Sino-Russian relations have never been as good as in recent weeks. The Chinese silence on the Ukrainian quarrel has played a good role in the diplomacy of the Kremlin.
In the background, the Beijing Olympics and Putin’s interview with the Chinese press in which he remembers how much the two countries have converging interests.
The conciliatory words of Xi Jinping during the meeting with the Russian leader and Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, which recalls how it is necessary for China and Russia to create new international payment rules.
Then the strategic analysts diverge and that might not be otherwise. On the pages of Internazionale Maxin Pei, Chinese people from America define the invasion of Ukraine as unlikely but possible, which would bring the destinies of China and Russia closer for a generation.
But then we have the great old Luttwak, who assures us that Russians and Chinese are companions for just one night, because nobody in Moscow trusts Beijing and the invasion is a lie.
In Moscow they know well that the fragmented and friable Europe is easier for the Russian administration to deal with than the Chinese monolith, because there is more room for maneuver.
An example for all is Gerhard Schröder, who became president of the consortium for the creation of Gazprom’s Nord Stream gas pipeline one morning after having been German chancellor until a few days earlier.
We note how Gazprom has opened new gas routes for China, but no one in Moscow prefers the yuan to the euro.
In the military academies and in the faculties of history in Russian universities, people remember the story of the Damansky island. In the Russian Far East, a river island less than a square kilometer in size on the border between Russia and China saw the conflict between the troops of the two countries.
The Chinese attacked by surprise and slaughtered the Russian border guards. The Russian reaction was massive and the island reclaimed, but the memory of those days remains vivid and there was an undeclared war for weeks.
Russia remains a bastion of Europe, proudly white and above all Christian, with mutilated democracy, but perhaps the only wholly Western country without being ashamed to say so.
The article was originally published on the Italian language site www.altriorienti.com