Wednesday, December 6, 2023

The Putin-Xi Summit – Their Joint Statement and Analysis – China Briefing News

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Russia and China take steps to usher in a multipolar world and provide a partial road map. 

By Chris Devonshire-Ellis

The Moscow summit held between Russian President Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping has drawn to a close with both sides issuing a comprehensive Joint Statement. As always, these are somewhat ambiguous, meaning a certain amount of reading between the lines and certainly a well-grounded background into their relationship is required to create a reasonable analysis.

Western media has attempted to portray Putin as the “Junior Partner” which is largely accurate, although not exclusively. I have seen the two men on various platforms over the years, Putin does tend to refer to Xi as ‘Chairman’ while in return, Putin is referred to as ‘President’, implying Xi’s seniority in the relationship. It is not, however, something Putin appears especially concerned about – there exists a certain amount of old-fashioned chivalry between the two.

Putin and Xi also get on – while Putin has been known in the past for the occasional joke and a laugh, Xi rarely does so. Yet I have seen Xi Jinping make mischievous comments about Putin’s piano playing during a bit of forum banter. Clearly, there is a bond between the two, which should come as no surprise.

Anyway, on to the complete statement, which in Chinese is significantly more detailed than the truncated English-language version published here. The complete statement has been translated by Dezan Shira & Associates in Beijing and is reproduced below.

My comments follow where appropriate and for clarification.

Joint Statement between the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation on Deepening the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of Coordination in the New Era – PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs

21st March 2023

“With the unremitting efforts of both sides, the China-Russia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of Coordination for a New Era has reached the highest level in history and continues to move forward.

The two sides reaffirmed their compliance with the Treaty of Good-Neighborliness, Friendship, and Cooperation between the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation signed on July 16, 2001, and the Treaty of Good-Neighborliness, Friendship, and Cooperation between the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation signed on 20 June 2021, and to develop bilateral relations in accordance with the principles and spirit established in the Joint Statement on International Relations and Global Sustainable Development in the New Era issued by the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation on February 4, 2022.”

CDE: The preamble illustrates the long-standing yet evolving relationship the two sides possess.

“The two sides pointed out that the Sino-Russian relationship is not similar to the military and political alliance during the Cold War, but transcends this model of state relations, and has the nature of non-alignment, non-confrontation, and non-targeting of third countries. The China-Russia relationship is mature, stable, independent, and tenacious. It has withstood the test of the Covid-19 epidemic and the vicissitudes of the international situation. It is not affected by external influences and has shown vitality. The friendship from generation to generation between the two peoples has a solid foundation, and the all-around cooperation between the two countries has broad prospects. Russia needs a prosperous and stable China, and China needs a strong and successful Russia.”

CDE: The ‘non-targeting’ of third countries and ‘non-confrontation’ may come as some surprise to pro-Ukrainian factions, however, it indicates that both believe that Ukraine was not targeted by Russia, but that Moscow was forced to act to protect itself against provocation. It also suggests that other countries, specifically the United States, do engage in such acts. Given that the US has been involved in numerous conflicts over the years: Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and Yemen as well as attempted coups (Venezuela) in addition to contemporary Ukraine this is something of a moot point.

“China and Russia regard each other as priority cooperative partners, always respect each other and treat each other as equals, which has become a model of major power relations today. Under the guidance of the Heads of State, the two sides have maintained close exchanges at all levels, conducted in-depth communication on major issues of mutual concern, enhanced mutual trust, and ensured that bilateral relations run at a high level. Both sides are willing to further deepen bilateral relations and develop dialogue mechanisms in various fields.”

CDE: Interesting use of the term ‘Heads of State’ implying that both Putin and Xi intend to be in their positions for the foreseeable future. Russia has Presidential elections next year with Putin not yet confirming whether he will run. This implies he will.

“The two sides pointed out that the current world changes are accelerating, and the international pattern is undergoing profound adjustments, including peace, development, cooperation, and win-win results are an irresistible historical trend. The formation of a multi-polar international pattern is accelerating. There are increasing numbers of regional powers that are strong and determined to defend their legitimate rights and interests.”

