Why China

Putin was just officially inaugurated at the Kremlin, marking the commencement of his fifth presidential term. His inaugural foreign visit of this term will be to China. Why China? Professor Zhang Weiwei has discussed the significance of Sino-Russian relations during his interview with Russia's RT television station in 2023.
May 11, 2024
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Zhang Weiwei
Professor of Political Science; Director the China Institute of Fudan University

RT:

Let’s cross live now to Zhang Weiwei, Dean of The China Institute at Fudan University, and he’s joining us live from Beijing. Thanks very much for joining us this afternoon, Zhang Weiwei. It is very good to have you on the program.

Professor Zhang Weiwei:

With pleasure.

RT:

What can you tell us about the main areas of strategic interests between Russia and China?

Professor Zhang Weiwei:

When we use the term “strategic partnership”, it means comprehensive and long-term, it means a lot of political trust between the two countries and their leaders and their peoples.

So when we talk about comprehensive, you name it, political, economic, technological, financial, and other domains where we have common interests, even in the field of security. As mentioned, the news while we have military, joint drills, et cetera, is really an important part of the global strategic balance. That’s really the weight of the two major countries like China, Russia can play.

RT:

Now, ties between Moscow and Beijing only really seems to have grown stronger since the start of the war in Ukraine. What do you think that China hasn’t joined in the western sanctions and many attempts by other countries to isolate Moscow? Why is it seems to have gone the opposite way if anything?

Professor Zhang Weiwei:

Essentially, what has happened is Russia has been isolated by the West, but the West has been isolated by the rest. And the rest, of course, China is a major player in this particular “rest group”.  Obviously, the particular military operation by Russia in Ukraine is controversial, yet, Russia’s professed objective is to change the unipolar world order into a multipolar world order. This position is widely supported, or at least understood by the rest. So that’s important. And China also shared this, we have to change and reform this kind of unfair and unjust, unipolar world.

RT:

Do you really think we are seeing a shift now a tectonic geopolitical, global shift in power and politics from a unipolar to a more multipolar world at the moment?

Professor Zhang Weiwei:

Yeah, it’s actually happening every day. You can see very clearly if you look at the figures.

Now in terms of population, which is understandable, the rest represents 80 % of the world’s population. If you look at the economic power, the rest accounts for roughly 70 % of the world’s economy. You look at what’s going on in Latin America, mainly left-leaning governments are in power against the US hegemony. In Africa, people talk about looking East. In the Middle East, China just made a peace initiative between Iran and Saudi Arabia, which are all signs that the Western power is declining and even declining faster than many people predicted, just look at the banking crisis in the United States, in Europe, in quite a Swiss, et cetera.

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Zhang Weiwei
Professor of Political Science; Director the China Institute of Fudan University
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