A year ago, in June 2019, the Russian-Chinese strategic partnership entered a new era. This was announced during a meeting in Moscow by Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping. At that time, America’s trade war against China had not yet reached its peak. At that time, China preferred to talk about “trade friction” rather than a full-scale trade war. There were still hopes for negotiations, which the representatives of the PRC and the United States conducted without any fuss.
Indeed, on January 15, 2020, the “first phase” of the trade agreement was signed, which was very beneficial to the American side. True, in Hong Kong, the leaders of the demonstrators not only drove convoys of people flying American flags, but even went to Washington, where they discussed plans to disconnect from China in the offices of the State Department and Congress. On November 17, 2019, President Trump signed the law on the protection of democracy and civil rights in Hong Kong, an analogue of the anti-Russian “Magnitsky law”. The open support of the United States and England contributed to the victory of the opposition in municipal elections. Almost simultaneously, with the support of the United States in Taiwan, voters supported politicians who were working towards a final separation from China. The supply of American weapons has expanded, coordinated military exercises of the American 7th Fleet and the Taiwanese Navy and Air Force have become more frequent.
However, all these, to put it mildly, unfriendly actions were blocked by Trump’s words and deeds after the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic in Wuhan. Instead of studying China’s positive experience in isolating foci of infection and taking part in international efforts, he declared the Celestial Empire a personal vendetta. Accusations of organizing a pandemic fell on China, and claims for compensation were voiced. The White House began tearing one after another the threads of economic, scientific, humanitarian ties, of which during the years of “anti-hegemonic interaction” directed against the USSR, the fabric of bilateral relations was woven.
The intensity of these actions dispelled recent doubts about the depths of the anti-Chinese instincts of President Trump and the Washington establishment. In Beijing, they came to a consensus – this is not just about “trade friction”, but about a full-blown Cold War against Chinese civilization. The consequences of this conclusion were sharp speeches by employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China and the national press, demonstrations of military power. But the most prominent decisions were announced at the end of June during the session of the NPC (parliament).
These economic decisions are the start of preparations for a protracted conflict. That is how experts perceived the rejection of the traditional planned milestones of GDP growth, the emphasis on serving the needs of the domestic market, on saving government spending even in overcoming the consequences of the epidemic, and on building up infrastructure construction. An unexpected decision to pass a national security law for Hong Kong was a challenge to Washington, which designated the inviolability of the local bozoters as a “red line” by adopting its own law on the protection of democracy and civil rights.
All points on the “i” in assessing the state and prospects of relations with America have been set by the Commander-in-Chief, Communist Party Secretary General and PRC Chairman Xi Jinping. Addressing military personnel participating in the NPC session on June 26, he gave such orders: “Deliberately prepare for the worst case. Build up military training and combat training. Timely and efficiently cope with all kinds of difficult situations. To decisively defend the sovereignty, security and interests of the development of the state. ”
The “new normality” in relations between Beijing and Washington could not but affect Moscow. Even after last year’s meeting between Putin and Xi Jinping, Russia made several eloquent gestures. After difficult thought, China was handed the missile attack early warning system (SPRN) technology. Our and Chinese strategic bombers flew together in the direction of US bases in South Korea and Japan. But now, a year later, in the face of rapidly growing threats to the security of both countries, we can talk about further rapprochement. It was not in vain that Russia and China were called up and called “strategic rivals” in the 2017 US National Security Concept.
What will be the parameters of the new round of the “new era of strategic partnership” of Moscow and Beijing? One can only guess about this. Regular meetings between Putin and Xi Jinping are suspended due to a pandemic, they exchange closed messages and open phone calls. The foreign ministries and presidential chancelleries in Moscow and Beijing are now energetically preparing documents for an in-person meeting, which is possible in early September at celebrations in connection with the 75th anniversary of the general victory over Japan and the end of World War II. It is hoped that the outcome of the meetings of the two leaders with mandates for a long reign will be adequate to the long-term challenges to their powers.