CDE: The West has often used the United Nations General Assembly Resolution ES11/1 vote condemning Russia’s involvement in the Ukraine conflict on March 2, 2022, which was passed with 141 voting in favour, 5 against, and 35 abstentions in order to express global support for an ‘anti-Russian’ movement. However, it should be pointed out that this vote carried no actual weight, UN members were not committing to any specific action, merely indicating they disapproved.

Should that vote be held today, the results may be somewhat different. This is due to a number of factors, not least because the conflict has now impacted nearly all UN members, particularly its developing nations. They have seen energy prices skyrocket, food supplies and prices both disrupted and increasing, and consequently wish for the conflict to be over. The EU especially has been seen as culpable in the unfair distribution of grains and responsible for pushing the energy process up by buying everything available on the market – without thought to other nations being priced out of the market.   

Today, the collective West risks being perceived as a barrier rather than a bridge to peace – with the United States and EU dismissing China’s peace plan out of hand, and with the United States insisting that any proposed ceasefire would play into Russia’s hands by ‘freezing’ the conflict. That is seen as a Western issue, that does not take into account the concerns of other nations. Therefore, any delay to peace is perceived as a greater Western desire to continue the conflict, rather than a Russian or Chinese willingness to do so

“At the same time, hegemonism, unilateralism, and protectionism are still rampant, and it is unacceptable to replace recognized principles and norms of international law with a “rule-based order”.

CDE: This is a reference to the various bypassing of international laws and global institutions, largely in terms of unilaterally declaring sanctions upon Russia. The United States and EU acted to suspend Russia from SWIFT – which is supposed to be a global payments system. That impacted many other countries that do conduct legitimate trade and damaged their own economies and supply chains without any recourse. Other trade sanctions include the imposition of US laws related to this category or other punitive actions by the US, without any reference to the World Trade Organization (WTO) or similar trade bodies. All countries affected by sanctions have no recourse or voice in this, which is increasingly seen elsewhere as minimizing their sovereignty and disrupting rather than upholding the international rule of law. Russia and China have stated their wish for a return to systematic order in the global marketplace and not just arbitrary US or EU decision-making impacting everyone else.    

“The two sides emphasized that consolidating and deepening the China-Russia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of coordination for a new era is a strategic choice made by both sides based on their respective national conditions, which is in line with the fundamental interests of the two countries and their peoples, in line with the development trend of the times, and is not subject to external influence. The parties will:

  • Guided by the consensus reached by the two heads of state, ensure that bilateral relations always move in the right direction.
  • We should give each other firm support in safeguarding our respective core interests, first of all on issues of sovereignty, territorial integrity, security, and development.
  • Uphold the principle of mutual benefit, continue to deepen and expand practical cooperation in the process of modernization, achieve common development and prosperity, and better benefit the Chinese and Russian peoples.
  • Promote mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples, and continuously consolidate the social and public opinion foundation of the friendship between the two countries for generations.
  • Advance the multi-polarization of the world, economic globalization, and the democratization of international relations, and promote the development of global governance in a more just and reasonable direction.”

CDE: The bilateral agreement discusses Chinese and Russian cooperation, and it does so by framing it as taking place in a ‘New Era’. This can be presumed, in part, to reference the desire by both to create a ‘multi-polar’ world community rather than the perceived ‘unipolar’ (ie: US-led) global community currently in place.   

This also means that the Chinese-Russian Comprehensive Strategic Partnership can be expected to have worldwide implications. Also of interest are the use of the terms “democratization of international relations” and “global governance”. That implies both countries – and possibly numerous others – are dissatisfied with the structure of the existing world order and want change. There is a growing awareness that the United Nations needs reform, as do global institutions such as the World Bank, IMF, the WTO, and WHO. 

Enacting such changes will require substantial diplomatic effort from both countries to gather the needed international support. Both countries are already pursuing these efforts. On the one hand, China has already its initiative of soft loans and development assistance programs carried out through the Belt & Road Initiative, while Russia has promised the African continent and other developing nations free grain provision should the next Ukraine grains shipment deal be terminated. Indeed, the deal is set to expire in May 2023, with Russia unhappy that the bulk of grain shipped from Ukrainian ports is being sent to the EU rather than where it is most needed.

This aspect of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for a ‘New Era’ is therefore the section that carries the most weight in terms of global geopolitics.

