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Joint statement by Russia, China formalizes bilateral alliance — analyst

In their joint statement two countries described the principles they would rely on in developing global cooperation, Alexey Maslov notes

MOSCOW, February 4. /TASS/. The joint statement Russia and China adopted on Friday outlines the principles of new global cooperation and formalizes their bilateral alliance, the director of the Moscow State University’s Asia and Africa Institute, expert of the discussion club Valdai, Alexey Maslov, told TASS on Friday.

"This declaration formalizes the de facto established union of Russia and China. We have been talking a great deal about strategic interaction. This is a real embodiment of this interaction," Maslov said.

He stressed that in their joint statement Russia and China described the principles they would rely on in developing global cooperation.

"These principles are absolutely not new ones," he remarked. "In fact, the statement heralds a return to the original UN principles that were laid down back in the 1940s and 1950s."

The expert believes that the document is a clear sign the countries "share common values, a common understanding of democracy and the idea of the national nature of this democracy, pool together many international projects, the EAEU and the One Belt-One Road and also discuss interaction in the Arctic."

Maslov stressed that the security issues mentioned in the statement were the most important of all. "A whole list of new types of security was determined there, including cybersecurity, on which the countries will cooperate," he said.

The analyst stressed that the countries respected each other’s positions. "China does not threaten the interests of Russia and avoids intervention in Russian affairs. Likewise, Russia does not meddle in China’s affairs," Maslov said.

New era of international relations

Maslov explained that the "new era" of cooperation was characterized by the need to restore trust in the broadest sense: in world trade, in the military field, in the economy and so on.

"The countries propose if not a program, then at least a declaration of principles a future world is to be based on," he added.

The expert stressed that this statement "formalizes polarization of forces, and not a confrontation," because the countries merely declare the principles they rely upon. Maslov stated that other countries were free to join in.

"If some other countries, not necessarily Western ones, for instance, countries in Southeast Asia are prepared for joining the statement or beginning discussions, they will find that this declaration as such is not a closed one for the simple reason other countries may pledge to adhere to the same principles," he stated.

Maslov sees no risk this statement might cause an escalation of tensions in relations with the West, because it concerns an absolutely parallel process.

"In this respect the document will by no means trigger an escalation. On the contrary, it will rather show that the issue has another side to it. At least, the fact that Russia and China adhere to a different stance," Maslov concluded.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday arrived in Beijing and held a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. This is Putin’s first visit to China since the beginning of the novel coronavirus pandemic. The Russian-Chinese summit level negotiations ended with the adoption of a joint statement on international relations that were entering a new era and on global sustainable development.