Putin Ready To Visit China
Vladimir Putin is preparing to travel to Beijing, where he is expected to charm the Chinese authorities into fostering the mutual relations between the two countries, proving once more that Putin’s Russia is committed to a eastward foreign policy.
Putin’s visit to China is the first visit abroad after the announcement at the congress of United Russia party that he and the president Medvedev would switch places at the next presidential election in 2012.
Last week, Vladimir Putin wrote an article in Izvestia magazine, where he launched the idea of creating an Eurasian Union on the space of the former Soviet Union. Thought the Eurasian Union Putin envisages is composed of countries that were members of the Soviet Union, like Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, the prime minister was very careful to remind that the union is not the Soviet Union.
Putin’s spokesman said that the visit had been prepared for months and had nothing to do with the announcement made by president Medvedev to switch places with Putin. He made these specifications in the context of the pro-Western orientation of the incumbent president Dmitry Medvedev.
China and Russia are now strategic partners after they fought a little border war in 1969, and have competed within the Communist world for supremacy. They were drawn to one another by what both countries called the US “unipolar” vision of world order.
Both Moscow and Beijing share the same vision of multi-polar world, and are on an ascending trend now when China has become the second economy of the world, while the prime minister of Russia announced that his country is better prepared now for a new wave of global crisis.
China and Russia also share the same foreign policy vision as they both vetoed the latest resolution on Syria last week, causing the Western countries’ representatives to walk out in protest at the UN Security Council.
China and Russia announced their strategic partnership in 1996, and since then they have been having a dispute over gas prices in 2006, causing the construction of a pipeline from Siberia to China to be stalled. This is one of the most important task that lay ahead the prime minister’s visit to Beijing, considering that the deal is worth $1,000 billion over 30 years.
The prime minister’s office announced that no deal would be struck on prices on this occasion, but that it would only smooth the path for further negotiations toward the end of the year.
For Russia, the diversifying of the gas markets is very important, because it would reduce its dependence on Europe. On the other hand, Russia is eager to get involved in the fastest-growing economy of the world. Russia is not in a hurry to cut a deal with China given that it already secured liquefied natural gases supplies from multiple sources.
Putin will be accompanied in Beijing by representatives of Gazprom and Rosneft, the two state-controlled energy companies in Russia.
China surpassed the United States oil consume this year, while its consume from Russia, the largest oil producer, is of only 6 percent.11