“The two sides pointed out that countries have different histories, cultures, and national conditions, and each has the right to independently choose its development path. There is no “democracy” that is superior to others. Both sides oppose the imposition of national values on others, oppose the use of ideology to draw lines, oppose the hypocritical narrative of the so-called “democracy against authoritarianism”, and oppose the use of democracy and freedom as a pretext and a political tool to put pressure on other countries and politics. Russia attaches great importance to China’s Global Civilization Initiative.”

CDE: China’s ‘Global Civilisation Initiative’ is the third arm in various international development initiatives proposed by Beijing, following the Global Development Initiative in 2021, which is linked to the UN 2030 Green Development Programme, and the Global Security Initiative in late 2022, which calls for a new approach to resolving regional conflicts via dialogue. A recent win for this approach has been the Saudi-Iran agreement, which was brokered by Beijing earlier this month.

The ‘Global Civilisation Initiative’ essentially recognizes that regional and local differences and clashes of cultures, religion, and politics are bound to occur, but that the global community “needs to keep an open mind in appreciating how different civilizations perceive values, and refrain from imposing their own values or models on others, and from stoking ideological confrontation.” In essence, it means being more tolerant and looking to minimize the potential for conflict rather than seeking to immediately escalate matters, a principle partially based on Confucianism.

“The two sides pointed out that realizing the enjoyment of human rights by all is the common pursuit of human society. All countries have the right to independently choose the path of human rights development. Different civilizations and countries should respect, tolerate, communicate with and learn from each other. The two sides will unswervingly advance the cause of human rights in their own countries and the cause of human rights in the world.”

CDE: An interesting statement given that Russia resigned from the UN Human Rights Council in April 2022. China, on the other hand, is still an active member.

“Russia supports China in realizing Chinese-style modernization. China supports Russia in realizing its national development goals before 2030. Both sides oppose external forces interfering in internal affairs.

The Russian side reaffirms its adherence to the one-China principle, recognizes Taiwan as an inalienable part of China’s territory, opposes any form of “Taiwan independence”, and firmly supports China’s measures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The two sides agreed to strengthen exchanges of foreign-related rule of law and legislative experience, and provide legal guarantees for the development of Sino-Russian relations and foreign cooperation between the two countries.”

CDE: References to trade and investment protections in each other’s countries. Chinese manufacturers have been enjoying rapid expansion into Russia, replacing largely EU-exited manufacturers. The countries have a bilateral investment treaty, outlining investment rights and protections, while a Free Trade Agreement exists between China and the Eurasian Economic Union. That is currently undergoing negotiations and could result in changes to its current, non-preferential status.

“The two sides will continue to carry out mutual trust dialogue between the central government and its subordinate agencies, as well as high-level representatives under the framework of the strategic security consultation and law enforcement security cooperation mechanism. The two sides will promote exchanges between the political parties of the two countries.”

CDE: President Xi extended an invitation to Putin to visit China later this year.

“The two sides agreed to negotiate and hold an annual meeting of ministers of public security and interior affairs to strengthen law enforcement cooperation in preventing “color revolutions”, combating the “three forces” including the “East Turkistan Islamic Movement”, transnational organized crimes, economic crimes, and drug crimes.”

CDE: The ‘East Turkistan Islamic Movement’ is considered a terrorist organization in both China and Russia, since its stated goals are to establish an Islamic state in Xinjiang and Central Asia. The organization is active in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, and Indonesia. The United States removed the East Turkistan Islamic Movement from its list of Terrorist Organizations in 2020, claiming it had ceased to exist.

“The two sides will strengthen coordination, implement precise policies, and proceed from a strategic perspective to effectively improve the level of practical cooperation between the two countries in various fields, so as to consolidate the material foundation of bilateral relations and benefit the two peoples.

The two sides will forge a closer energy partnership, support enterprises of the two sides in promoting energy cooperation projects in oil and gas, coal, electricity, and nuclear energy, and promote the implementation of initiatives that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including the use of low-emission energy and renewable energy. The two parties will jointly maintain international energy security including key cross-border infrastructure, maintain the stability of the supply chain of the energy product industry chain, promote fair energy transition and low-carbon development based on the principle of technology neutrality, and jointly contribute to the long-term healthy and stable development of the global energy market make a contribution.”

