Certain Aspects of Improving Russian-Chinese Strategic Partnership

Author: Vladimir PORTYAKOV

The disintegration of the USSR and the formation of the Russian Federation as an independent state have been the starting point of shaping and developing the present-day Russian-Chinese relations. This process has been going on for fifteen years according to its own logic and is largely determined by the modern national-state interests of Russia and China, as well as their place in the international division of labour and their geopolitical position. At the same time many important specific features of the modern Russian-Chinese relations can be adequately understood only in the context of the preceding intensive interaction of the two countries, whose history goes back about four hundred years.

Although in the almost 400-year experience of the interethnic contacts of Russia and China there has been everything, both good and bad, still, according to the view of one of the leading Russian experts on China, M.L. Titarenko, a member of RAS, "these relations were dominated by good-neighbourliness, mutual influence and mutual cultural enrichment."1

Despite all complex developments in the relations between Qing China and tsarist Russia, as the Russian expert on China A.D. Voskresensky maintains, "for almost three hundred years peace reigned supreme: Russia and China had never been at formally declared war, and they always succeeded in restoring stable equilibrium through diplomatic negotiations".2 It was during that period that the Russian-Chinese border was established, which exists to this day, with certain corrections.3 The opening of the Russian Religious Mission in Beijing in 1715, which existed up to 1954, laid the foundation for contacts between the two countries and the deeper mutual knowledge of their people's culture and religions.4

The dramatic world collisions of the first half of the 20th century predetermined a quite complex and multifaceted character of the Russo-Chinese interaction during the 1911 - 1949 period. Perhaps, new research conducted on the basis of previously inaccessible archives materials5 will make it ...

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