Pandas and Sanctions: Diplomacy vs Extortion China’s “Panda Diplomacy” Better Received than West’s “Mafia Threats”

Andre Vltchek

While the United States has been intimidating dozens of countries all over the world, two cuddly Chinese giant pandas – a three-year-old male called Ru Yi, and a female one year younger, named Ding Ding – were settling down in their new home, inside the legendary Moscow Zoo.

Chewing bamboo shoots, and obviously enjoying the unprecedented attention, two specimens of iconic Chinese bears, were ‘just there’, in a good mood, making the entire world around them kinder and more secure.

As was reported by the RT:

Following the official talks at the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping went to the Moscow Zoo to meet the two giant pandas that have been handed to Russia by China as a “sign of respect and trust.”

“When we talk about pandas, a smile appears on our faces,” Putin told the journalists during a press-conference…”

While the pandas are well taken care of, two great countries – China and Russia – are now standing next to each other, united, and cooperating on countless fronts.

Both states and their leaders seem to come to many similar conclusions, identifying analogous goals: from scientific research that will bring benefits to our entire planet, to “ecological civilization” and the protection of the environment, from the energy sector, to the effective and wise extraction of commodities. From defense against the increasingly aggressive West, to meaningful cultural and educational programs and exchanges.

There seems to be no field in which the two nations could not compliment and cooperate with each other, finding great ways forward, for the benefit of their citizens and the world: communication technology, media, airplane industry, automotive industry, but also huge global projects like the Chinese BRI (Belt and Road Initiative) and Russian “Arctic road”.

Both enormous countries – the most populous nation on Earth (China), and geographically the biggest one (Russia) – are constantly coming up with brilliant innovations that could improve, or even save, life on our planet – from organic farming to zero-emission vehicles, ecological high-speed trains and new types of cities designed and built for a healthy, meaningful and cultural life of the citizens.

Some projects are ‘profitable’, but others are created simply in order to improve the quality of life, “Business is not everything”, at least not in China and Russia.

The dollar is being ditched – China and Russia will be signing new contracts in their own currencies.


And what is the West doing?

Instead of building railroads, hospitals, schools and ecological farming, at home and in their present and former colonies, both North America and Europe are pushing entire countries against the wall: be they DPRK, Syria, Iran, Libya, Venezuela, Cuba or Nicaragua, to mention just a few.

Instead of joining great optimistic attempts to build a new and better world, the West is smearing and antagonizing both Russia and China.

Every year, more money is allocated for propaganda against ‘the enemies of the West’. Instead of creating and building, the West is spoiling all attempts to move our planet forward.

Entire religions as well as previously dormant ethnic conflicts are now being resurrected, funded and then used for one sole purpose: to destabilize two giant optimistic countries and their allies.

Yet, while ready to defend themselves if directly attacked, both Russia and China are using diplomacy, for as long as it is possible. The insanity of Western provocations is met with cool heads and admirable rationality.

At the same time, both Beijing and Moscow are increasingly determined to defend their allies, against direct attacks and ‘regime change’ lunacy. Syria, Venezuela and DPRK were high on the agenda, during the encounter of Presidents Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin. It is clear that the good friends of China and Russia will not be allowed to fall.


Despite long centuries of looting, the West is in irreversible decay. It is because its political, imperialist and economic system is obsolete, selfish and thoroughly depressing. It does not inspire people to work, to create, to sacrifice for the greater good, to invent and build a better world.

Western rulers are aware of this. Unwilling to change the regime, which serves the ‘elites’ in Europe and North America so well, they are spending huge resources on trying to ‘deter’ Russia, China and their allies.They are trying to pervert the message. They are also digging dirt, wherever they can find it, bombarding the world with every tiny unsavory detail about both Russia and China.

Entire armies of propagandists, psychologists, ‘educators’ and ‘journalists’ are being deployed, for the one and only goal: to smear, discredit and belittle the enthusiastic and positive efforts being made by Moscow and Beijing. Or in brief: in order to guarantee that our planet will continue to be plundered and exploited, with only a tiny minority benefiting.

