A day after U.S. President-elect Donald Trump named Rex Tillerson, chief executive of ExxonMobil as well as an old friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, as his Secretary of State, Chinese media said this nomination would not harm Beijing-Moscow ties, as is being feared.
"If Tillerson is approved by the Senate, the U.S.-Russia relationship is poised for improvement. There have always been concerns in the Chinese public opinion field that an improved U.S.-Russia relationship may harm Beijing-Moscow ties. Such a worry is not ridiculous, but not professional either," said the Global Times in an article.
Improvements in U.S.-Russian ties mean a decrease of tension between the two sides. Therefore, it is highly likely that top leaders from both countries will once again shake hands with each other with a smile and turn reprehensive diplomatic language into compliments on certain occasions to reduce the chances of provoking one another, it read.
The article said that even if there are a certain degree of improvements between the United States and Russia, the Sino-Russian comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination will not be impacted, as Russia will never sell its independent diplomacy.
"There are no border disputes or ideological divergences between Beijing and Moscow. Even in Russia's hardest days, China never changed its respect for this neighbour and Putin. The bilateral ties have withstood the test of time," it said.
It added however, that genuine progress between the U.S. and Russia requires breakthroughs in major contradictions between the two, including on the Ukraine issue, the security threats Moscow faces due to NATO's military build-up in Eastern Europe and the Syria conundrum.
It also pointed that if Trump gives in comprehensively, U.S. allies in Western and Eastern Europe will be furious and will feel betrayed by Washington.