Staunton, Mar. 24 – Few in Russia are more attentive to what Moscow is doing with China than are the people who live east of the Urals and especially along the Russian-Chinese border. Many hopee for benefits from the just-concluded Putin-Xi summit but even more are skeptical that the relationship will work out as Moscow claims.
Correspondents of the SibReal portal have interviewed people in the region, and their reactions suggest that far from all of the residents of Russia east of the Urals are entirely happy about what the two leaders may have agreed to and what this will mean (sibreal.org/a/chto-zhiteli-sibiri-i-dalnego-vostoka-dumayut-ob-otnosheniyah-rossii-i-kitaya/32332554.html).
Among the most striking are the following:
· “I wouldn’t call this friendship. Instead, you know, this is a vassal relationship as was the case in the Middle Ages. The powerful Xi comes and informs Putin that the latter is a vassal who will be fulfilling the requirements of his superior. I don’t see any equal relations here.”
· ‘China is true only to China … and we are friend with China until China realizes that Russia is of no interest to it. That will be the end: there is no friendship.”
· “Russia hasn’t gotten anything from cooperation with China. China doesn’t recognize Crimea [as Russian] and refuses to sell us copters while selling them to China … China gets profits from us but Russia gets only promises about some possible friendship.”
· “Russia doesn’t get anything from China in general … I think China as a result will extract more from us than we will get from China.”
· “It is obvious that China will get natural resources from Russia, including cheap electricity from hydro plans which are destroying out great rivers … And what will we get from them? Well, some consumer goods, to be sure and spare parts. And then the Chinese who will come and find a place inside Russia and quietly occupy us without a war.”
Window on Eurasia — New Series