Good news on Russia becoming closer to China. Russia’s days as a European power are rapidly fading, as Russia is not economically, culturally, or politically on the same track as either the EU or the borderlands. Rather, Russia’s best seen as a Central Asian state, with a Central Asian route to development. Embracing China as a major customer for raw materials is a good move for this once great power:
The Weekly Standard
In the lead-up to Medvedevâ€™s visit, the Chinese media made a special point of reporting on a recent survey of the Russian public. In the poll, conducted by the All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion, China was mentioned most frequently when Russians were asked “Which country is friendliest towards Russia?”
Beyond the cordial welcome, Beijingâ€™s assessment is that Medvedevâ€™s decision to travel to China so soon after his inauguration reflected a number of geopolitical considerations. In addition to further consolidating bilateral ties which had reached “a historical high” under Putin, Medvedev saw in China “a breakthrough point” and “a special diplomatic arena” at a time when Moscowâ€™s relations with Georgia, the EU, and the United States have all been strained.
Liberation Daily predicted that despite Medvedevâ€™s “looking East,” Moscow will continue to strive for “a balanced diplomacy”:
Further, friendship with Russia removes possible friction for China, allowing her to rise without that pesky natural resource exporter on her northern frontier from causing too much trouble.