Xi says China-Russia relations embrace new development opportunities

The Presidents of China and Russia exchanged friendly greetings and reviewed their bilateral relations, along with a range of regional and international issues, in a February 8 telephone call in advance of the Chinese New Year.

President Xi Jinping told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that China and Russia withstood many tests together in the past, and their relations embrace new development opportunities in the future. He added that it has become a fine tradition for him and Putin to exchange greetings at the turn of the year, review the achievements of the development of bilateral relations, and jointly look forward to the future.

Noting that this year marks the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Russia, Xi said that China is ready to continue to uphold the spirit of mutual assistance and everlasting friendship with Russia so as to jointly write a new chapter in China-Russia relations.

He stressed that the two sides should strengthen strategic coordination, safeguard the national sovereignty, security and development interests of their respective countries, and resolutely oppose external interference in their internal affairs.

He also called on both sides to support Kazakhstan in holding a successful Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit this year, enhance unity and mutual trust, and safeguard regional security and stability as well as the common interests of regional countries, adding that China also actively supports Russia as the rotating BRICS presidency this year.

President Putin said this year marks the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and China. Under the joint efforts of both sides, bilateral relations have reached an unprecedented high level.

Expressing thanks to China for supporting Russia’s work in the BRICS rotating presidency this year, Putin said Russia stands ready to strengthen communication and coordination with the Chinese side in regional and international multilateral frameworks such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, to support each other, and to uphold multilateralism and safeguard respective legitimate interests.

Russia firmly abides by the one-China principle, opposes any dangerous actions provoking China on the Taiwan question, and believes that any plot impeding China’s peaceful reunification will not succeed, Putin noted.

The following article was originally published by the Xinhua News Agency.

BEIJING, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) — China and Russia withstood many tests together in the past, and their relations embrace new development opportunities in the future, said Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday.

Xi made the remarks in his phone conversation with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, ahead of the Chinese New Year. In the phone call, the two heads of state also exchanged greetings of the Chinese New Year.

Noting that the Chinese Spring Festival is approaching and the festive atmosphere is strong, Xi said that the Chinese people are full of hope and confidence towards the coming Year of the Dragon.

Extending his best wishes to the friendly Chinese people, Putin said that the dragon symbolizes wisdom and strength in the Chinese culture.

He wished the Chinese people happiness in the Year of the Dragon and hoped that all their wishes would be fulfilled.

In the phone call, Xi said that it has become a fine tradition for him and Putin to exchange greetings by the turn of the year, review the achievements of the development of bilateral relations, and jointly look forward to the future.

Noting that he and Putin met twice and reached many important consensuses in the past year, Xi said that under the two leaders’ joint guidance, the governments, legislatures and political parties of the two countries have engaged in active exchanges, and bilateral cooperation in various fields has shown resilience and vitality, Xi said.

The annual bilateral trade volume met the aim ahead of schedule, while cultural and local exchanges between the two countries were vigorously carried out, and the Years of Sports Exchange between China and Russia were successfully concluded, Xi said.

Noting that this year marks the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Russia, Xi said that China is ready to continue to uphold the spirit of mutual assistance and everlasting friendship with Russia to jointly write a new chapter in China-Russia relations.

Xi stressed that the two sides should strengthen strategic coordination, safeguard the national sovereignty, security and development interests of their respective countries, and resolutely oppose external interference in their internal affairs.

The two sides should cultivate new momentum for bilateral cooperation, maintain the stability of the industrial and supply chains, jointly host the China-Russia Years of Culture, hold down-to-earth and warm cultural exchanges that connect the hearts of the two peoples, and constantly tighten the bonds of their people, Xi said.

Xi called on both sides to support Kazakhstan in holding a successful Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit this year, enhance unity and mutual trust, and safeguard regional security and stability as well as the common interests of regional countries, adding that China also actively supports Russia as the rotating BRICS presidency this year.

China stands ready to strengthen international multilateral coordination with Russia, practice the true multilateralism, advocate an equal and orderly multipolar world and economic globalization that benefits all, and make the global governance system more just and reasonable, so as to make positive contributions to building a community with a shared future for mankind, Xi said.

For his part, Putin said this year marks the 75th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and China. Under the joint efforts of both sides, bilateral relations have reached an unprecedented high level.

Last year, Russia-China cooperation in various fields yielded fruitful results, Putin said, expressing his willingness to continue to maintain close interaction with President Xi, so that the two leaders can guide the two countries to achieve new progress in cooperation in all fields.

He hopes the two sides will successfully hold the Russia-China Years of Culture and a series of cultural and people-to-people exchanges this year, further cementing the foundation of friendship between the two peoples.

Expressing thanks to China for supporting Russia’s work in the BRICS rotating presidency this year, Putin said Russia stands ready to strengthen communication and coordination with the Chinese side in regional and international multilateral frameworks such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, to support each other, and to uphold multilateralism and safeguard respective legitimate interests.

Russia firmly abides by the one-China principle, opposes any dangerous actions provoking China on the Taiwan question, and believes that any plot impeding China’s peaceful reunification will not succeed, Putin noted.

