tv CSIS Discussion on Russia- China Relations CSPAN May 24, 2019 10:01am-11:01am EDT
bills. obama did not write bills. clinton did not write bills. i don't understand the show that is being put on where they are taking all of this and putting it on the president, and then a few days later saying they have the power of the purse, and they have the power to write laws. it is one or the other. host: i have to leave it there. we are going to bring you over to the center for strategic and international studies. they are having a discussion this morning on the relationship between russia and china, political, military, and economic. live coverage on c-span. c-span.orgch online, , or listen the free c-span radio app. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] know,course, as you all the national security strategy as defined china and russia
relationships with both of those countries have gotten worse over the last couple of years. we have seen serious movement closer between the two of them, increasing cooperation and a number of areas, and a lot of people in this town have started to ask what that means, what is the long-term significance of that rapprochement. what does their cooperation being for the global order and for the u.s.? we are very lucky to have anna character provide a russian perspective on all of those questions she is a professor at moscow state university. she is an expert on east asia and russian policy. she works on japan, korea, china. she is the co-author of a new report out with the russian international affairs council. she was apparently just in new a track focused on the
north korea problem. she has wide-ranging expertise, and i think we don't have enough russian voices in washington talking about this critically important relationship. we are very lucky today to have one of russia's best experts on that topic. thank you for joining us. thank you for your introduction. nice to meet you. good morning. make the fact that relations,nd russian how they have been developing lately. to look in ary more or less comprehensive way touching on political security and regional dynamics and what this actually means for regional cooperation and what implications.
relationsrussia china have gone a very long way to the current stage. there has been a number of reasons for that. the key rationale that has been driving russia and china closer fore the 1990's is starting a alignment between the two countries. that power should be negotiate they should how the world order should look like. of course, the position of both countries for unilateral action was seen as the desire to establish momentum. also the two countries share norms such as respect for virtual sovereignty and
noninterference into domestic politics. they are trying to promote these norms in a number of regional institutions and international institutions. another thing is global governance is needed, and it should reflect better the role of western powers and other powers as well, including russia and china. a very key thing was that the two countries have done a long way. , china ishe policies one of russia's neighbors with a very long border and stability on the border. also thebeen understanding for all this time. idea is thate key russia and china do not support everything aimed at each other
which basically means that they politically encircled, and it has been one of the key things for the security of the two. relationsia and china have emerged as one of the key factors in international relations. russia and china share an approach to a number of security problems. i should say that what we have seen and what we still see is an alignment. one of the arguments we can twoally provide is that the countries have strategic positions to the issues which do not fall within the category of national interest, such as ukraine and crimea for china.
also the east china sea as well. course, china has been very important to the development of the far east. it is considered to be one of the key goals that russia really wants to achieve in terms of domestic politics and foreign politics as well. this is the least densely populated part of russia. only about 6 million people live there. this is the part that makes russia geographically belong with east asia. been the centerpiece of the key element relationship with asia.
to become part of regional integration and economic collaboration. also to develop the far east. we should also note that the rift of u.s. and with the u.s. and europe resulted in russia becoming much more developing relations with china and trying to accelerate its turn to the east or pivot to asia. russia and china relations have been the key dimension of this. other developments we have seen, aty mostly make us look russia and china relations. majorwas seen as the safeguard against the damage that was done by the western
sanctions as the key partner that did not criticize russia and the key partner was also opposite the opposition to sanctions. since that time, we have seen relations comprehensively have actually entered a new stage. this is already an understandable fact. relations still are mostly focused on political insecurity. we have personal ties between the two leaders, and president that met xie leader jinping, much more times than any other leader in the world. again this is a good personal effort between the leaders. we have seen institutionalized
cooperation, on intergovernmental level between the nations. that weecome a practice have meetings, several meetings a year with different organizations meaning that russia and china are able to waydinate their policy in a that is almost unprecedented for their relationship in general. disabilityrequently to exchange -- this ability to exchange opinions and coordinate their responses. powersand china as major to have points of convergence and divergence. in some ways they correspond, in some ways they overlap. this is quite natural. china havessia and
worked very hard to minimize their differences, to minimize the divergences, and a history of several centuries of they should avoid confrontation, this would be much more desirable for their security, again taking into consideration a huge quarter. we have had a number of thetical declarations on new stage of comprehensive partnership and strengthening global stability, and one thing we could mention is the new regional stability that was where russia2016 and china endorsed the common noion that there should be threat of force or use of force
and both said they were against the of ballistic missile defense all over the world and with underl reference to asia false pretenses, meaning that it was kind of unnecessary. also, there is a lot of regional cooperation, and these are and went organizations have seen recently a lot of discussions and cooperation going on as well. probably should be important to keep in mind is that during these years, security cooperation has also
reached a new dimension, which puts according to russian military experts, puts the countries on the verge of alliance, on the verge of possible joint responses of their to the level mutual exercises according to the level of confidence building measures. basically, russia and china have been running a number of exercises. are missions since 2005, ground and air exercises. from 2012, russia and china have been running maritime exercises. exercisesphy of these has increased a lot.