The better the societies being built by China and Russia are, the louder the screams of those who are paid by the Western regime to uphold the repellant status quo.


Both Presidents Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin are deeply concerned with the state of the world. It is obvious. Their governments are not being controlled by corporations – businesses have to obey the Communist Party of China, and the government of Russia.

“Democracy” is not when people can stick pieces of paper into big boxes, choosing between various political parties, if all of them are representing the same sclerotic system controlled by the elites and their lackeys. Democracy is the “rule of people”, a system when countries are being built for the good of the citizens.

Chinese pandas are a powerful symbol; a promise of a kind and caring society. They are a symbol of a world built on emotions and decency, not on constant attempts to accumulate profit, to cheat, loot and murder.

Pandas are known to sit on their backsides, leisurely chewing bamboo shoots. They radiate a good mood, safety and kindheartedness.

And Pandas are what the Chinese government awards its friends with.

The presidents of China and Russia went together to the Opera House. And to the zoo. And they discussed the future; new roads, ecology and great future scientific achievements.

I like this kind of world. I like it very much. Don’t you?

Enough of the bombing, and raping of entire nations and continents. Enough of “I will break your legs if you disobey”.

I think most people on this planet want organic farming, an ecological civilization, exciting cities, fast trains, beautiful theatres and yes, gentle and good-natured bears.

First published by NEO – New Eastern Outlook


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Jun 22, 2019 3:04 AM

I love Vltchek articles, they are well and vividly written, but reading them, I always have the feeling that Vltchek is a great idealist.
He sees things a little better than they really are, including on Russia and China. And btw, saying “a little better”, I greatly underestimate.

For example, this quote:

Some projects are ‘profitable’, but others are created simply in order to improve the quality of life, “Business is not everything”, at least not in China and Russia.

I will not talk about China. To talk about China and not be unfounded, you need to live there and see everything from the inside. Or at least very seriously and for a long time to study the internal situation in this ancient and beautiful country.

I will say about Russia, because I live here.
Definitely, Russian entrepreneurs would be very surprised if someone told them that for them “Business is not everything”.

Unfortunately, the ugliest forms of capitalism are not only not eradicated in Russia, but they flourish successfully. It used to be called “wild capitalism”. It was in Russia in the 90s, and it would be very naive to say that it is completely obsolete in Russia now. Rather the opposite.

It may be unpleasant to give this example, but I have to do it. The infamous fire in the ‘Winter Cherry’ Shopping Center in March 2018. Then 60 people died, mostly children. The tragedy happened because of the fact that for the owners of the shopping center the main thing was to make a profit, but not the safety of visitors. This is just one example. I can remember many more such examples. It all happens, it has not disappeared anywhere.

Another glaring example is the mass destruction of forest plantations in Russia. Given that the forests of Russia is one of the few places on the planet that are the “lungs of the Earth”. Recently, I have met a large number of reports on this topic in Russia. Entrepreneurs do not care about forests, they cut down hundreds of hectares without restoring the forest. By the way, much of this is sold to China, and the Chinese “curators” are directly involved in the chain of destruction of the forest in Russia. Businessmen do not care about the forest, the future of the country, the health of future generations etc. The main thing is profit. The situation in this industry has become so critical that not so long ago, the Chairman of the Federation Council of Russia, Valentna Matvienko, suggested introducing a moratorium on deforestation.

I’m not trying to paint Russia in black colors at all. Lots of great things going on here. In particular, I really love what occurs in the development of the Arctic. Finally, the state considered it necessary to pay serious attention to this unique and important territory of Russia. Those negative examples that I gave – of course the same thing happens in other countries too, Russia in this regard is not at all “unique”.

It’s just… when I see phrases like “…“Business is not everything”, at least not in China and Russia“, I can only smile bitterly and sigh depressedly.
Andre Vltchek is a great idealist. But maybe this is not bad at all. You know, sometimes we need good stories.

P.S. Pandas are awesome, no doubt!

Rhys Jaggar
Rhys Jaggar
Jun 19, 2019 12:16 PM

Mr Vltchek

You really must stop your uncritical eulogising.