The two heads of state also exchanged in-depth views on current international and regional hotspot issues. The two heads of state agreed to keep close contact in the new year, and have in-depth exchanges on China-Russia relations and strategic issues of common concern. 

BRICS+ and the future of the international order

This thought-provoking article by Elias Jabbour – associate professor of theory and policy of economic planning at Rio de Janeiro State University, and member of the Friends of Socialist China advisory group – explores the shifting dynamics of global power and the emergence of BRICS+ as a significant factor in the evolving international order. The article underlines the significance of China’s socialist development in particular – which has positioned it at the centre of a rising multipolar world – and an emerging “globalisation with Chinese characteristics” which promotes development, peace and common prosperity, in contrast to the enforced inequality and violence that characterise imperialist globalisation.

Elias notes the resurgence of the Global South as a key factor in the transformation of the international order, and the role of BRICS+ in this process. While the Global South is made up of “a heterogeneous set of countries, with differentiated levels of development”, these countries collectively “have the ability to converge on some fundamental issues for their own future, and for that of humanity itself.” Put in other words, the countries of the Global South have a shared interest in opposing imperialism, defending sovereignty and pursuing peaceful development. China stands at the centre of the process of uniting the countries of the Global South in promoting a multipolar, democratic and fair system of international relations.

The article also highlights the significance of the Belt and Road Initiative as a key component of China’s global strategy, and the potential for BRI to transform the global economic landscape by promoting infrastructure development, economic integration, and a shift away from the financialised neoliberal model associated with the US.

Elias discusses the disastrous consequences of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the concurrent global imposition of neoliberalism. On the other hand, the US’s moment of triumph did not last long, and the last decade and a half have witnessed “the erosion of the ability to reinvent capitalism due to financialisation and the emergence of a socialist country (China) as an economic power whose path reflects nothing of the neoliberal recipes sold by the IMF and the World Bank have contributed to the acceleration of a systemic transition, in which a new globalisation centered on China is only its greatest expression.”

In conclusion, the article argues that the political future of BRICS+ and the broader Global South is intricately linked to China’s trajectory and its ability to offer a developmental model that counters neoliberalism. It suggests that the global struggle against underdevelopment and for independence is gaining momentum, with BRICS+ playing a pivotal role in shaping a more equitable global order.

This article first appeared in Geopolitical Economy Report.

The emergence and rise of new poles of power to the detriment of existing ones is nothing new in history. Since the 18th century, there have been countless examples of transitions in international hegemony. This accelerated with the emergence of industrial capitalism in England, which was more advanced than the Portuguese and Spanish commercial capitalism that for centuries had dominated much of the world, especially Latin America.

Even the capitalist dynamic inaugurated by England has characteristics that are not unfamiliar to economic historians with great theoretical and conceptual rigor.

Well known is Vladimir Lenin’s discovery of the uneven nature of the development of nations and the tendency of the most developed countries to lose dynamism while others begin to enjoy what economist Alexander Gerschenkron called the “advantages of backwardness”.

So the international order cannot be observed, from a historical point of view, as a march where countries change positions like in a military parade.

The emergence of monopolistic capitalism brought with it the tendency toward war, for example. We have witnessed two great world wars where the center of the dispute was world power, with results that consolidated new political actors on the international stage, mainly the United States.

A new systemic transition

I start from the historical principle that reality has shown Lenin to be correct, regarding the uneven development of the system and the tendency toward stagnation in the developed centers. These processes open spaces of power in the world.

I also say that we will have little to offer in terms of explanation for the future if we do not relate the transformation of the United States into a unified continental economy at the end of the 19th century, and its impacts on the development of the international capitalist system, with what we have witnessed in China over the past decades: the emergence of a unified continental economy in the third-largest country in the world, which is generating huge impacts on the international political economy – and is still little investigated by so-called experts.

This is a fundamental point when we want to develop a sophisticated thinking about the BRICS+ and the future of the international order. I will return to this point.

On the other hand, we are witnessing a new wave of systemic transition today. This time, there is the emergence of new poles of global power on one side, while on the other there is an accelerated stage of political, social, moral, and economic decomposition of a hegemonic power: the United States of America.

It is interesting to note that the new order that is emerging is itself the product of the order created by the United States after World War II, which accelerated in the late 1970s with the rise of neoliberalism, and especially after the end of the Soviet Union.

Globalization led by the powerful finance of the United States was a reality that transformed the economic geography of the world, but which is eroding within its own limits. Since the moment when financialization became the dominant dynamic of accumulation in capitalism, and neoliberalism won hearts and minds around the globe, the world has entered a spiral of greater instability and unpredictability.

Continue reading BRICS+ and the future of the international order

The BRICS and China: towards an International New Democracy

We are very pleased to publish this important discussion article by Dr Jenny Clegg on the interrelationship between the development of the BRICS cooperation mechanism and multipolarity, anti-imperialism and socialism. 