japannot only the sea of it has alsofic, been the mediterranean sea. it has been the baltic sea and the black sea. trying to have a more and it isreach especially important for china. china is able to go into the was not thatit threatened. there was one exercise in the south china sea, which was was t threatened. not near the disputed waters at all. it did not have anything to do with the territorial dispute. new exercises which took place for the first
time in 2016 and were repeated and 2017. these were joint military exercises and ballistic missile defense. the third time was planned for this year. these exercises mostly focused on joint planning, air defense, ballistic missile defense, including possible joint interaction even if there is some provocation or accident which would include ballistic missiles or cruise missiles fired at the countries. as reaction to all the crises on the korean peninsula. it should probably be assessed in this way. other fears that russia and anti-submarinein
warfare, joint strikes, and these kinds of operations on the water as well. also in 2016, the countries agreed to coordinate information security, and there has been an initiative to discuss these spheres as well. as for arms sales, they used to sinceather huge downturn early or mid 2000. we have recently seen revitalizing military cooperation when russia agreed to 35 generational fighters and ballistic missile defense system. here we should note that the
negotiations have been underway for many years before that. for these usually chosen to supply china with one but the latest technology, one but the latest aircraft, and it was already sr 500 was that it also on the way. probably the crisis with the west pushed russia to reach this deal early, as early as possible. however, it was said there were actual negotiations for many years, with one of the explanations being russia had some new generation to emerge as well.
been a practice of strategic conservation at the level of deputy chief. there is strategic dialogue on the level of security council. quite a high level of established security level as well. been 2008 thing has with china participating in exercises which are considered strategic level exercises. basically, all of these are aimed at trust building, increasing interoperability between different kinds of and greaterstics, understanding of the strength and weaknesses of each other.
not all the areas have been tested in the defense cooperation, but it basically means that russia and china technically are well-prepared prepared to have some joint actions if a political decision is made to do so, which has not been the case at all. this is what i want to point a newhat we have seen step up of security cooperation entering new domains. scope.graphic relationsbefore, the security centered on and political cooperation. economicnd china corporations have been characterized by an unbalanced
structure, mostly focused on natural resources that russia sells to china in exchange for clothingred goods, for and textiles, basically manufactured goods. seen since then is russia and china trade of all inxperienced 2014 thousand in crisis effectoil on all russian trade. since then we have seen a rapid restoration and increase in russia-china trade. last year exceeded $100 billion.
the figure was $108 billion, which was a 28% growth compared to the previous year. , there are aseen number of large-scale approaches, and probably one of the most spoken about is the siberian pipeline, which was reached and 2014. come into effect in december of this year. it is already been built. supply 38mated to billion cubic meters of gas every year, and the estimated cost is $400 billion, and this financing mostly, which was required for this deal. the negotiations were underway for more than a decade before that, and negotiations were not going easy. we can suggest that russia
decided it is time to have this deal. we have also had china's investment in energy projects. energy has always been one of the key areas of china's investment. for example, we have china's liquefied into natural gas. which has already been operating, and already for the last couple of years has been supplying gas to china through the arctic crude. words, the first ever asing of chinese companies strategic investors, which actually had no precedent before. as there was the easement of this
wasanty, and china, it acquired a 10% share in petrochemical companies. illustrate some other power plants, and there are also number that russia has been building in china, 31 nuclear plants and new plans for this plant, also oil processing plants. most of it is china's investment into russia. there have been some projects going on for long years also from russia into china. russia emerged as the top wilson , surpassingina saudi arabia -- top oil supplier into china, suppress saudi arabia.
