August 2, 2014

Master Class from Xi Jinping, or Why China Is Not Russia

The Russian Federation's President, caring only about his political and financial future, and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, worrying only about the “future” of the separatists in the east of Ukraine, have forgotten their basic duties — implementation of an effective foreign policy, primarily economic one for the sake of well-being of the Russian people. For geopolitical and imperial delusions V. Putin did not notice the failure of his Latin American tour, and again cares about arming of “Novorossia” at the time when Moscow's strategic partner shows what an effective state governing is about.

 

While V. Putin's visits on July 11-16 to Cuba, Nicaragua, Argentina and Brazil included mainly anti-American and commercial events (issues of new military bases and electronic tracking stations, including GLONASS, alternative transport routes, access to new sources of energy carriers), as well as “recruitment” of new supporters of the “Novorossia” and the Eurasian Economic Union, the PRC's Head Xi Jinping's visits to actually the same countries of Latin America (Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Cuba, 15-23 July) had strategic direction and specific financial, trade, economic and technological innovation content.

Let us compare at least the Argentina part of the tours of the two leaders.

 

For a few days V. Putin, the Russian delegation and pro-Kremlin media had been strongly promoting the idea of Buenos Aires' joining BRICS (as another geopolitical “achievement” after the “annexation of the Crimea”), trying to create conditions for Russian state companies' winning in tenders for the construction and modernization of the Argentine NPP and HEPP, offering “in exchange” to place ground stations GLONASS and to intensify military-technical cooperation[1] (in the form of supply of outdated Russian helicopters and military transport aircraft). And in the bargain — around the clock broadcast on local cable television networks, a Spanish version of “Russіa Today”! At the same time they showed interest in (= encroached to) second in the world in terms of shale gas and the fourth — in terms of shale oil, deposit “Vaca Muerta” in the province of Neuquen.

 

People's Republic of China's President Xi Jinping during his three-day state visit (July 18-20) demonstrated different approaches and different priorities: together with the President of Argentina he secured signing of 20 agreements on cooperation and implementation of joint projects in strategically important for the local government sectors — energy (planned to attract Chinese investments totaling 4.7 billion US dollars), transport sector (2.5 billion US dollars), banking and financial sector (agreement on 11 billion US dollars between central banks of both countries) and agriculture.

These agreements provide for participation of Argentine companies and financial institutions in the reconstruction and repair of the railway branch “Belgrano”, construction of the hydroelectric power station “Santa Cruz”, “Nestor Kirchner” and “Jorge Cepernik” and will allow to increase the share of hydropower in the energy supply of the country from 31% to 41 %, and to implement already in 2014-2015 a breakthrough in modernization and development of railways, improving navigation in the estuary of the River Plate. At this, atomic (“Atucha III”) and hydropower and infrastructure projects will be put into effect thanks to the PRC government’s loans.

Note that the multi-billion dollar agreements and arrangements with C.F.Kirshner are achieved in those sectors in which is especially interested the Russian side (heavy machinery, energy, military-technical cooperation). In fact, China snatched from the RF precisely those projects in the economy of this Latin American country to which Russians showed great interest.

The document on the comprehensive strategic partnership signed by the parties was a logical final chord of the Chinese leader's visit.

According to experts, the positive results of the visit of the President of China, especially the impressive economic package, will contribute to even greater orientation of the government of Argentina in its foreign policy strategy for an alliance with China. In its turn, Beijing within the framework of the visit continued the implementation of a coherent strategy of consolidating its strategic positions in Latin America.

Informed foreign sources speak about the Russian Federation's strategic losing to China on Argentine direction. It is due to the fact that the leadership of Argentina as the main conditions of deepening strategic cooperation in the nearest future puts forward a foreign state’s willingness to invest quite heavily in long-term investment projects in the territory of Argentina. Besides, taking into consideration the extremely difficult financial and economic situation in Argentina and its huge, threatening with default, external debts, the leadership of Argentina prefers to deepen strategic relationship with the country that has opportunities and is ready, despite the high financial risks, to provide Argentina with significant long-term credit loans in foreign currency. China is exactly that sort of a country.

So, there is no need to look for those responsible for the failure of the Russian visit to Latin America and to accuse, in particular, Argentina. The blame is on the Russian leader, as well as on the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation — de-professionalized, which together with other Russian ministries and departments, to please the president, have imbued with “the interests of the Ukrainian people” and do not work systematically on development of their economies, do not delve into the plans of states-competitors.

At the same time, Xi Jinping once again demonstrated his ability to think as a statesman and to act in the global and regional competitive environment, focusing on real long-term national interests of the Chinese people. And the Chinese diplomatic school has proved that not only the graduates of “MGIMO” and “Yu. Andropov Institute” are able to forecast events and to play better than their partners, competitors and opponents.

So, we can have no doubt that by the end of this tour, China will become the largest trade partner of Brazil, the second (if not the first) — of Argentina and Cuba, and by the volume of sales — the Venezuelan oil consumer market (after the USA). The Transatlantic Canal and massive construction projects of nuclear and hydro power stations in Latin America will not become hostage to the global politicized traps proposed by V. Putin. And Ukraine from such a “successful” visit of the leader of a neighboring state can count on some positives.



[1] Taking into consideration the  gaining momentum, worldwide campaign on the world community's use of extended sanctions against the Russian Federation, primarily to block international military and military-technical cooperation with Russia, taking into account the confirmed mass accusations against the Russian Federation by the leading countries of the world and a number of member countries of the EU, in Russia's actively supporting terrorist organizations in Ukraine and supplies of heavy high-tech weaponry that, in particular, led to the deaths of passengers of the Malaysian Boeing, we hope that the leadership of Argentina will refrain from granting permission to the Russian Federation to host GLONASS stations.