Jenny looks carefully at the contrasting positions of those she dubs BRICS optimists and BRICS pessimists, as well as those occupying a political and analytical space between these two poles. Whilst there is a certain consensus that multipolarity is on the rise, there is a wide divergence of views as to how this relates to anti-imperialism let alone socialism. However, for Jenny, “the challenge for the left is to understand the interconnections: to fail to grasp the threats and opportunities at this momentous international juncture would be to fail spectacularly.”

Having discussed the political standpoint of the BRICS, assessed the prospects for their replacing dollar hegemony, and outlined the anti-imperialist framework of President Xi Jinping’s various global initiatives, Jenny draws attention to Mao Zedong’s and the Communist Party of China’s development of the concept of new democracy during the war of resistance to Japanese aggression, arguing forcefully for its applicability to the international terrain in the current period:

“As China now directs its efforts towards encouraging an international anti-imperialist movement among states of the Global South, with the BRICS as a significant group, the concept of New Democracy can shed light on the thinking behind this. There are three key points to highlight: an understanding that world revolution develops through stages; an analysis of the national bourgeoisie which recognises their potential to resist imperialist subordination and take part in independent development; and the assessment of the overall international situation given the existence of a major socialist state.”

In her conclusion, Jenny writes that: 

“Anti-imperialism and socialism are… not the same but they are inter-related: in the ebb and flow of the international situation the BRICS may swing this way and that, but what does make a difference to the anti-imperialist struggle in its international dimension is the solidity of China’s socialism.

“As a socialist country China is the most firm in its anti-imperialist stance: it has the strength, unity and manoeuvrability to stand up to and resist US pressure; it has its past experience to draw lessons from, failures as well as successes; it can stabilise the vacillations of the BRICS members to foster the group’s collective focus; it has the commitment and the sense of direction for the future to open the way ahead for the wider Global South in its struggle against imperialism.

“Through its own development, China is able to offer an enabling environment for other developing countries to remove those obstacles still constraining their national development.” 

Jenny’s article, which is based on her presentation to a conference hosted by the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics in September, represents a profound and original contribution to a vital debate and deserves the widest possible readership and discussion.

A member of our advisory group, Jenny is a retired academic and an activist in the anti-nuclear, peace and friendship movements. She is the author of China’s Global Strategy Towards a Multipolar World, published by Pluto Press.

Introduction

Over the last year or so the world has undergone a transition: from the all out drive by the US to assert its dominance through the New Cold War on China and Russia, it is now agreed across the international political spectrum – and widely acknowledged in the mainstream press – that a multipolar era has arrived.

When Biden, visiting Latin America, the Middle East, and then Southeast Asia through the summer months of 2022, failed to rally support for Ukraine and for isolating Russia economically, it became clear that the multipolar surge was cresting.  2023 then brought numbers of proposals for peace and offers of mediation from across the Global South – China, Brazil, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, the African peace delegation.  Meanwhile, squeezed ever further as Western banks jacked up interest rates, developing countries began to come forward with their own proposals to change the system of debt financing.[1]

The BRICS summit in August was seen to mark the watershed moment with its expanded membership now looking to eclipse the G7 as leaders agreed to explore ways to sidestep the dollar.

With US hegemony fraying and numbers of countries starting to break free from its dominance, what is the left to make of this? What kind of a group is the BRICS with its mix of capitalist countries together with socialist China? 

Reactions to the summit exposed divisions amongst the left.  On the one hand, there are those who welcome unequivocally the rise of BRICS in the multipolar terrain as an advance for anti-imperialism.  Hailing the summit as a ‘giant step for multipolarity’, Pepe Escobar, well-known leftist geopolitical analyst and contributor to the Asia Times, reported its calling to ‘abandon the US dollar,’ whilst Fiona Edwards of No Cold War offered unalloyed support with the summit presenting a new high in the rise of the Global South and the priorities of economic co-operation and peace.[2]  Meanwhile, Ben Norton of the Geopolitical Economy Report website is constantly positive about the BRICS as, with the financial architecture of the world fracturing, the group works ‘to develop a fairer system of monetary exchange’.[3]

At the other end of the spectrum, political economist Patrick Bond has emphasised the ‘sub-imperialist and neo-imperialist tendencies of powerful BRICS members’, claiming this renders them ‘helpless to enact any substantive changes’.[4]  In similar vein, in a recent piece entitled Multipolarity: false hope for the Left, Zoltan Zigedy, a US-based communist, launches an uncompromising critique of left-wing intellectuals and academics who ‘cheer any force that attempts to diminish US power’: warning against the confusion of multipolarisation with anti-imperialism, he claims these analysts have just ‘become observers of a chess game between capitalist governments’.  What he asks, has this got to do with socialism?[5]

Between these BRICS pessimists and BRICS optimists are numbers who bridge both sides of the argument, including Vijay Prashad of the Tricontinental Institute who, seeing the development of the BRICS as part of a long history of struggle against colonialism and imperialism, hails the summit ‘for peace and development’ whilst pointing to a certain neo-liberal influence, as well as Andrew Murray and the editors of the Morning Star for whom BRICS is necessary but ultimately, lacking political cohesion, not enough.[6]

Continue reading The BRICS and China: towards an International New Democracy