What Putin wants from China

Updated: 2011-10-13 15:24


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Although the main substance of the burgeoning Russia-China relationship remains trade, the strategic dimension is becoming more important, according to an article on the website of The Christian Science Monitor on Oct 11, 2011.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin arrived in Beijing on Tuesday, kicking off his 16th visit to China since becoming Russia's top leader almost 12 years ago, says the article.

While hailing "unprecedented levels of cooperation" with China, including $7 billion in new investment deals, Putin wants to seize the opportunity to build more strategic ties with China towards the creation of a "Eurasian Union," a confederation of former Soviet states that might eventually rival the European Union or the United States, notes the article.

"We suggest creating a powerful supra-national union capable of becoming a pole in the modern world, and at the same time an effective bridge between Europe and the dynamic Asia-Pacific Region," Putin wrote in an article in the Moscow daily Izvestia last week.

Russia may be shifting away from its previous priority of building relations with the European Union to building stronger ties with China and the wider Asian region, suggests the article. "Putin's proposal of creating a Eurasian Union is the necessary political background for this visit to China," says Andrei Klimov, deputy chair of the Russian State Duma's international affairs commission. "And after Putin voiced his ambition to return to the presidency, it must be noted that he's not just an ordinary head of government or party leader making this trip."