China is Russia's friend at 77%
The majority of Russians consider China a strategic partner (50%) and a friendly state (27%), while only 10% of the respondents consider it the economic or political opponent, and 5% - the enemy, a public opinion poll conducted by VCIOM says.
According to respondents, China will remain Russia's ally (37%) and its closest partner (38%), while only 14% of respondents believe that China will become a dangerous neighbor, and 2% - the enemy, Interfax reports.
The respondents also paid attention to the fact that China placed its strategic missiles on the border with Russia: 18% offered to do the same return move, 16% - to be more vigilant, while monitoring the situation, and 24% suggested that the Russian authorities should not respond it. 25% found it difficult to answer the question.
In the case of aggravation of the Chinese-US relations, 53% of Russians are in favor of the preservation of neutrality on the part of the Russian Federation, and those 29% who consider it possible to intervene in the conflict, would rather take the side of China, "gently supporting it, but not to intervene in the conflict and develop relations with the two countries". 4% of respondents offer to "openly support China", and only 6% offer to provide some support to the US.
The Deputy Director of the Institute of Asian and African Studies of Moscow State University, Andrey Korneev, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that positive attitude of Russians towards China is primarily due to an economic cooperation between the two countries under the Western sanctions. "First of all, it is worth recalling that China has been in the first place among foreign trade partners of Russia for already 6-7 years. During the crisis and difficult relations with Western countries, China refused to join the anti-Russian sanctions, in spite of the pressure exerted on it during US President Obama, demonstrating support for Russia," he pointed out.
Also, both countries are effectively cooperating in the humanitarian sphere. "Much has been done and is being done to develop our humanitarian contacts in addition to cooperation in the economy. The Chinese language is quite popular among our students. The combination of all the foreign policy factors, the efforts of the Russian and Chinese governments, as well as the higher education community provides such a positive for bilateral relations public opinion survey," Andrey Korneev stressed.
The head of the program 'Russia in the Asia-Pacific region' of the Moscow Carnegie Center, Alexander Gabuev, in turn, drew attention to the positive media background created around the Russian-Chinese relations. "they always emphasize that China is our strategically important partner, President Putin meets with Xi Jinping more often than with any other world leader, Chinese investments come to Russia. The peak popularity was in 2014 after the introduction of sanctions and the annexation of Crimea, and now it became a new norm," the expert said.
Speaking about the new US policy of confrontation with China and promised normalization of relations with Russia, Alexander Gabuev, expressed confidence that it will not affect Russia's attitude towards China. "Our relations with China have a pretty solid, stable base. The question is how often they will say on the television that China is important for us. They will not tell bad things about China in the near future, that's for sure. Therefore, I think that our relations will remain fairly stable, and they will not be affected by the development of relations with the US," the head of the program 'Russia in the Asia-Pacific region' of the Moscow Carnegie Center expects.