China and Russia are most important strategic partners, the BBC quotes CCP secretary general and Chinese state chairman Xi Jinping, who has started a tour of Russia, Tanzania, South Africa and the Republic of Congo today. While in Africa, Russia will remain on his agenda on foreign relations, too – Xi will attend the fifth Brics summit from March 26 to 27 in South Africa.
According to the Voice of Russia (VoR), one of the aims in advancing the two countries’ partnership is to boost mutual trade turnover to 100 billion dollars by 2015. Energy issues, local economic cooperation and social events, including a meeting with students of the Lomonosov State University are on the agenda, according to VoR. According to the broadcaster, China has become Russia’s largest trade partner for the second year in a row.
Xi is scheduled to meet with Russian president Vladimir Putin, prime minister Dmitry Medvedev, Federation Council chairwoman Valentina Matviyenko, Duma (parliament) chairman Sergey Naryshkin “and other leaders”, as well as friends from all ways of life in Russia, writes Xinhua newsagency. He will also deliver a speech at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, and meet Russian sinologists, according to Xinhua. International affairs aren’t ranking high in the descriptive Xinhua article, but Russian president is quoted from a telephone record with Xi of March 14 as saying that Russian-Chinese relations were among the important factors of safeguarding world peace and stability, and carrying particular significance.
Huanqiu Shibao quotes a Russian deputy foreign minister as describing Xi’s visit to Russia as a “major event” in the two countries’ relationship. The deputy foreign minister added that Moscow had made careful preparations for the visit. Western media said that Xi’s choice of Russia as his first foreign destination was “no surprise” (“不意外”), writes Huanqiu. One after another, Western media believed that the intentions behind China’s arrangements made people wonder.
“Are China and Russia going to sign big energy contracts?” “Is Beijing turning back to the [old] strategic center of gravity with Moscow” to respond to the shift of America’s strategic focus to the Asia-Pacific region?” The guesses and speculations by Western analysts, with seven mouths and eight tongues (七嘴八舌), look as if they were x-raying Sino-Russian relations.
俄副外长里亚布科夫21日用“两国交往中的大事件”形容这次访问，并称莫斯科已为迎接习主席做好万全准备。西方媒体大多对中国国家主席上任后首先访俄“不 意外”，同时纷纷认为北京的安排用意极深，耐人琢磨。“中俄要签能源大单？”“北京要用‘战略重心重返莫斯科’回应‘战略重心重返亚太’的美国？”西方分 析家七嘴八舌的猜测就像在给中俄关系做X光检测。
As for Xi Jinping’s visit to Tanzania, South Africa and the Republic of Congo, after his stay in Russia, and the “Sino-African approaches” (“中非走近”), following the “Sino-Russian embrace”, have gone hot in Western public opinion. “Westerners are tossing lots of question marks, but essentially, their curiosity is only about one thing. That is how big a country China will be in the next ten years”, says Chinese scholar Jin Canrong.
In fact, Germany’s former foreign broadcaster and current media platform Deutsche Welle (DW) describes Xi’s visit to Russia as his unsurprising international debut. Deutsche Welle also quotes Gu Xuewu of the University of Bonn with pretty much the remarks about deepening military cooperation in the face of the US “pivot to Asia” that had been noted by Huanqiu Shibao’s “Western media” review.
However, much of what the DW article says is simply not quoteable for Huanqiu Shibao: fair weather friends, unsentimental partnership of convenience, or a trip to Moscow that was was symbolic in nature. Not to mention the demographic development in the Far East, viewed by the Russian side with unease.
And obviously, Huanqiu provides no link to the DW article – nor do they mention the old enemy broadcaster as their online source.
» VoR Chinese frequencies, swldxbulgaria, March 14, 2013
» CRI Russian frequencies, swldxbulgaria, March 14, 2013
» No Bullying, July 19, 2012
» Now Africa’s largest trading partner, BBC, May 22, 2012