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China must mediate between US, Russia: CPC mouthpiece
December 22, 2014, 6:15 am

Russian President Vladimir Putin (2nd from left), Chinese President Xi Jinping (3rd from left) and US President Barack Obama (2nd from right) at the APEC leaders summit in Beijing on 10 November 2014 [PPIO]

Russian President Vladimir Putin (2nd from left), Chinese President Xi Jinping (3rd from left) and US President Barack Obama (2nd from right) at the APEC leaders summit in Beijing on 10 November 2014 [PPIO]

Chinese state media has said Beijing must offer to act as a “mediator” between the US and Russia, even as it slammed Western sanctions on Russia that can have an adverse impact on “Russia’s morale and unity”.

The mouthpiece of the ruling Communist party, Global Times, said in an editorial on Monday that Chinese efforts to help Russia will have limited impact if the Russian economy does not diversify and remains heavily dependent on oil exports.

“China must act as an active mediator between Russia and the US, or it will have to face unavoidable geopolitical risks if their conflict spirals out of control,” it said.

Global Times, a newspaper owned by China’s Communist Party, is known for its strident editorials.

The editorial added that the ineffectiveness of sanctions was evident from the fact that, “Russia’s annexation of Crimea only left the US and Europe impotent earlier this year”.

“Western sanctions cannot be the straw that breaks the back of Russia. This old trick has proven much less effective even in smaller countries like Cuba and Iran. That is why Russia’s annexation of Crimea only left the US and Europe impotent earlier this year,” said the editorial.

“The ongoing crisis engulfing Russia in the wake of plummeting oil prices and the ruble depreciating is probably not what the US had planned. For Washington, what is happening in Russia is more or less unexpected,” it added.

Editorials of state-owned media in China, like Global Times, generally reflects the Communist Party viewpoint.

The nationalist Global Times however warned China must respect the “red line” in its endeavor to aid Russia in this crisis.

“If Chinese investment in Russia shoots up under these circumstances, Moscow might suspect China has ulterior motives. Russia does not want to be a vassal of the Chinese economy, and this red line must be clearly understood by China,” said the editorial.

“As a close neighbor, Russia plays an indispensable role as a strategic partner of China in the international community. China must hold a positive attitude to help Russia out of this crisis. China hopes Russia can regain its economic strength as soon as possible. But anything we can do to help will be limited to what Russia asks for,” it added.

In a boost to bilateral ties between the two allies, Russia and China signed 17 agreements in November after Presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping met in Beijing.

The deals inked include a second massive oil deal, an agreement on the delivery of Russian natural gas to China via the western route, securing the world’s top energy user a major source of cleaner fuel.

Russian President Putin has said Russia-China ties are key to maintaining stability in the world.

“Cooperation between Russia and China is extremely important for keeping the world in line with the international law, making it [the world] more stable,” Putin said during his meet with Xi.

Russia-China trade turnover went up by 1.3 per cent in 2013. In the first nine months of this year it has increased by 7 per cent as Russia increases it economic engagement with China while battling Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis.

 

TBP

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