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The New Beijing-Moscow Axis

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发表于 2-4-2019 12:31:58 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Yaroslav Trofimov, The New Beijing-Moscow Axis. A shared rivalry with the US has reunited the two powers, as in the early days of the Cold War. But this time, China is the senior partner. Wall Street Journal, Feb 2, 2019 ("The Saturday Essay").
https://www.wsj.com/articles/the ... ow-axis-11549036661

Quote:

"When President Sukarno of Indonesia inquired about China’s economy in 1956 [Sukarno visited China], Mao Zedong replied candidly that the country remained poor and agrarian and didn't have much to export 'apart from some apples, peanuts, pig bristles and soybeans 说老实话,我们没有好多东西〔出口〕,无非是一些苹果、花生、猪鬃、大豆.'
What Mao's modesty concealed was his desperation to industrialize, especially for military purposes, and his hope that the Soviet Union would help him to achieve that goal. Beijing frequently acknowledged Moscow as a might 'Big Brother.' And the pecking order between the two was clear. Just months after ascending to power in 1949, Mao had spent several humiliating weeks holed up in a shabby dacha outside Moscow, restricted in his movements and treated as a minor vassa while he pressed for meetings with Stalin.  Seing China as its new dependency, Moscow sent thousands of engineers and workers and trainloads of manufacturing equipment during the 1950s. By the time relations between the two communist regimes broke down in the mid 1960s, the Soviet Union had erected a network of industrial plants across China, enabling its protégé to produce planes, tanks and ships. Moscow even provided Beijing with nuclear-weapons technology.  Now, a half century late, the tables have turned * ** The former superpower has been forced to adjust to life as China's junior partner and occasional supplicant.

"Though allied, the two countries are not formal allies. * * * Just like Mao, Mr Xi chose Moscow as the destination of his first foreign rip in office, in 2013 -- though he received a very different welcome.

"The brief previous period of friendship between Moscow and Beijing in the 1950s was based on shared Communist ideology -- and ended once Mao began to chafe at Soviet domination following Stalin's death. During the Cold War, exploiting this rivalry was one of America's major strategic achievements

"Even as the relationship has blossomed, however, the two nations grow less equal with each passing day. In fact, when viewed in historical terms, the Russia-China dynamic represents one of the world's most dramatic reversals in the balance of power.  Russia was one of the imperialist predators that hacked away parts of China in the 19th century. * * * As recently as 1991, China's economy was smaller than Russia's [which is not surprising, considering CIA's estimates at the time that Soviet economy was larger than America's], despite its vastly larger population. China's GDP is now about eight times Russi's, according to World Bank figures, and the gap widens every year. China's economy has slowed, gowing just 6.6% last year, but t still far outstrips Russia's 1.8%.

" 'Aware of Russian sensibilities, Chinese officials are diplomatic in describing the relationship. 'True, Russia's GDP is currently similar to the GDP of Guandong [sic] province,' said Ding Xiaoxing 俄罗斯所执行所长丁晓星, who leads the Eurasia Institute at CICIR China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations 中国现代国际关系研究院 (1965- ; at Beijing)], the think tank affiliated with China's Ministry of State Security. 'But you can't judge national power just by its GDP: One-fifth of the world's resources lies in Russia, it is the world's biggest country, and it has one of the world's strongest militaries.'

"For every Chinese student in Russian universities, 10 others are pursuing degrees in the Us -- and, because of the prestige of US education, these graduates usually land much better jobs. An average Chinese, while familiar with Hollywood icons, would be hard pressed to name a contemporary Russian actor or singer.

" 'It makes no sense to be a Chinese guest worker in Russia now,' said Leonid Bliakher, a professor at Pacific National University in Khabarovsk. 'The incomes in northern China are comparable to, or even higher, than what they could be earning here.' Now it's Russians who crossed the other way to find work

Note:
(a) The article is locked behind paywall. There is no need to read the rest.
(b) Yaroslav Trofimov
(i) born in Kiev, Ukraine; serves as Chief Foreign-Affairs Correspondent at The Wall Street Journal.  en.wikipedia.org for "Yaroslav_Trofimov."
(ii) He was born in 1969.
(iii) "He joined the Journal in 1999 and previously served as Rome, Middle East and Singapore-based Asia correspondent, and as bureau chief in Afghanistan and Pakistan."  www.wsj.com.
(c) Top 10 Chinese Provinces by GDP in 2017. China Daily, Feb 22, 2018 (online)
www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201802/22/WS5a8df9b0a3106e7dcc13d424.html
("Guangdong has become the largest GDP contributor on the provincial level for the 29th consecutive year [since 1989], with a GDP of 8.99 trillion yuan ($1.43 trillion)")
(d) The internal quotation in the last quotation -- "The incomes in northern China are comparable to, or even higher, than what they could be earning here" --has it wrong. It should be "are comparable to, or even higher than, what they could be earning here."
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