Drache und Bär

Zweite Flitterwochen fangen den Reiz einer verlorenen Liebe selten wieder ein, wenn überhaupt. Trotzdem sind Russland und China seit dem Zusammenbruch der Sowjetunion 1991 bestrebt, die engen Beziehungen, die angeblich einst vor der Brandmarkung Stalins durch Chruschtschow 1956 zwischen Russland und dem China Maos bestanden, neu aufleben zu lassen. Doch hatte diese neuerliche chinesisch-russische Verbindung immer eher den Geschmack einer Vernunftehe – mit dem Ziel, die amerikanische Hegemonie im Zaum zu halten – als einer echten Romanze. Mit dem russischen Einmarsch in Georgien hat sich nun selbst der Anschein gegenseitiger Anziehungskraft zerschlagen.

Im Jahre 1969 schossen die chinesische und die russische Armee über die umstrittene Grenze hinweg aufeinander. Jüngst nun unterzeichneten beide Länder einen Vertrag, der ihre langen Grenzstreitigkeiten beizulegen schien. Die Übereinkunft war eine Art Nachtrag zum Besuch von Dmitri Medwedew in Peking; dieser hatte nach seiner Wahl zum russischen Präsidenten China zum Ziel eines seiner ersten offiziellen Staatsbesuche gemacht.

Während der Präsidentschaft Wladimir Putins hatten chinesische und russische Truppen gemeinsame Militärmanöver unternommen, und beide Länder entwickelten sich zu führenden Mächten innerhalb der Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), die sich in den Augen einiger westlicher Beobachter wie ein Bemühen ausnahm, ein Gegengewicht zur NATO zu schaffen. Es gab zudem einen Kulturaustausch – mit „russischen Jahren“ in China und „chinesischen Jahren“ in Russland –, der beweisen sollte, dass beide Länder nicht allein durch geopolitischen Pragmatismus, sondern auch durch echte kulturelle und historische Verbindungen aneinander geknüpft seien.

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