Organic farming is absolutely NOT a Sino-Russian innovation. It is absolutely an innovation of the UK, started generations ago in the UK and India by folks like Sir Albert Howard. I am talking the 1930s and 1940s, not the 2000s…and the work of Lawrence Hills on organic uses of comfrey long predates any organised non-GM approaches of Russia.

Biodynamic farming started in Austria around the start of the 20th century and was taken forward by luminaries such as Maria Thun in Germany.

I am not stopping Rusia or China pursuing their paths, but you falsely assigning credit where it is not due makes you just as bad a journalist as the wastrels in the West appeasing Pompeo.

Russia made a commercial decision to eschew GM, seeing a sustainable niche in non GM agriculture. The decision was entirely pragmatic, not based on purity of philosophy. I happen to see that as agood thing, but Putin is not the second coming of Christ because he can evaluate market dynamics, you know.

Large amounts of Russian agriculture are just like large amounts of European agriculture: large farms, mechanized, using fertilisers and veterinary products.Most of Europe is anti-GM, nothing unique abiut Russia there. It is only the US that has pushed GM agriculture ruthlessly.

There is nothing wrong with being pro Sino-Russian diplomacy, but being a groupie is unbecoming to a more elder statesman……

Jun 19, 2019 11:26 PM
Reply to  Rhys Jaggar

Adolf Hitler was a big fan of organic farming, animal welfare and the welfare state.
So we should probably condemn all of them immediately. Plus anyone who grows a moustache. Always a bad sign.

Jun 19, 2019 6:46 AM

We have two pandas in Adelaide, South Australia, but it hasn’t helped much. Our government switched to China bashing when the known China hater John Garnaut was hired by the government. We will pay a heavy price and the pandas – well I hope they will help one day.

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum
Jun 19, 2019 12:36 AM

Those at the pinnacle of the pecking order will give up a millimetre their positions, prestige and power?
The nightmare cometh.

Tristram Land
Tristram Land
Jun 18, 2019 10:01 PM

Pandas are an evolutionary dead end.Bad choice of mascot for an otherwise very perceptive geopolitical viewpoint.

Jun 18, 2019 10:43 PM
Reply to  Tristram Land

Maybe we’re an evolutionary dead end too. Indeed – maybe we will being about the end of all evolution.

Jun 19, 2019 9:01 AM
Reply to  Tristram Land

Pandas are only an evolutionary dead-end when they’re all … dead.

There probably have never been very many pandas for most of the time the species has existed and current numbers of pandas (1,864 individuals in 2014) are an improvement on the numbers (about 1,000) in the 1970s.

Jun 19, 2019 9:19 AM
Reply to  Tristram Land

How to be an evolutionary success? Be delicious to humans – at least for the moment.

Jun 18, 2019 7:41 PM

Hear that? That’s the universalist ethic, human scale, appropriate technology, humanist, regenerative and sustainable culture ambulance coming for Andre …to take him to a sanitorium where he can dribble “global governance = ecological civilisation” in the corner …for as long as it takes the current hegemonic neoliberal globalisation economy to collapse. Which, with the number of Black Swans appearing – shouldn’t be too long now.

I’ve tried to actually discuss the issues of globalisation, to no avail. It’s still a systemically fragile self-organised globalised economy. And Russia and China are still fully integrated in it: with no intention whatsoever of creating an alternative bloc or model. If anyone actually read anything VVP and Xi said – particularly the leaders speeches at the Plenary session at SPIEF – or read any of the joint declarations …they would know this for a fact. When Xi said: “China wants globalisation”; or “China supports economic globalisation” …it came straight from the horses mouth. And globalisation means neoliberalism: rhetorical ledgerdemain cannot escape the facts. The alternative to neoliberal globalisation is neoliberal globalisation.

I’m not going to keep posting facts that support this for downvotes. But it is crystal clear when VVP says he wants enhanced efficiency for the WTO, and Xi talks of global governance and SDG Agenda 2030 sustainable growth – the implications are clear. The SCO/EAEU/BRI/CPEC grand strategy of Eurasian Integration is the digitised financialised trade platform of Eastern technocracy rising. And Universal Humanism demising. The neoliberal ‘supercontinent’ is no longer an alternative globalisation model: it is THE globalisation model. Trump is the anti-globalist pariah now.

