採訪/常春 編輯/陳潔 後製/陳建銘
Sochi: China and Japan Compete to Win Support of Russia
The Sochi Winter Olympics is the first Olympic Games
that Russia has hosted since the demise of Soviet Union.
With major Western leaders absent, Chinese leader
Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
became the main support to Russia President Putin.
Diplomatic wrangling during this Winter Olympics
has become the focus outside of the sports arena.
On the noon of February 6, Xi Jinping arrived in Sochi.
This marks the first major international sports event
that the Communist regime leader has ever attended.
Xi Jinping met President Putin, and called Russia
a “good neighbor, good partner, and good friend.”
Li Ziguo, Deputy Director, Department for European-Central
Asian Studies, China Institute of International Studies:
“Xi Jinping has equated his visit to Russia for the Olympics
to that of congratulating a neighbor on a happy occasion.
In fact, China and Russia are strategic partners.
The visit to Sochi is definitely more
than one of friendships and Games.”
Arthur Ding, Director, Institute of International Relations,
National Chengchi University: “Even though US-China
relations are improving, they’re still in a state of competition.
With a US-Japan security alliance,
China still has doubt about the US.
China is hoping to balance its relationship with
the United States and the US-Japan alliance.
It seeks to do this through close contact with Russia.”
Japanese PM Shinzo Abe also visited Putin on February 7.
With the absence of U.S. President Barack Obama,
British PM David Cameron, French President Hollande
and German President Gauck, Abe became the main
national leader supporting Putin’s Winter Olympics.
Arthur Ding: “After the Cold War, the West had hoped for
Russia to undergo big changes, and become more open.
However, Putin’s approach has been
evidently to deviate from the West.
Many compared this Olympic Games
to the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
Even media have produced considerable
negative coverage of the Sochi Olympics.”
To welcome Abe, Putin brought his Akita Inu,
a pet gift from PM Shinzo Abe two years ago.
Putin praised the improvement in Russia and Japan relations.
Abe commented that Japan’s missile
defenses are not aimed against Russia.
It is understood that Abe will see Putin again at a summit
of the Group of Eight industrial powers in Sochi on June 4.
Putin will also pay an official visit to Japan later this year.
Both China and Japan are competing for
Putin’s support, but what role is Russia playing?
Zhao Quansheng, Director, Center for Asian
Studies, American University, Washington DC
commented on this issue to Voice of America.
Xi Jinping’s first official visit to Russia as a leader shows
the CCP’s desire to strengthen relationships with Russia.
Additionally, Abe also hopes to breakthrough on
the issue of the islands northeast of Hokkaido.
Zhao Quansheng further indicated that Russia,
a diplomatic veteran, is certainly hoping to grasp
opportunities to maximize interests for the country.
Arthur Ding: “Putin received high levels of boycotting
by major Western leaders during this Winter Olympics.
Putin certainly felt comforted by Xi Jinping’s visit.
However, does that mean Russia will sell the
Su-35 jet fighter to China? That’s a different matter.”
On a visit to Tokyo, Russian Deputy Foreign
Minister Igor Morgulov discussed signing
of a peace treaty between Russia and Japan.
Accordingly, this is an implementation
of agreements reached by the two sides.
This is to further develop
Li Ziguo: “There is a mutual demand between
Russia and Japan for this cooperation.
However, once a territory issue is involved,
the cooperation is harder to proceed with.
This has been obvious during the past few decades.”
However, considering the threat from China, Russian
media, and many political analysts, have reportedly
said that both Russia and Japan can bypass the
issue of territory, to develop relevant cooperation.
Russian officials have said publicly that a China
Town will never be allowed to appear in Russia.
In contrast, after Japan’s Fukushima nuclear accident,
some Russian politicians even welcomed Japanese
immigrants to settle in the Far East region and Siberia.
Some economic analysts also said that in terms of energy
co-operation, Russia’s big companies are more willing to
attract Japanese investment, and joint ventures with Japan.
Interview/ChangChun Edit/ChenJie Post-Production/Chen Jianming