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14 Aug, 2010 23:58

“Russia & China cooperate much better than ever before”

Vice Chancellor of research and international relations at the Russian Foreign Ministry's Diplomatic Academy, Evgeny Bazhanov, spoke with RT about China’s overwhelming growth and the challenges it faces.

The Chinese economy is overheating and it has been overheating all the time, said Bazhanov, because “they have disproportions between the sectors of the economy which grow very fast, for example industry, and at the same time they do not have enough resources.”

As for China’s role in global politics, Bazhanov said it is crucial, and in most cases very positive, as China tries to bring peace and stability to the world.

“They need it because they are preoccupied with internal problems, with their internal development, and they need a peaceful environment,” Bazhanov said.

As for Russia-China relations, Bazhanov said they have never been better.

“Even when we were allies in the 1950s, we didn’t have such cooperation as we have now and I think it’s because our relations now are based on a very solid basis. First of all, we have the same outlook as far as the international system is concerned: we want it to be multi-polar and they want it to be multi-polar, not controlled by the US or the west, but based on the UN, on international law, and on collective decisions of all countries of the world,” he said.

“Secondly, on most concrete international issues we have similar positions – on Korea, Iran, the expansion of NATO, the Middle East, etc. In addition to this, we did have problems left from history – all those issues were solved. Another factor is that we don’t have ideological differences which existed in the Soviet times. As I said, we were allies, but then, because of the ideological differences and geopolitical differences, and the border issue, etc., we became enemies. And to add another factor which helps to improve and promote relations between Russia and China, is the economic factor. We have economic interdependence.”

“Some people in Russia say that China is growing too fast and it is becoming stronger than Russia, so the balance of power is changing in the Chinese favor so China can become a threat. But I reply to those people that, back in the beginning of the 20th century, there were people in Russia – quite a few, by the way – politicians, journalists, writers, who used to say that China was going to be threat number one for Russia in the 20th century. Instead of this, we did have two wars against our Christian brothers in the west and we didn’t fight with the Chinese,” Bazhanov said.