The Russian Factor in U.S.—China Relations



Who has not taken the time to calculate one’s sign according to the Chinese zodiac? While waiting for a meal at a Chinese restaurant, there is perhaps no better way to pass the time and partake of Chinese culture at the same time. Although we have probably all done this, and are familiar with many of the signs such as dog, pig, and horse, most would be surprised to learn that there is also “the year of Russia” in China. During 2006, each month was filled with Russian cultural events throughout China, including ice sculptures, traveling ballet troupes, and photo exhibits. The leading Russian news service, RIA-Novosti, even used the occasion to launch a Chinese-language Web site. Several academic and business conferences aimed at improving mutual understanding and promoting trade were also held. Of course, there were also high-level diplomatic meetings about strengthening mutual aid and collaboration.1 The event proved so popular among many that some did not want it to end. Russia is now reciprocating, with the year 2007 being marked as the “year of China” in Russia.2 The promotion of this event was taken so seriously in Russia that its organizing committee was chaired by then-First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Putin’s close confidant who shortly thereafter succeeded him as president.


Foreign Policy Bilateral Relation North Atlantic Treaty Organization Chinese Migration Shanghai Cooperation Organization 
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© Suisheng Zhao 2008

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