mostly that has been in operation for a long time. , however last her, russia was not the first country. it was second or third, and russia's share is not large. it is not dominant in china. the two countries agreed to cooperate in nuclear energy. we have also seen increasing cooperation in other different economic spheres of relationships. on a scale that had no precedents before. these are basically agriculture with china opening its market for russian crops. now there are negotiations underway to open the markets for russian meat as well. the share of russia's exports to
china is about 5%. it has arisen over the last years with russian agricultural products to come. it does have a number of obstacles here. this is mostly russia buying chinese equipment. this kind of cooperation going on. i.t. solutions. dealyear, there was a huge with alibaba, which has gained real prominence in russia since the end of the market in 2015. venturehave a joint specifically in eurasia in order to become a leader in e-commerce. russian companies share about
52%. more than half of the share. another is retail and finance. one of the things that has always characterized why we investmentthat much cooperation has been lack of financing. in the last several years, we have seen new investment funds established from about four or five of them in different spheres. the russian-china investment fund has new capital. having some new financial funds in china. the two key manufacturing projects that russia and china are working on are the joint development of long-range aircraft, civilian.
also aelicopter, civilian helicopter that could jointly be a project and have a share in the world market and chinese market as well. also, tourism has been on the rise. china emerged recently as number one country supplying tourists to russia, more than 1.5 billion per year. you can increasingly see cities like moscow and st. petersburg, tourist attractions written in russian and english and chinese as well. this is a new development. as far as tourism is concerned, it is still mostly a close link with chinese companies. chinese companies mostly supplied all the chain of chinese tourists coming into
russia, quite typical of china. there is an issue of how many russia,nt we have in how many chinese investment. if we look at chinese figures, this is about $10 billion. however, part of chinese investment comes through offshores. the whole figure is larger. there is different assessment how much larger is the figure. bless you. , according to different estimates, it could be $20 billion or $30 billion. that chinesefigure provide is about $10 billion. the key factors are energy, technology, traits, and services.
we actually have not reached the goal, thehe russian establishment of new quality of economic relations or interaction. there is still too much work to be done on both sides, especially the russian side of the investment climate in order to do it. we have been having -- i have been trying to show that we have been having much more economic corporation in a number of thates, not only energy had no precedent before. issue forportant russia. there has been a discussion, and it is still going on how to assess. there are different regions in russia. is it an opportunity or challenge? should it counter or embrace?
russiaf you look at coming we should take into consideration that russia is interested in economic development, economic integration in eurasia. china does provide a huge and huge stimulus potential to have these plans actually become reality. that is understanding moscow does not cooperate simply. russia's answer to the dilemma has been to shape it, namely to linkingthe principle of russia's own economic projects, economic integration, economic union with china's belt and road
initiative, to find how we can cooperate and force economic development in order for the eurasian economic community to modernize and become more theetitive and also to join fourth industrial and technological revolution. the key idea here has been to create a cooperative space in eurasia. we should not be competitive with each other. there are always and always have cooperatio competition between russia and china. in practice, it is a tricky thing. difficult to hear, it is difficult to assess what the linking of eurasian economic union with the bolton road
initiative means. the belt and road -- with belt and road initiative means. another thing is it is difficult to find the projects that will be economically viable and interesting for all states involved. -- all theeds components and materials for these construction, which probably russia is not that happy with. tang negotiate equitable terms has been difficult. beenis how it has developing. projects.number of
many projects are still under formulation and discussion, mostly on infrastructure. there has been an agreement reached in 2018 economic integration between the eurasian economic union and china. it is a non-preferential agreement because russia and other countries are not prepared for a pre-trade agreement. it has other elements such as trade facilitation, liberalization, commerce, and intellectual property rights. it has been developing. it has a feasibility study on the economic partnership non-preferential agreement. the vladimir putin spoke at belt and road economic forum
this year, he said we have a common goals of economic development and economic growth. greater economic partnership would probably be seen as an answer to this belt and road challenge. partnership isn a very vague concept. the russian federation faces integration, meaning there should be a multilevel integration at different stages for different partners, and russia should be one of the centers of this eurasian integration. a lot of countries and organizations were proposed as partners. some high cooperation organizations and its members.
