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We run a serious risk, so by trusting China

Мы серьезно рискуем, настолько доверясь Китаю

For the sake of balance in the relationship, Russia will be forced to go to a military-political Alliance with China, predicts the orientalist Alexey Maslov.

The statement of Vladimir Putin that Russia is helping China to create a system of missile attack warning (early warning system) made by the President during his speech at the Valdai forum, made a lot of noise and caused a stream of comments of Pro-government experts, most of the policy of the Russian President’s support.

Meanwhile, the Putin’s statement looks like a public Declaration of close military cooperation between the two countries. “We will continue to work in the field of space, in the field of military-technical cooperation. Don’t know the big secret, probably, does not open, it’ll still be clear: we are helping our Chinese partners to establish a system of early warning system — warning system about the rocket attack. This is a very serious thing that capital will drastically increase the defenses of the people’s Republic of China. Because now this system has only the United States and Russia”, — Putin said.

Earlier at the same forum, he actually explained the reason why the Russian Federation decided to share with China the most cherished: “…the attempts to contain China. I think that this is impossible by definition. And if someone will make such attempts, it is he who will do it, — you will understand that it is impossible, in the course of these attempts, definitely will cause yourself damage and loss.” In other words, the Russian leader demonstrates loyalty to the principle, which goes something like this: if you can’t for someone to win or to impose his will — join him.

Now political relations between the two neighbouring powers probably can be called perfect. Evil tongues, truth, say that Russia has become a raw materials appendage of China, and Vladimir Putin himself in the same speech at the Valdai forum is confirmed. Speaking about the structure of Russian-Chinese trade turnover, he admitted: “Yes, of course, 70 percent of that energy and so forth, but it is natural. We have this product, but China needs this product”. If we add to this that another significant article of the Russian export to China is round timber, the picture of economic relations between the two countries becomes even more depressing. Recall that a large part of Chinese exports to Russia are ready — made products, including a huge range of products of modern electronics.

About why Russia has decided to share their experience in the field of missile defence with China, columnist of “Rosbalt” talked with the head of the School of Oriental studies of the HSE Alexey Maslov.

— Why does China need Russian assistance in the development of the system of missile attack warning (early warning system)?

— Let’s start with the fact that the Chinese air defense system is still local. It can protect China from the missile strike, which will focus directly on its territory, but the early warning system, China has not yet developed. In this respect, Russia is still significantly ahead of China. Second, this system gives Beijing the ability of early warning (missile impact), because, as you can guess, the Russian radar cover not only the entire United States, but also Japan and South Korea, where potentially, however, can be a blow for China. Especially considering the American system THAAD (mobile missile complex for ground-based natmosphere intercept medium-range missiles), located on the territory of Japan and South Korea. And this is probably the biggest danger (for China), the Japanese radar system, THAAD covering part of the territory of China and Russia, while Chinese radars do not cover the territory of Japan.

— Why does Russia need?

The whole Russian vision is now to balance our engagement with China. That is, not to allow Russia to become a raw or whatever else appendage of the PRC. Since in Economics we have with China are unable to compete (to be clear, today Russia is on the 11th place among the trade partners of China, and its total trade is only 2.3%), we are looking for area where we can work around it and due to this balance is economic inequality. This area is a military area.

— Many are now discussing the question of whether Russia is to transfer to China of similar technology…

— First, it is clear that we are talking about a very deep trust to our Eastern neighbor and it’s not just a figure of speech. Secondly, there is another point, which is now, perhaps, little discussed, but, nevertheless, interesting. We are talking about the fact that Moscow and Beijing are moving towards a system of comprehensive security in Eastern and South-East Asia. In the future it may escalate into something that both countries together can guarantee the safety of, for example, North Korea. That’s what Pyongyang asks when it comes to the denuclearization of the DPRK if it renounces nuclear weapons. So, theoretically, if Russia and China will cover a joint “umbrella” of North Korea, it would mean a comprehensive approach to security.

— Nevertheless, what gives the transfer by Russia to China of the system of missile attack warning in the strategic plan because of China, anyway, thanks to the possession of significant military technologies that are now she’s not?

— I think it’s still in principle the recognition that economic, trade the plan Moscow and Beijing were not serious partners. For example, until now Chinese investment in Russia is very small and they are unlikely to rise sharply. When we talk about the fact that the mutual trade turnover between the two countries by 2024 can be increased to $ 200 billion (in 2018 it rises to 108 billion dollars, as stated by Putin at the Valdai club — “Rosbalt”), we must realize that this gain can only occur due to energy trade. That is, the paradox is that the more we traded with China, the more you tie yourself to the energy. Therefore, the expansion of military cooperation we have, in large part because there is no other.

Is the deepening cooperation in the military sphere is based on the fact that now Moscow and Beijing a good relationship. But if this is the plan that will change?

— That’s a good question. I think that Russia is very risky steps. We certainly don’t know all the details (for example, it is possible that China has known many Russian technologies — can be judged on a number of espionage scandals, when Russia was delayed some Russian scientists), but the fact remains — Russia, of course, is a fundamental steps. The fact that Putin said that cooperation with China is open, it is certainly a shock from Russia to America. Because such things are generally not widely covered.

— In fact, it looks like a public announcement about the Alliance…

— Yes, of course. Most likely before the end of this or early next year (between Russia and China) will be signed any formal agreement. That is or will be proclaimed a Alliance article similar to article 5 of the Treaty of NATO that an attack on one of the parties is an attack on the other side, or else it will be a Treaty on military-political Union, but without such obligations.

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