Sergei Karataev: "Level of political relations between Moscow and Beijing much higher than economic"
Vladimir Putin held talks in the Kremlin with the Chairman of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping, who arrived in Moscow on an official visit at the invitation of the Russian president. During the negotiations, the issues of political interaction, trade, economic, military-technical and humanitarian cooperation between the two countries were discussed in a narrow format. A detailed discussion of the agenda was continued in the course of consultations with the participation of the members of delegations. Before the beginning of negotiations in a broad format, Putin awarded Xi Jinping with the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle the First Called. Both leaders also met with representatives of the public, business circles and media communities of the two countries. The head of the department of economies of foreign countries at the Economic Research Center under the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies, Sergey Karataev, told Vestnik Kavkaza about the prospects of Russian-Chinese relations.
- How will Xi Jinping's visit to Moscow and his talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin affect the cooperation of the two states?
- Relations between Russia and China are of a strategic nature and are at an unprecedented level. It is indicated at least by the fact that I guess it is already the third meeting of the leaders of the two countries this year. Yesterday it was announced that it would be an unusual visit. For me, it is unusual, above all, because Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping will meet with the business community and representatives of the cultural community in order to find out what is preventing further promotion of cooperation. It's not a secret that the level of political relations is much higher than economic. Many people say about it, and in many respects it's true.
- What steps should be taken to improve the level of economic interaction between Moscow and Beijing?
- The program of the visit provides for direct communication with business representatives. It is very important, because it is always difficult to understand what is hampering a simple entrepreneur at the state level. It is also planned to sign a large number of joint documents, which is common for such meetings. Let's hope that our mutual trade will grow, and the implementation of joint projects and mutual investment will significantly increase. Especially, since very much is done in the Far East for this purpose. In addition, what is happening at the international level only contributes to the strengthening of Russian-Chinese relations, as our positions converge, including in the assessments of the current summit, and the new policy of US President Donald Trump. We can work on a common position both within the G20 and within the BRICS, together with the BRICS countries within the framework of the G20. I see no contradictions on almost all the economic issues.
- What prevents the development of the economy between Russia and China at the lowest level?
- First, the lack of understanding of culture. We have quite a big difference in the culture of doing business. It is necessary, and we are carrying out this program, to create single windows, in which entrepreneurs from Russia and China can turn to get explanations about how to work in our country and with our partners. Second, both Russia and China are characterized by excessive bureaucratization of procedures. But the most important thing is the ambiguity of this procedure. The work on this has already started. It is held separately, within the limits of programs on increase in export volumes. We also see that the joint work at the regional level has moved forward. That is, the main misunderstanding lies in mental, cultural and psychological differences. They must be overcome.
- What is the current level of the economy in Russia and the post-Soviet space?
- There are obvious improvements. Of course, we cannot fail to recognize the great contribution of the increase in energy prices, which are our main export commodity. But among other things, we see improvements in other sectors as well. We see an increase in business activity, we see that there are grounds for improving the condition in other areas. And those trends that are visible at the international level - let's hope that nothing bad will happen - they will allow for a stable, long-term growth. Another question is at what level. But this requires the planned state programs, their effective implementation. Then we will be able to fulfill the task that both the government and the country is facing to ensure growth above the world level.