06/09/2018, 09.50
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Russia and China: the G2 to counterbalance the G7

by Vladimir Rozanskij

Putin visits Xi Jinping strengthening economic and geopolitical ties between Moscow and Beijing: use of their currencies in commercial exchanges; defense of the nuclear agreement with Iran; reform of the UN to give a voice to developing countries and not allow "some countries" to take military action without the UN mandate. The Eurasian G2 challenges the West for a new international order.

Moscow (AsiaNews) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese Xi Jinping yesterday signed a joint declaration "of good neighborliness, friendship and cooperation", at the end of the talks held in this week in Beijing.

The 15-page document touches on several bilateral issues, but also on international issues, which will not go unnoticed in the eyes of the ongoing G7 summit. It is no coincidence that the US president, Donald Trump, with the support of the new Italian premier Giuseppe Conte immediately proposed Russia return to the G8. However, Putin immediately replied that he preferred other formats, in a nod to Russian alliances in Asia.

The visit to China is the first of the Russian president after his (umpteenth) re-election onMarch  18 last. The declaration solemnly proclaims that the two countries have agreed "the growth and deepening of collaboration in all directions, and to this end will develop a strategic dialogue of mutual trust at the highest levels, continuing to refine the mechanisms of bilateral collaboration at governmental, parliamentary, administrative and regional levels".

In addition to the talks between the two leaders, for years 5 inter-government commissions at the level of the vice-premiership, with related sub-commissions and working groups have been active, as well as a privileged relations between the Russian presidential administration and the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party.

The first burning international issue addressed concerns Iran: expressing the common regret for the unilateral exit of the US from the 2015 global agreement on the Iranian nuclear program, Putin and Xi Jinping intend to "make every effort to keep the agreement", having "the defense of commercial and economic interests dependent on the collaboration of all States with Iran" at heart.

Keep in mind that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization begins its meetings today in Qingdao, with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani attending, along with the leaders of Central Asia, India and Pakistan, as well as Russia and China.

Russia and China have discussed the tensions in the Korean peninsula and their desire to coordinate a peaceful solution of the problems. Joint plans also concern Afghanistan, "without losing sight of the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking in that country", and the preservation of territorial integrity in Syria, respect for its sovereignty and support for the peace process " thanks to the Syrian forces themselves, with the support of the UN and according to the decisions of the Congress for the Syrian national dialogue, held on January 30, 2018 in Sochi ".

Faced with the increasing instability of the international scenario, the two Eurasian giants will regularly consult each other on strategic issues concerning security, at governmental and informative level, but also military and technological levels, to oppose global and regional challenges and threats together. Special attention has been paid to the upcoming "2018 Russia" football world championships, so that they remain "a celebration of sport and friendship among the peoples of all continents", preventing "the influence of extraneous factors" to sport from spoiling them.

The agreement contains clear indications on economic and financial cooperation, "increasing the shares of the respective national currencies in trade, investment and financing", as well as a general intensification of Russian-Chinese trade. Cooperation in the energy field will be strengthened, both for traditional and alternative sources, in agriculture and food security, in infrastructures and transport that connect the two countries of northern and central Asia, but also along the directives of the so-called " New "Eurasian" silk road.

Finally, Russia and China also augur a reform of the UN and its Security Council, "for the purpose of a better realization of the UN Statutes", avoiding "anti-democratic" pressures  that imposes artificial limitations without a common agreement. The Council will have to "expand the representation and voting rights of developing countries", and avoid the "attempts of some countries" to take military action without UN mandate. The Eurasian G2 is launching a challenge to the West, for a new international order.

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