CDE: There has been a lot of talk in Western media about the fact that Xi didn’t announce the signing of the ‘Power of Siberia 2’ pipeline, suggesting it was being used as a bargaining chip. There have also been statements suggesting this pipeline redirects gas from fields previously sending gas to Europe. In fact, these are completely different fields, with the Power of Siberia 2 pipeline coming from Russia’s Siberian Yamal region, and the currently defunct Nordstream pipelines originating in Russia’s Barents gas fields, several thousand kilometers distant. There is no connectivity between the two.

Concerning Power of Siberia 2, Mongolia’s Prime Minister Oyun-Erdene Luvsannamsrai announced that the feasibility study has been completed last year, and that the construction of the pipeline will commence in 2024 and will connect the Siberian gas fields to China via Mongolia. There are two issues remaining to be completed between China and Russia concerning Power of Siberia 2: gas pricing and proposed extensions of the Power of Siberia 2 through China to markets in ASEAN (most notably Vietnam). 

There is no indication that work on the Power of Siberia 2 will be delayed. The project instead is proposed to be fast-tracked and set for completion ahead of the original 2030 date; clarification of this will no doubt follow shortly once China and Russia have reached a deal.      

“The two sides will continue to carry out practical cooperation in civil aviation manufacturing, automobile manufacturing, shipbuilding, metallurgy, and other fields of common interest.”

CDE: China and Russia have long collaborated on civil aviation aircraft and have a joint venture in place, the China-Russia Commercial Aircraft International Corporation (CRAIC) a JV between Comac and Russia’s UAC, with a new wide-body jet, the CR929 now in production. That aircraft is expected to be ready by 2025-26 and will carry up to 280 passengers.

Meanwhile, China, Russia, India, and Iran have formed an aircraft maintenance venture in Iran, which is intended to be a regional maintenance hub. While much is made of Russia’s current aircraft maintenance problems in lieu of sanctions, this issue appears likely to be resolved in the short term.

“Russia highly appreciates China’s successful hosting of the 14th BRICS Summit. The two sides are willing to work together with other BRICS members to implement the consensus reached at previous BRICS leaders’ meetings, deepen practical cooperation in various fields, actively promote discussions on the expansion of BRICS countries and the New Development Bank, and actively carry out “BRICS+” cooperation and cooperation. BRICS peripheral dialogues safeguard the common interests of emerging markets and developing countries.”

CDE: Numerous countries have officially applied to join an expanded BRICS. While not a trade bloc in its own right, members are encouraged to pursue trade amongst each other and to follow similar trade policies. This includes the use of sovereign currencies instead of the US dollar or Euro and the development of digital financial payment platforms to do away with the need to exclusively use SWIFT. I identified the proposed new BRICS members here

In summary, this can be seen on a geopolitical base as a group of significant countries who do not completely align themselves with the West and United States trade policies and are reaching out to create an alternative. How this morphs into a viable trade platform will have been discussed with further talks needed to clarify development. However, such a trade bloc diminishes the West’s claims that they have ‘global support’ for sanctions against Russia when clearly in terms of actual trade and commerce they do not.

“The two sides emphasized the significance of the “Joint Statement of the Leaders of the Five Nuclear-Weapon States on the Prevention of Nuclear War and Avoidance of an Arms Race” and reaffirmed that “nuclear war cannot be won or won”. The two sides call on all signatories of the joint statement to abide by the concept of the statement, effectively reduce the risk of nuclear war, and avoid any armed conflict among nuclear-weapon states. Against the backdrop of deteriorating relations among nuclear-weapon states, measures to reduce strategic risks should be organically integrated into overall efforts to ease tensions, build more constructive relations, and minimize conflicts in the security field. All nuclear-weapon states should refrain from deploying nuclear weapons abroad and withdraw nuclear weapons deployed abroad.

The two sides reaffirmed that the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons is the cornerstone of the international nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation system. The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to the Treaty and will continue to work together to maintain and strengthen the Treaty and maintain world peace and security.”

CDE: Signs that Beijing may be pushing Moscow to re-engage with the United States concerning the START treaty which has now expired. Russia has refused to endorse a new agreement while the US supplies weapons to Ukraine.

