By Ai Jun
The Sputnik News Agency on Thursday quoted Russian Ambassador to China Andrei Denisov as saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin will likely participate in the One Belt and One Road summit in Beijing this May. If Putin attends the gathering, it will be of great significance to both Sino-Russian ties and the One Belt and One Road Initiative.
Moscow formally joined the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in 2015, a multilateral financial institution established to promote regional economic development and connectivity. Over the past years, China-Russia ties have achieved significant results.
Russia and China need to overcome the obstacles of geopolitics, given the significance of the One Belt and One Road Initiative to the two countries. Many countries along the One Belt, One Road in Central Asia are considered by the Kremlin areas of strategic importance, or its backyard. Once Beijing enhances its collaboration with them in the fields of energy, economy, trade and infrastructure development, whether Russia’s influence in the region would be undermined is of Moscow’s concern.
In May 2015, Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping signed the Joint Statement on Cooperation of Connection Between the Silk Road Economic Belt and Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), which was a breakthrough. In any case, connecting the major programs between the two is a good start and will benefit not only the two sides, but the entire region as well.
As a major global energy producer, Russia is facing difficulties in doing business with its traditional export market, Europe. Hence, turning toward the Asia-Pacific becomes a convenient and ideal way out. Meanwhile, as the second largest economy, China has a considerable consumer market. While Russia can get rid of its economic predicament, China and other regional economies could gain with more access to resources. When it comes to Russia itself, given that a majority of its ongoing infrastructure projects are located in the Far East and Siberia, where resources are abundant yet human resources are limited, cooperation with other countries will yield twice the result with half the effort.
China has frequently declared that it has no intention to dominate, challenge or replace any country’s global status. In terms of the B&R Initiative, what Beijing hopes to achieve is the common development and prosperity, jointly providing and enjoying goods with others. The B&R Initiative has a chance to bring China and Russia closer, which will be conducive to global governance as the world becomes increasingly multipolarized.
One Belt, One Road can bring China and Russia closer
By Ai Jun