ukraine”.
Comrade Xi’s plan is to “cutting off the supply of weapons in exchange for stopping rocket attacks”. The main goal is to reduce the activity of the US military-industrial complex in exchange for the cessation of rocket attacks on Ukraine.
In any case, Russia is not even a participant, it is an object, a puppet of China, which is used to negotiate with the United States.
2. Better to be a vassal of China than America
The second group of narratives was associated with protection from China. All point to China’s strength, economic and innovation potential. But not Russia’s. Accordingly, the signed documents are of no particular importance. Regardless of the form of patronage, in this case, Russia has a completely dependent status. This was confirmed by Putin himself, because the key agreements that were voiced are Moscow’s readiness to use the Chinese national currency in the calculation between Russia and the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America. And to meet the growing needs of the PRC in energy carriers – both under already concluded contracts and beyond them.
Sinologist, lecturer at the Military University of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation Maxim Kazanin: “China does not create any alliances with anyone. The only military-political formation is with the DPRK in case of military assistance in the event of an attack. All the rest for China are partners at different levels and areas”.
Political observer of “Tsargrad” Andrey Perla “The first violin is in Russia, China is a conductor”.
“The Russian economy is reoriented to the south and east. And Europe will not get any of our resources”.
The modern symphony orchestra has 24 violinists
Chairman of the Russian-Asian Business Council Maxim Kuznetsov: “The Russian Federation is not alone and has the support of the largest players on the world stage”.
Publicist Dmitry Olshansky: “There are two simple arguments about why Russia in the 21st century should be a vassal of China, not America. First, China, unlike America, claims our resources but not our identity. Secondly, in the event of a vassal relationship with China and hostile relations with America, Russia runs the risk of being left without visa bank cards, subscriptions to Netflix, some gadgets, details, useful little things. In the case of a vassal relationship with America and hostile relations with China, Russia risks being left without a head”.
Vassal dependence on a country with a completely different culture and level of economy is not a problem for an expert.
Vladimir Olenchenko, Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for European Studies at the ImEMO RAS: “The West is disappointed that its attempts to isolate Russia fail, and that China does not follow its hints regarding its policy. In this situation, the political scientist believes that both Russia and China will follow an independent policy based on their national interests, and not on the agenda that the United States proposes to them”.
Political scientist Thomas Graham: “The friendly relations between Putin and Xi Jinping prove China’s transformation into a global mediator”.
China – yes, what about Russia?
Temyr Khagurov, Doctor of Sociology, First Vice-Rector of KubSU: “China and Russia are the main opponents of the United States on the world stage. At the same time, China is taking on the role of the main economic opponent, while Russia is taking on the role of the military-strategic one. Secondly, there is a strategic turn of Russian policy and geostrategy from West to East. Obviously, this will also apply to logistics chains, economic relationships, the supply of natural resources, technological imports, and much more.
Igor Girkin: “It’s easier with the economy – now Russian resources will go to China. That was inevitable. In conditions of war with the EU. They talk a lot about the resource colony of China, but … But when the Russian Federation pumped resources to the West, having received war and sanctions as a result, did this bother anyone? Generally? And what should be done with these resources? Eat them? Burn them? Are you saying to do yours? And how and by whom? Politics is the art of the possible”.
Within a week after the visit, due to the backlash it caused in various circles, it was significantly softened in “we need to adopt the positive experience of China”:
– the experience of China is the experience of the USSR, simply without mistakes in recent years (a group of experts on cyber threats from China arrived in Moscow: YouTube is being blocked in Russia).
– Russia, adopting the experience of the PRC will receive economic growth. The Chinese miracle will help Russia.
De facto, Russian propaganda recognized the Russian Federation as a vassal of China but tried to soften the blow by turning the thesis about Russia’s role as China’s raw material appendage into a narrative about using Chinese experience to ensure Russia’s economic growth. Trying to bypass the topic of China’s technological superiority and, accordingly, Russia’s self-humiliation, propagandists use the only conditionally unifying factor – that it was the experience of the USSR (more precisely, the NEP) that helped the PRC achieve high economic performance.