The growing ties between Russia and China will ultimately benefit Moscow — this is what a majority of Russians believe, according to a survey.
India and Russia are traditional military partners but the New Delhi-Beijing relations hit a low point in the wake of the 2020 border clash.
At a time when Beijing has come under scrutiny from the rest of the world over its human rights record, geopolitical assertiveness, and handling of the Coronavirus pandemic, many Russians still look towards the Asian country favorably, the survey shows.
The survey was jointly conducted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, a US think tank, and Levada Center, a Moscow-based independent, non-governmental polling and sociological research organization.
According to the survey, around 74 percent of Russians viewed Beijing as a favorable nation for the country. Besides, around 40 percent of the Russians surveyed named China as Russia’s closest friend.
On the other hand, only 45 percent had positive views about the European Union, and only 39 percent of the Russians have positive opinions about the US.
The survey, which was carried out in two parts — in August 2020 and January-February 2021 — had around 1,600 responses each.
The results of the survey were released last weekend, at a time when Russia and China are displaying close cooperation.
China had announced on Thursday (March 18) that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will be meeting his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Beijing next Monday.
Many Western analysts have voiced their concern that Russia could end up becoming a junior partner to China with the deepening of ties between the two nations.
However, the majority of Russians think quite the opposite as the survey has shown. Around 55% of the Russians surveyed were of the opinion that close cooperation with China will boost Russia’s international standing.
Only a mere 9 percent felt that the growing ties with China will have an adverse impact on Moscow.
In addition, around 28 percent of the Russians felt that the growing cooperation with Beijing will make Moscow more dependent on the communist nation.