Chinese Coaster

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2024-68-1-19-30
V. Mikheev,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation.
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation.

Received 02.10.2023. Revised 11.10.2023. Accepted 10.11.2023.

Abstract. In Ukraine, China continues to adhere to the policy of “neutrality benevolent towards Russia”, remaining “above the fray” and at the same time looking for its place in the conflict as a “mediator” that does not condemn Russia, but does not recognize the transfer of part of Ukrainian territories to Russia. However, in Chinese society and the expert community controlled by the Communist Party of China (CPC), the attitude towards the Ukrainian crisis is changing. If at the initial stage of Russia’s Special Military Operation (SMO) in Ukraine, pro-Russian sentiments prevailed in the context of the Taiwan problem: “Russia is doing well!”, “And we need it!” Today, the angle is different: “neither for Russia, nor against”, with the addition that “the situation in Ukraine interferes with the normalization of China’s relations with the West and, above all, with the EU”. At the same time, Beijing is still interested in Russia as the main factor of “pressure on the United States” in the Sino-American confrontation. China’s two-tiered approach to Ukraine and Russia was manifested in Beijing’s reaction to the “Wagner” PMC mutiny. The official authorities limited themselves to a short statement by the Chinese Foreign Ministry: “what happened is an internal affair of Russia”. At the same time, the situation around “Wagner” caused active discussions in Chinese social networks. Their main topics were the following: how stable the situation inside Russia is, how what happened can affect Sino-Russian relations, and the development of the SMO in Ukraine. In the past three months, Beijing has stepped up its foreign policy. High-level contacts were organized with the U.S. and the EU, conciliatory proposals were made to Japan and South Korea. However, this has not yet led to an improvement in relations, although, according to Beijing’s expectations, it may lay the foundations for normalization in the future. In other areas, progress was achieved where the PRC directed its financial resources – Latin America, Africa, Central Asia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc. Relations deteriorated with those countries which improved their ties with the United States – India and the Philippines. Despite some personnel changes the internal political situation remains stable. Xi Jinping’ promotion as China’s “chief ideologue” in the “new era” continues. Without exception, all CPC members study Xi’s writings on “socialism with Chinese characteristics in a new era” every day. At the end of June, Xi talked at a group study of the Party’s Central Committee members about “sinified Marxism”, the importance of combining “Marxism and Chinese civilization”. China’s main problems are in the area of the economy. According to foreign experts, China’s GDP growth rate is too low. Chinese analysts, on the contrary, believe that economic growth rates turned out to be moderately high compared to a low base in 2022. The PRC is starting to react more aggressively to U.S. sanctions. A set of laws has been formed that impose restrictions on foreign companies within China. At the same time, there is a belief in the country that foreign businesses interested in the Chinese market will themselves bypass U.S. restrictions.

Keywords: Chinese foreign and domestic policy, Chinese economy, China’s relations with the U.S., EU and Russia


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For citation:
Mikheev V., Lukonin S. Chinese Coaster. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2024, vol. 68, no. 1, pp. 19-30. EDN: HACSPC

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