european union and others. ofre should be some kind different level of cooperation with different partners. one of the examples is they have signed a pre-trade agreement with vietnam, russia's third free-trade agreement. of the negotiations are underway with singapore, cambodia, israel, iran, a number of countries. with these considerations, there has been recently a concern in foreign-policy community about the end of
pacific and what the pacific means for russia in what should the response be in the pacific. there has been a speech by lavrov in benoni a couple of days before the donald trump, kim jong-un summit. the reaction that was formulated i the foreign minister was quite pessimistic and not welcoming the end of pacific because russia feels that it is at the current stage too concentrated on balancing china, which russia would not welcome, and another it is kind of fostering competitive space rather than cooperative space
and when there is an issue with the rules-based order, russia usually sees who is going to present this role. another thing is it is undermining institutions, which for russia is quite a matter of concern because russia is the least powerful major power in asia, and for russia, it is important that there should be common approaches based on centrality with russia as one of the powers here, and if this whole idea undermines that, probably russia has no place here at all, although russia geographically belongs to the northern pacific and is a pacific country as well as a there iscountry during
a concern, but there is also a how to assessia the pacific and does it create an opportunity for russia as well. who say it isle kind of an anti-eurasian initiative as well. russiasay that actually can also provide its own vision of what could be in the pacific. basically, there are a lot of people in the foreign ministry who would like to support less competitive visions of this region, such as the indonesian pacific. -- initiative. this is quite the debate. having said that, i should probably say that there have
also been with the number of challenges in the russia and china relation, and it is quite normal for major powers that they also do have problems and imbalances in their relations. most havehing is that been benefiting for a long time from the strategic ambiguity that we had in the russia, china, u.s. plan. american actions put russia closer to china, whether it was was intentional or not. if we look at this more and more , increasing interdependence between the states.
politics and security. part itd see that in acceleration hasilaratio been enhanced as the result of the russian crisis with the west and the u.s. specifically. as far as economic relations are concerned, we can see that this interdependence has been coming more asymmetric. tradeoblem of unbalanced structure has not been addressed. china has no real reason to address that. it is mostly russia who should be interested in modernizing its economy and changing the structure. china'sthing is that share in russia and trade --
russian trade has risen. russia's share in china's trade has not risen that much. china's share is about 15% of russia's trade. this is not as much as some other asian countries have come but it is still quite a huge figure. china'ss number two in foreign trade. this is a kind of imbalanced trade structure that has also always been here. connect the eurasian economic union and the ist and road initiative still very debatable. unclear howmains these factors are going to develop. there is no roadmap here, no
real understanding how projects would look like. istly this is because russia economically structured very different from other partners on the belt and road initiative. it cannot use the same model with russia. have part of competition as well as cooperation in eurasia. also been a challenge for russia how to make it more balanced, how to maintain the balance with china and all other states. show usnt developments that there has been some progress with other countries, but it is not the same level of progress that russia has had with china. this is quite a challenge for russia.
ofre is also an issue different potentials, different economic potentials. there are not many chinese in russia. this yellow threat or yellow peril, it has really diminished since 1990. people in the far east mostly view china as the real opportunity and see developing relations with china as the opportunity to have better lives. trust is something, and mistrust can form from different interpretations of history and differences in demographics and economic center -- potential between russia and china. interestsia's
converge and diverge with those of china and what is the difference? they converge, they are not interested in u.s. supremacy in asia. they are building up ballistic missile defense. russia and china are closely aligned on the korean peninsula, simply because the positions are more or less similar. they are interested in maintaining stability and political dialogue, and in negotiations with gettingrea rather than back to military confrontation. russia china have also been arguing that there should be partial elevating of sanctions or exemptions made to north korea in order to have this
positive dynamics somehow rewarded. roadmap produced by russian and china in july of 2017. basically it states that there downgrading of u.s.-south korea exercises aimed at stimulating invading -- simulating invading north korea, which is the case now. the second is bilateral negotiations. the third stage is russia mostly promoting a format to discuss security guarantees and peace and how we could maintain denuclearization in east asia. there are a number of issues where russia and china diverge. russia hasng is that no interest in promoting china's
dominance in asia. what a community of common destiny needs for russia and eurasia is also an issue. what should the role before russia here? this is an issue that has been discussed. ofo, russia has a number potential relations that it would not like to sacrifice. the russia and vietnam relationship that has been strong. russia takes a neutral position on the east china sea and the south china sea. also not sacrificing other interests in asia due to its partnership with china. issuesre a number of
where the interests of the country's diverge. any to include, is there room for russia and u.s. cooperation in asia? from what you can judge by russia's asian policy, including betweenst meeting letting you put in an kim jong-un, russia is trying to maintain dialogue between china and other parties. we can witness closer cooperation motivated by deteriorated relations between alsoussia and u.s., and china. has nothis cooperation really been given by these negative dynamics and has a lot of future complications for the
russia and u.s. it is very important in my risk ofto avoid the be,site blocs that could where russia would be more stimulated to join china rather than maintain its current foreign-policy. looking at russia and u.s. relations now, this is probably only on the road to dreams. explorefuture and to where russia and u.s. could have ,ome confluence of cooperation russia and the u.s. have much
less their virgins in asia than other regions like europe or the middle east. -- less divergence in asia than other regions like europe or the middle east. be probably a basis for some cooperation if the current relations are normalized, whenever it happens. worke problems on asia only in the asian context here. for now they should probably be impossible, however i want suppose that it is impossible at .ll there should be some major change in order for it to occur, probably and especially for bilateral relations. there are a number of issues that you need for operation regionally and.