“The two sides expressed serious concern about the consequences and risks of the establishment of the “Trilateral Security Partnership” (AUKUS) by the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia and related nuclear-powered submarine cooperation plans on regional strategic stability. The two sides strongly urge AUKUS member states to strictly fulfill their obligations of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, and maintain regional peace, stability, and development.”

CDE: The AUKUS agreement is highly controversial, especially in Australia, as it is intended to limit Chinese military expansion into the Pacific. Senior Australian politicians have pointed out that China has never threatened the country, yet the current government has signed off on its deployment. The United States is selling the required submarines and other equipment to Australia. There is likely more to come in the AUKUS debate as it appears far from fully accepted and political changes in Australia could see the cost and implementation rolled back at a later stage. It is also seen in some quarters as provocative towards Beijing and more likely, not less, to increase tensions over Taiwan.  

“The two sides believe that the purposes and principles of the UN Charter must be observed, and international law must be respected. The Russian side spoke positively of China’s objective and fair stance on the Ukraine issue. The two sides oppose any country or group of countries harming the legitimate security interests of other countries in pursuit of military, political and other advantages.”

CDE: This statement indicates that China is aligned with Russia in its view that Moscow was not the sole protagonist in the Ukraine conflict, and that it has many Parents. Clearly, rhetoric on both sides has been shrill and contained huge amounts of misinformation, not least concerning the involvement of NATO and the United States, who both deny they are in conflict with Russia, when in reality, they are. The following part of the statement deals with varying regional conflicts.

“The two sides urge NATO to abide by its commitment as a regional and defensive organization, and call on NATO to respect the sovereignty, security, interests, and diversity of civilizations, history and culture of other countries, and view the peaceful development of other countries objectively and fairly.

Asia and Indo-Pacific  

The two sides expressed serious concern over NATO’s continued strengthening of military security ties with Asia-Pacific countries, which undermines regional peace and stability. The two sides oppose patching together a closed and exclusive group structure in the Asia-Pacific region, creating group politics and camp confrontation. The two sides pointed out that the United States adheres to the Cold War mentality and pursues the “Indo-Pacific Strategy”, which has a negative impact on peace and stability in the region. China and Russia are committed to building an equal, open, and inclusive Asia-Pacific security system that does not target third countries, so as to maintain regional peace, stability, and prosperity.

Northeast Asia

The two sides believe that maintaining peace and stability in Northeast Asia conforms to the interests of all parties concerned. The two sides oppose the destruction of regional peace and stability by military forces outside the region; and call on relevant countries to abandon the Cold War mentality and ideological prejudice, exercise restraint, and refrain from taking actions that endanger regional security.

North Korea

The two sides expressed concern about the situation on the Korean Peninsula, and urged relevant parties to maintain calm and restraint, and strive to ease the situation. The US should take concrete actions to respond to the legitimate and reasonable concerns of the DPRK and create conditions for the resumption of dialogue. The two sides have always insisted on maintaining peace and stability on the peninsula, including the realization of denuclearization on the peninsula, and jointly advocated the establishment of a peace and security mechanism on the peninsula. They believe that sanctions and pressure are neither desirable nor feasible, and that dialogue and consultation are the only way to resolve the peninsula issue. The two sides will continue to communicate and cooperate closely; and continue to promote the political settlement process of the peninsula issue in accordance with the “dual-track” approach and the principle of phased and simultaneous progress. The two sides call on relevant parties to actively respond to China and Russia’s joint efforts to promote peace talks and play a constructive role in this process.

Middle East

The two sides advocate maintaining peace and stability in the Middle East, support countries in the region in strengthening their strategic autonomy, resolve hotspot issues through dialogue and consultation, and oppose interference in the internal affairs of countries in the region. The two sides welcome the normalization of relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran through dialogue, and support a comprehensive and just solution to the Palestinian issue on the basis of the “two-state solution”. Support Syria’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and promote a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned package of political settlement processes. Advocates maintaining Libya’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and promoting a package of political settlement process led by and owned by Libyans. The two sides will strengthen communication and docking on their respective security initiatives for the Gulf region, and work together to build a collective security framework for the Gulf region.