Yahay! So globalisation is good? No: the extractivist, expansionist, exploitative neoliberal globalisation and financialisation model is a collapse model. One that is life-blind and has threatened the planetary life-support systems and biospheric integrity a bit more since last time. For all the reasons I’ve ever said: primarily entropy. We still live in an entropic world: despite the common delusion that we do not. Delusion Vltchek/Escobar/Korybko feed with their crypto-capitalist, proto-globalist propaganda.

I’d rather have pandas than millionaires; Irrawaddy river dolphins than large scale hydro …because the two are mutually exclusive and incompatible. Technocratic financialisation and neoliberal globalisation; global governance under the WTO/UN/IMF/WB/WEF; SDG Agenda 2030 sustainable growth; and the SCO/EAEU/BRI/CPEC grand strategy are not an Ecological Civilisation …it is a capitalist marketing ploy for the technocratic corporatocracy …formerly known as the NWO. Check out what global governance really means; or ‘multi-stakeholder governance’; or corporate social responsibility; or the UN’s Global Compact.

The automatic downvote – without engaging – button is the one on the right. Alternatively, you could concoct the thesis “global governance is an Agenda 2030 sustainable growth ecological civilisation model”. I’m still really looking forward to reading that.

Jun 18, 2019 10:05 PM
Reply to  BigB

So sorry BigB the world’s not perfect.

Jun 19, 2019 8:26 AM
Reply to  Wazdo

I know: and it will be even less perfect with the de-territorialisation and open free trade zone for trans-national capital – under the corporate neoliberal global governance model of the ‘enhanced efficiency’ of the WTO/UN/IMF/WB/WEF. The SDG Agenda 2030 ‘4th Industrial Revolition’ (4IR) Eastern technocracy rising is a the same agenda being pushed as the Green New Deal, the UK’s ‘Climate Emergency’ and Climate Change Committee ‘climate economy’ proposals, Greta Thunberg (who’s parents just happen to be buddies with the next UN ‘World President’ – Christina Figueres), the XR Rebellion, Climate stikers, etc.

A sixteen year old girl sits outside the Swedish Parliament: a few months later every world leader – bar Trump, the global climate pariah – is an eco-socialist. Fronting a corporatist neoliberal agenda to ‘decarbonise’ which will actually increase green imperialism and planetary despoilation. A suprastate neoliberal agenda very few of the depoliticised world population can protest, have redress against, or vote down. A globalist agenda that is the exact opposite of the deglobalisation and relocalisation human development scale ethics that might actually mitigate the gross neoliberal Human Exploitation impact crises.

No, the world is not perfect. Under supranational TNC voluntarist ‘corporate social responsibility’ governance model, it is getting less perfect every day. There is little if nothing anyone can do. But the one thing I refuse to do is, following Andre’s deluded lead, is celebrate our collapse agenda. Perhaps the only humanist response left is to cry uncontrollably, and feel like dying from a broken heart. But that is an indulgence too, so …on y vas

Jun 18, 2019 10:29 PM
Reply to  BigB

I was at the recent Primakov Readings in Moscow. What I heard there convinced me that Russia and China both want globalization, a version of it they can control or influence well enough. Indeed, it seemed the outcast was the US.

Rhisiart Gwilym
Rhisiart Gwilym
Jun 18, 2019 6:05 PM

USukiznato as the Black Hats? Yes, self-evidently. Russia and China as the White Hats? Nice dream! I just hope Andre’s optimism is correct. Cynicism (together with historical literacy) suggests the right response is: Er – hope I’m wrong, but doubtful…

Jun 18, 2019 8:14 PM

Look at the record of China and Russia and compare it with America and its satellites like the UK, murder and mayhem, slaughter, starvation and immiseration for tens of millions.

Listen to the current manufactured hysteria about “Uighur concentration camps” and you can see how desperate they are.