that probably could somewhat contribute to the ,trategist of different states hard security and soft security. lso freedom of navigation which russia supports in the it is not really possible in the current condition, but one of the things that we do share in common is the desire to avoid war on the korean peninsula and the common interest that there should be no military confrontation on the korean peninsula, that north korea does not develop more its nuclear missile potential, which would have negative consequences for all states involved, including russia.
here russia could contribute to the multilateral approach on the korean peninsula. >> thank you very much. i am going to open it up to questions. let me start where you ended before we do that. i think you hit on what is the central paradox, which i agree with you that u.s. and russian interests in asia and the pacific are at odds to a much less degree than they are in other parts of the world. because asia and the pacific is a lower priority in the overall relationship, we are not going to fix relations in the pacific and asia. inhave to fix relationships other ways and contexts. you did not talk a lot about central asia. around here, when people talk about potential areas of
cooperation between russia and china, central asia comes up a lot. it is obviously the focal point road initiative. it is the focus of russia's greater eurasian strategy. influx of chinese investment and greater political corporation has come to some degree at the expense of russian influence. what is your view on the future? >> thanks for the question. i tried to have a broad number of issues. this is when i should delve into more. interests that do converge in some interests that diverge. as for convergence from both countries are interested in
stability and eurasia so that regimes remain in power. this is quite important. attempts to build this operative order rather than competitive. it is not tricky. you are 100% right that there has been a lot of strategic competition going on in central asia. course, russia does understand that it does not have the financial resources to alternative china can with the belt and road initiative. russia has other strong foreign alternative china relations, including security role that is probably still appreciated by the central asian states, but there is not much
rush it really can do now in cooperation.omic relations,economically, china'sn has been growing, partly at the expense of russia. there are -- here we can are --e russia would not like china to play a dominant role in central asia for sure. russia would not like china through economic means to do the putjects that would these countries into too much dependence on china economically expensive russia -- at the expense of russia. there is a concept of division of labor. anda can provide economics,
russia can provide politics and security. this is seen by many as a flawed concept from the beginning. it is unlikely that china would like to provide only the economic role. years, sooner or later, china would like to andide a future security in centralenefits asia. we can already see it happening in pakistan. how touite an issue actually make this interest meat. there is general understanding and russia that cooperation is the best, at least trying to find how we can cooperate and
contribute everyone should be on the agenda, at least at the top political level. again, it is not going to be easy. it is a very difficult task. i think the russian government understands well it is not going to be easy. just still better than .aking some balancing acts actually, a lot of countries, including central asian countries want infrastructure, want major powers to provide more incentives and to cooperate. >> great. let's open it up to questions. i think most of you know the ground rules. i will restate them. please wait to be recognized. there will be a microphone coming around. please use the microphone. identify yourself. be brief.
ask the question. the first and i saw was in the back. >> richard white. thank you very much. thank you for your conference of assessment. >> please speak up. >> richard white. thank you for your comprehensive presentation. i had a question about the triangle relationship there are people in the u.s. who are concerned about the russia-china relationship and what that could imply for the future world order and so on. people here are divided over the kind of strategy to pursue. some people say we should try to work with both countries, pull them together. others say we should confront them both. they are both a threat to the u.s. there are refinements. one or them away from
the other. i wonder what those strategies might look like in practice and how effective they might be. >> how should the u.s. response? >> how should the u.s. respon d? ok. wow. it is mostlye that china who is benefiting from this strategic landscape in the strategic trying to it is actually in the u.s. interest to make that china is not the one that gains the most benefit. i am not probably entitled to make some recommendations for the u.s. policymakers, but looking strategically, i don't think it is in the u.s. interests to drive russia closer to china in asia.
just military, the two countries combined military power much more efficient than one by one. i would say russia has been very careful. it has been strong for a very long time. antagonism we have in the russia and u.s. relations think thata everything the u.s. has been doing -- >> we're going to break away from the csis event briefly to go live to the house of representatives. we expect this to be a short session. we will come back to this when it is done.
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