BEIJING (Realist English). Relations between Beijing and Moscow, as well as China’s goals regarding the West, are interpreted incorrectly, according to Wang Huiyao, president of the Center for China and Globalization.
“China wants to stabilise and improve ties with the US and its allies, not forge an anti-Western alliance with Russia. The 4 February statement was a commitment to work together on shared interests, not the declaration of a joint anti-Western front that some have made it out to be.” the Chinese expert believes.
According to him, China has no alliance with Russia and has never supported a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
This was “made clear again recently by Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s call to respect the sovereignty of any country and find a solution to the Ukraine crisis through dialogue and consultation.”
The President of the Center for China and Globalization reminded that China’s economic relations with the West are more significant than with Russia.
“In 2021, bilateral trade between China and Russia jumped by 35 per cent to a value of $147bn. This was still less than a tenth of the combined trade with the US ($657bn) and EU ($828.1bn). Russia may be a big fish militarily, but it is an economic minnow in long-term structural decline, with a GDP barely larger than that of the EU’s fifth-largest economy, Spain. It is not in China’s interests to open up a long-term confrontation against the West with such a partner and there is no intention of doing so.” he stressed.
With the collapse of the USSR, the “strategic triangle” Moscow-Beijing-Washington has largely lost its significance. “Now some Western analysts are trying to revive this concept, and the place of the Soviet Union in it is, of course, Putin’s Russia,” Wang Huiyao added.
The Chinese analyst noted that 50 years ago, China and the United States managed to achieve a diplomatic breakthrough that transformed the trilateral relations of the Cold War and served the interests of both countries:
“But reviving this outdated view of the world half a century later will only push China and Russia closer together, raising the risk of great-power conflict, and hampering our ability to work together on existential threats that go far beyond Ukraine.”