Or the committee meeting in the House of Commons a few days ago where a Huawei employee was being barracked by a self righteous Tory snidey little turd and a self righteous Labour snidey little turd. “China is Nazi Germany”, “Huawei is like I G Farben that built the gas chambers”, etc etc. Two cheeks of the same arse.

Just WTF point is there in voting Labour??? Really???

Capricornia Man
Capricornia Man
Jun 19, 2019 1:34 AM
Reply to  mark

There’s no doubt that Blair and his ‘ism’ left the PLP stuffed with people who haven’t a Labour bone in their body.

So what are the options? Bail out entirely and, if so, what is the way forward? Or join the fight for internal democracy in the Labour Party. Such a fight IS underway, although perhaps a losing one.

Jun 19, 2019 3:16 AM

I can’t agree with people who take that approach. I understand it, because Jezza is one of the very few decent blokes in politics and people respect him. But Labour is a lost cause, and investing time, effort and energy in it is just a dead end. It leads nowhere.
It is worse than useless. It is a distraction and a diversion. It is as pointless and sad as people who put faith in Obama, or Trump. It’s sad to see people being shafted in that way.

It’s like someone who restores an old car that has been rusting in a garage for 50 years. 85% of it is rust and has to be completely replaced. What is the point? It’s a brand new car.

There may be about 30 MPs in the PLP who are not complete arseholes. At most. You’d have to take the other 200 out and shoot them to even make a start on turning it into something worthwhile. Labour is a lost cause. Some people convince themselves otherwise, but if you just look at it rationally for five minutes, I think you have to accept the truth of that.

What are the options? Form a new party, like UKIP, Brexit, or the short lived Chuka/ Berger outfit. Two of those are now a joke, though UKIP achieved its objectives, whatever you think of them. Brexit has come from nowhere to top the polls. You may disagree with all of them, but it shows what can be done. Politics have become increasingly turbulent and unstable. Support for the elite and the systems they represent, and for their lapdog media, is dwindling away rapidly. At times like this, things that were previously impossible become inevitable. Continuing to support Tweedledum and Tweedledummer just undermines the chances of anything worthwhile.

There are other options. Any of them are better bet than flogging a dead horse by putting hope in Labour. That just represents the triumph oof hope over experience.

different frank
different frank
Jun 19, 2019 1:07 PM
Reply to  mark

It helps when brexit is the choice of the establishment.
Farridge’s brexit non party was given so much promotion in the MSM.
Brexit is just a coup.

Capricornia Man
Capricornia Man
Jun 21, 2019 3:30 AM
Reply to  mark

If, indeed, UK Labour is a lost cause, you ought to see the Australian Labor Party (which I deserted decades ago). Every leader is more right-wing than the one before, including the one installed after the party’s recent federal election loss.

Off-topic, but you might be able to kindly assist me with a little information: is BBC reporter Rob Watson any relation to Deputy Labour leader Tom Watson or Margaret Hodge MP who, I understand, was a Watson in an earlier marriage?

Jun 22, 2019 6:01 PM

Not that I know of but could be. There are certainly a lot of cases of that kind which are constantly turning up. Like the Archbishop of Canterbury’s son working for Tony Blair.

Jun 18, 2019 4:03 PM


Merkel having some kind of seizure or neurological disorder facing the Nazi hordes in the ukraine region of Russia.

Amazing health crisis or emotional disturbance on display. This is a tectonic event in EU history

John A
John A
Jun 18, 2019 2:39 PM

While I agree with the sentiments of this article, saying the two giant pandas have been handed to Russia by China as a sign of respect and trust, is probably a stretch. China normally allows foreign countries have such pandas on a 15-year lease. That was definitely the case in the recent acquisition of a pair of pandas by Copenhagen Zoo.

idiot savant
idiot savant
Jun 18, 2019 2:57 PM
Reply to  John A

Whether they are “leased” or not is hardly relevant to the ethos forwarded by Mr Vitchek here. The patience and forbearance of Russia and China in the face of intemperate and infantile behaviour by those who refuse to face the demise of their hegemony, appears to be lost on many, inebriated by their arrogance and shackled by their selfishness.