Beyond the grandstanding on the 70th anniversary of the China-Russia diplomatic ties, profoundly critical was the joint resolve during the Xi-Putin summit in Moscow to buttress the comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination.

The goalposts are reassuring enough ~ global peace, stability and prosperity. Much will hinge on how the two nations pursue the agenda, however. Mr Xi’s China can be repressive, while Mr Putin’s Russia is decidedly expansionist. In 2019, geostrategies can scarcely be taken for granted.

Suffice it to register that the ideological disconnect between Moscow and Bejing, that was once referred to as the “new Cold War” and had split the Communist Party of India (1964), has ceased to be a factor. This is not wholly unrelated to the gradual burial of ideology in the Communist world as both countries boast chic consumerism. This is of the essence in matters geopolitical.

There is little doubt that bilateral relations have attained a “major-country relationship” featuring what President Xi described as the “highest degree of mutual trust, the highest level of coordination and the highest strategic value”. Yet indubitable must be the reality, specifically the complicated international circumstances, particularly in the face of “some illicit moves” to curb the development of emerging economies.

Both leaders have acknowledged the imperative to forge a stronger comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination between China and Russia in order to maintain the interests of the two countries and their peoples. Beyond the rhetorical flourish that punctuated the presentations must lie the very obvious imperative ~ China and Russia must walk the talk as a follow-through. Notably, President Xi has underlined the economic factor in course of the summit.

Markedly, he called on the two countries to strengthen their cooperation within the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, BRICS, the Group of 20 and on other multilateral entities in an attempt to offer increased “China- Russia options” to the comity of nations. The stress on economic ties can be contextualised with the agreement that President Xi and President Putin have concluded.

Particulartly significant is the fact that both leaders have declared a “new era for bilateral ties”. President Xi was suitably forthright in his reference to Donald Trump, albeit without naming the US President ~ “Currently, some individual country, regardless of the consequence, has blatantly violated the international law and the basic norms of international relations, bullied others with sanctions recklessly, and suppressed firms of other countries.

This has hindered global economic growth and impaired the growth of global trade.” Coinciding with the talks at the high table has been the agreement signed by China’s Huawei with the Russian telecom company, MTS. Considered a security threat in the US, the company will develop a 5G network in the country next year.