05/07/2015, 00.00
CHINA - RUSSIA - CENTRAL ASIA
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Beijing-Moscow alliance returns, to "rebalance" agreement between US and Japan

President Xi Jinping travels first to Kazakhstan, then Russia and finally Belarus. Moscow visit to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe. In reality Beijing and Moscow will discuss security, defense and economics. The trip to Astana aims the expand Chinese influence in Central Asia.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - Chinese President Xi Jinping will be in Moscow on May 9 to participate in the parade organized to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe. According to analysts, the trip aims to strengthen the relations between the two countries and to expand strategic cooperation against the United States and Japan.

President Vladimir Putin and Xi will discuss military cooperation, already in place since last week when the two navies conducted joint naval exercises in the Mediterranean Sea, where they deployed nine boats. Li Lifan, from Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, says: "While it may be premature to say that the expansion is aimed at countering the US-Japanese alliance, the military cooperation is necessary if the two sides are to develop a full partnership.

Another analyst, Xu Guangyu, a retired general, said China and Russia did not want to form a military alliance. Instead, they were developing their "all-round strategic partnership", which covered "political, economic, security and diplomatic" issues

A collaboration on security issues would benefit both sides. Russia in fact is seeking foreign investment because of the sanctions imposed by the international community following the crisis in Ukraine. China instead hopes to obtain up-to-date weapons, to mark its status as a world power. Anatoly Isaikin, chief executive of Rosoboronexport (Russian company that produces weapons), confirmed to  Moscow Times last month that China has decided to buy air defense system S-400 (a defense system capable of intercepting ballistic air strikes) .

Da Zhigang, an expert on international relations at the Heilongjiang Academy of Social Sciences, believes that Xi's visit is important not only for the development of relations post-war, but also to strengthen cooperation in other areas. First of which is economic. He says: " It can also help speed up economic development in Asia and Europe through the 'One Belt, One Road' initiative" launched by Beijing in 2013. In fact the leaders will sign a series of agreements covering aviation, the supply of Russian gas to China and the development of infrastructure links between Asia and Europe within the "One Belt, One Road Initiative".

Xi will arrive in the Russian capital after a first stop in Kazakhstan, where on May 7  he will meet with President Nursultan Nazarbayev, recently re-elected to lead the Central Asia country. The Chinese president’s visit will be the first by a foreign head of government after the reelection of Nazarbayev. According to experts this points to "good neighborly relations between the two countries." The visit also confirms China’s interest in expanding its influence in the area. In fact just last year the two countries signed a series of agreements that demonstrate the strategic importance of Kazakhstan in the eyes of Beijing, to name a few, China has allocated $ 17 billion in direct investment, 150 million in an extraction deal, 23 billion in infrastructure and 477 million for the construction of a port area.

On May 10, finally, Xi Jinping will end his tour with a visit to Belarus.

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