Today’s one of the main topics of discussion is economic cooperation between Russia and China. What do we need in order not to become “a raw materials appendage”? Definitely we have to create our own innovative base, because nowadays only the cleverest survives.

The situation is being commented by the chairman of Expert Council on the Development of Relations with the Countries of East., the specialist of Institute of Strategic Assessment and Analysis and assistant professor at the Higher School of Economics National Research University (HSE) Sergey Demidenko.

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In the above context, we have a task – we need to turn to the East. We started an active partnership with China in a field of trading hydrocarbon, because China will become one of the most important partners. But who are we for China? And where does Beijing turn round?

At the end of 2013 in Institute of Oriental Studies, RAS the science conference was passed. The theme of the conference was “China, Chinese civilization and the world. The history, the present and the perspective”. At this event attention was paid to China’s foreign economic strategy. They noticed that the level of development of Chinese and Russian economics in the most import field – innovative field – is incommensurable. In 2011 China took 8th place (Russia took 12th) among countries of “Big Twenty”. As I see the situation, the difference is not large. However Beijing always increases investments in innovative fields, improves working conditions for private businesses in this area. According to expert estimates of the Institute of Oriental Studies, RAS, in 20-30 years the proportion of China's own innovative products will reach 30-40% (now it’s 20%).

China moves forward its own currency on the world financial markets. Internationalization of the yuan started in 2009. In less than six years China went from the settlement in yuans in cross-border trade to the signing of agreements on a currency swap scheme with more than twenty countries around the world (London and Hong Kong are the largest offshore markets of yuan). The BRICS Bank of development , which is being created now, will make the yuan into a world reserve currency.

And finally the export of Chinese capital abroad is increasing now by leaps and bounds. According to Institute’s of Oriental Studies evaluation the investment has increased more than 30 times. 22 thousand companies with Chinese capital were created abroad in 179 countries. The main objects for investment are the government companies (90% of aggregate investment). Forbes put the China in the third position after USA and Japan in rating list of the countries with the most powerful transnational corporations (China is behind USA in 4 times and Japan in 2 times). China has a ambitious plans to conquer world auto market. It wants to develop transport on the alternative source of energy and has developed real strategies of the acquisition of controlling stakes in American companies - “hybrids” producers.

China is succeeding in the fields which are a priority for the Russian economy (innovations, making Moscow the world financial centre, aspiration to become an international car assembly workshop, etc.). While we are creating our own strategies, China is developing its own economy, education and is moving forward (in the political way, too).

And now we get back to our question – who are we for China? Partner or one more resource of getting hydrocarbon materials, like Kazakhstan, Turkmenia or Iran? And this Russia must solve! It is obvious that while we were turning around to fresh eastern wind, China started a slow turn to a sunset! And if Moscow doesn’t hurry up, we won’t see the Chinese face again. And the back is the same both for all – for Moscow, for Astana and for Ashkhabad. In other words, China doesn’t notice the difference between us. And why should China need to see the difference? They are all the same metropolitans. But if you have something interesting, what you can offer, Beijing is ready to help to render any assistance.

Today Russia can’t become a partner to China without technologies, a developed financial market and good education. We can’t do it only on trading oil and gas in spite of the fact that we have been doing it for 30 years. We shouldn't hope that China will become a devoted friend in a such future economic scenario.

We are going out on a new market. And, as you know, first impressions are most lasting!