The two sides believe that the Collective Security Treaty Organization has made positive contributions to regional security, and China and the Collective Security Treaty Organization have the potential to cooperate in maintaining regional peace and stability.

Central Asia

The two sides are willing to strengthen cooperation, support Central Asian countries in safeguarding their national sovereignty, guarantee national development, and oppose external forces’ promotion of “color revolutions” and interference in regional affairs.

Africa

The two sides will strengthen communication and coordination on African affairs, maintain a sound and healthy atmosphere for international cooperation in Africa, support African countries’ efforts to independently resolve African issues, and contribute to the cause of peaceful development on the African continent. China and Russia will continue to conduct consultations on Latin American affairs, strengthen communication and dialogue, attach importance to developing bilateral relations with Latin American and Caribbean countries, and continue to promote stability and prosperity in the region.

The Arctic

The two sides maintain that the Arctic should continue to be a place of peace, stability and constructive cooperation.”

CDE: There is a great deal of regional geopolitical comment in this final statement, mostly aimed at the United States, proposals made to expand NATO into a global security force, and attempts already made (the CIA is implied) to instigate regional unrest, especially in Central Asia and Africa in the form of political pressures and funding for underground groups taking place. 

The United States has also declined to recognise Russia’s continental reach in the Arctic Ocean, an issue of contention as the Northern Sea Passage is being developed there as a major supply chain route between Russia and East Asia (extending as far as India) and the Russian coastal areas are home to significant oil and gas reserves.

On one hand, both Russia and China are saying that they are watching. On the other, both are concerned about the West having additional intent to expand further East.

Summary

On the basic level, China and Russia have laid out a basic platform for the creation of a new World Order and have stated in part, their push to see this succeed. Much is already underway, with the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation already discussing mutual cooperation and development with the Eurasian Economic Union. Add in a BRICS+ and the Belt and Road Initiative and the world starts to look rather different than it did pre-Covid. At that time, President Putin stated that the world would never be as it was. It appears that President Xi agrees. He was sheard stating that ‘Great changes are coming’ to Vladimir Putin as he departed back to Beijing on Tuesday evening, indicating that China and Russia do have the basis for enacting reforms. That means we can expect:

  • Increased China and Russian diplomatic and trade efforts in Africa, the Middle East and South America;
  • The gradual emergence of a mutual trade bloc to accommodate these;
  • Increasing diplomatic and political pressure being put on existing global institutions, backed up by developing nation support in terms of reforms;
  • The emergence of various types of financial settlement systems to act as an alternative to SWIFT;
  • Continuing development of Russian energy resources flowing east and south east to ASEAN and India;
  • Increasing coordination with the Middle East energy plays in their role as a regional energy hub, with special attention on Africa supplies;
  • Increasing trade and aid being directed at influential yet poorer nations in Asia and Africa.

Not all has been revealed at this summit of course. However, the key points appear to have been made, what China likes to call ‘pillars’ of reform. I expect Western commentary to be either remarkably silent, or shrill in its condemnation. However, the geopolitical reality that a combined China-Russia axis can now instigate global reforms appears to be making itself felt. We will have to be patient and wait for further signs that this course of action is being followed through. With a revised combination of Russia’s Eurasian Economic Union, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the BRICS+ and countries onside with China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the world may start moving away from a US-EU axis and towards a more evenly spread, truly globally effective regime – with both Beijing and Moscow retaining their position as key players. Such a map would resemble the following:

Finally, Western analysts enjoy preparing reports suggesting Vladimir Putin is obsolete – the China-Russia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership suggests that is not actually the case. Further developments, diplomatic pushes and the promoting of economic attractiveness can all be expected to be part of a common China-Russia strategic plan for the coming few years, with adjustments as necessary being made on the way. The next Xi-Putin Summit, to be held in Beijing probably in Autumn, promises to be an interesting yardstick as concerns progression and what is yet to come in terms of global realignment.

Chris Devonshire-Ellis is the Chairman of Dezan Shira & Associates; and has had a 30 year foreign investment advisory career in China, India, ASEAN, the Middle East and Russia. with 30 regional offices and several hundred professional staff throughout Asia. He can be reached via asia@dezshira.com.

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