Geopolitics

Why A Chinese-Russian Trade Agreement Was Dead On Arrival

The often-tense relationship between Beijing and Moscow has not been helped by a 2009 regional trade pact. Expectations on both sides have never been met, as the dispute came to a head at a recent economic forum in Siberia. One problem: China would rather

Russian Pavillion at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo (KimonBerlin).
Russian Pavillion at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo (KimonBerlin).

Worldcrunch NEWSBITES

IRKUTSK - Russian and Chinese officials appear on the verge of scrapping a regional trade agreement that was once hailed as a boon to both commerce and good neighborly relations.

The agreement, signed in 2009, was supposed to attract Chinese investment to eastern Russia, and was meant as a model for Russia's increased cooperation with its East Asian neighbors. But the pact, which had not been living up to expectations, may now be rescinded after a dispute erupted at an economic forum that ended Tuesday in the Siberian city of Irkutsk.

While acknowledging that some of its own slated projects had been poorly planned, Russian leaders complained that China was not committed to economically investing in its western neighbor. Russian officials claimed that China commits eight times less investment in Russia than in Africa. Chinese officials responded by saying that the investment climate was simply better in China than Russia.

The two countries apparently signed on to the agreement with very different expectations. The Russians hoped to develop a high-tech industry in the eastern reaches of their country, with help from Chinese investment; while the Chinese see their cooperation with Russia as an opportunity to extract raw materials for their transportation industry.

The two sides traded insults during the meeting in Irkutsk, each one blaming the other for unfulfilled promises. Regardless of who's to blame, the regional partnership is clearly not working for either county, and will likely be a point of discussion during Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's visit next month to Shanghai.

Read the original article in full in Russian by Alexander Gabuev

Photo - KimonBerlin

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in
Keep up with the world. Break out of the bubble.
Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Geopolitics

Greater Russia? Four Scenarios For Putin’s Expansionist Ambitions

A mind map of the Russian leader’s possible plans to increase his influence, and expand his territory.

Vladimir Putin at the military parade in Russia

Kremlin.ru
Anna Akage

Vladimir Putin has always had his eye on the neighborhood.

In Georgia, the border with Russia has effectively been controlled by Moscow’s FSB security services since 2008. Washington this week accused Russian agents of recruiting pro-Kremlin Ukrainian operatives to take over the government in Kyiv and cooperate with a Russian occupying force. Meanwhile, all of Belarus has been on a short leash for two decades.

Keep reading... Show less
Keep up with the world. Break out of the bubble.
Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS
MOST READ