Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Russia’s Far East develops positive view of China

By China Watcher

The US political plan to use Russia to assist in its strategy to contain a resurgent China in the next 10 years has moved further down a few notches. Generally there is a rising anti-Americanism in Russia.

Russians are evidently sympathetic to its current President Vladimir Putin. His United Russia party took a landslide 64 percent of the parliamentary vote with a 63 percent turnout, an election his party would have won easily even without repressing his opponents, judging by the results of the polls. He has attracted a devoted, nationalistic following among students—Kremlin-linked youth groups supervised the December voting to prevent a feared U.S.-funded revolution.

Extracted from a social studies conducted in August 2007, the results revealed that 21 percent of respondents assume that Russia will be on best terms with China within the next 10 to 15 years, a very positive development indeed among its people.

Another separate poll released in September 2007 asked Russians about their opinion of employing Chinese nationals in Russian companies. Russians in the far east were more positive about this reality than their counterparts in western Russia, an area farther removed from China.

Russians are inclined to think that using the labor of Chinese hired workers may lead to: an increase in the level of unemployment for the local population (as 58% of respondents identify, 26% do not agree with them), worsening in the criminogenic situation (as 50% of respondents consider versus 29% who have a different point of view). As for the assertion that using the labor of Chinese workers makes up for the scarcity of work force in Russia, respondents’ opinions on this point were not unanimous (40% support this point of view, 38% do not). Respondents would rather not agree with the statement that hiring Chinese workers raises productivity of labor at Russian enterprises (28% agree with this opinion, whereas 46% oppose it).

Residents of the Far Eastern Federal District, who encounter Chinese hired workers more frequently in their every day life than other Russians do, treat them, as a rule, more positively than the rest of the respondents. They also are inclined to think that the use of Chinese workers’ labor leads to an increase in the unemployment rate among the local population (63% versus 31%), however, they also mention that this helps to make up for the scarcity of work force in Russia (52% versus 35%), as well as to increase productivity of labor (43% versus 33%). Furthermore, the residents of the Far East, as opposed to respondents from other regions of Russia, are not inclined to associate Chinese hired workers with the worsening in the criminogenic situation (33% assume that the presence of these workers leads to an increase in crime, however, 50% think that it does not).

The development of strategic partnership between the Chinese and Russian government and the strengthening of genuine people to people relationship will certainly be positive news to the two countries and bad news for Uncle Sam. This is a step in the right direction to promote a multi-polar new world order rather the one we are seeing today.

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