China ignoring Russia in its economic rivalry with West, Canadian expert says

8 April, 07:22 PM
Chinese President Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron in Guangzhou, April 7, 2023 (Photo:Jacques Witt/Pool via REUTERS)

Chinese President Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron in Guangzhou, April 7, 2023 (Photo:Jacques Witt/Pool via REUTERS)

While Russia is discrediting itself as a superpower, China is focusing on beneficial new relations in the Middle East and Central Asia, Diane Francis, editor of Canada’s National Post and Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, argued in her April 7 op-ed.

This is turning into one of the world's two centers of power, competing with a united West.

Chinese President Xi Jinping invited the leaders of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan to discuss investments and the expansion of road, rail, and pipeline projects that link China to Europe, bypassing Russia, she said.

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The summit, dubbed C+C5, will take place in May.

These five Central Asian countries have been Russia's vassals for decades, Francis notes.

"The reorientation of China's foreign policy is transformative: it further distances Beijing from Putin's 'borderless' partnership and significantly expands the range of soft power," she wrote.

"The goal is to secure trade and exploit resource opportunities in Central Asia and the Middle East. By pursuing such a policy, China is increasing its influence and elevating its status as the world's second-largest economic power,” she said.

“The new world order is now the G2, or the hegemony of the West against the hegemony of China."

Due to Russia's shameful war in Ukraine, the land trade corridor from China to Europe will shift to going exclusively through Central Asia and the Middle East, so dictator Vladimir Putin has essentially "cut Russia off from the global economy."

The G7 has practically adopted Xi Jinping's strategy, announcing its version of China's One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative called the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII), Francis says. The West plans to raise $600 million to implement projects in developing countries over five years.

"I hope that the deployment of a new diplomatic duality will be about trade and prosperity, not imperialism," she said.

“And I also hope that Russia's fangs will be pulled out forever.”

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