Author`s name Olga Savka

Symbolism of New Chinese President's Visit to Moscow

Hu Jintao's choice to come to Russia on his first-ever official visit was not accidental

The new Chinese leader picked Moscow as the destination of his first official visit to a foreign country. Now-deceased patriarch Deng Xiaoping decided to travel to the USA in January of 1979 as his first official visit. In February, he struck a military blow against the socialist republic of Vietnam "for reasons of self-defense." The same year, Deng Xiaoping pronounced China an "open" state and accepted capital, technology and other resources from developed capitalist countries with a total sum of $465.78 billion. He managed to increase the Chinese GDP four times in 1997, got Hong Kong - the symbol of national humiliation – back under Chinese jurisdiction, and then died as the creator of the Chinese miracle.

The first official visit of the next Chinese leader Jiang Zemin was not marked as something grand. At the end of his time in power, Jiang signed a treaty of friendly relations with Russia in Moscow. The treaty was signed for the period of 20 years. The essence of the signed document may be paraphrased as "good neighbors forever, never enemies."

Hu Jintao took the office of Chinese leader in November of 2002. Now, the new Chinese president has an objective to increase the national GDP four times by 2019 as compared with 1999. Yet, Mr. Hu decided to come to Moscow, not to Washington, against the background of the victory of the American "coalition of forces of good." The USA has just shown its power to the whole world, overthrown Saddam's regime in Iraq and gained control over Iraqi crude.

China does not live in conformity with Western laws. Hu Jintao's prime goal is to quadruple GDP, which requires the attraction of additional resources from abroad. China became unable to meet its own natural-resources needs in 1997. Deng Xiaoping's era was marked by the absorption of Western energy - industrial technologies and money inflow. On the other hand, the symbolic first visit of the new Chinese president to Moscow gives reason to assume that China is today determined to absorb Eastern energy at present - oil, gas, woods, land, intellect.

It is worth mentioning the Western prosperity caused by the American triumph in 1991 - the breakup of the Soviet Union, the confrontation with the Muslim world, the war in the Gulf - has been on the decline lately. On the other hand, the situation in Russia has been improving since the default in 1998. China does not have an abstract long-term program; it has a project with a precise objective and time limits.

It was announced in January of 2003 that China had already started a new period of economic growth. Yet, China needs to preserve the dynamism of both the USA and NATO and Russia and CIS. China does not want to put obstacles in the way of the USA’s development, especially the military.

Russia and the CIS states are in a totally different boat. A reduction in Russia's presence in international affairs is out of the question for China, which is why the new Chinese leader decided to travel to Moscow.

Russian political life was full of events with Chinese participation at the end of May and in the beginning of June: Hu Jintao visited Moscow and the Shanghai Six held a session in Moscow. Then, Russia took part in the EU summit in St. Petersburg and Vladimir Putin participated in the G-8 meeting in France. All those events showed Russia's objective to be to accumulate political forces in order to counteract the USA's global leadership. This is exactly what China needs.

Andrey Devyatov

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