Sino/Russia Alliance: Counterweight to US Imperial Aims
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
China's Xi Jinping earlier said his nation and Russia regard each other as their "most trustworthy strategic partners."
United they're a formidable counterweight to US imperial aims. China is an economic powerhouse, the world's second largest economy, heading for number one status eventually based, its growth rate far exceeding the US pace.
Russia's hypersonic and other super-weapons are more technologically advanced than any in the West, developed at a small fraction of the cost, giving US hardliners pause about attacking its heartland and strategic sites.
Russia is rich in what China needs most, namely plentiful oil and gas, technological expertise, agricultural products, and sophisticated weapons, the world's most advanced super-ones.
Both nations are super-powers on the world stage, together a powerful deterrent to US aggressive aims, a force for world peace and stability, multi-world polarity, and economic development.
Xi's visit to Moscow marked the 70th anniversary of bilateral relations, nearly the 30th time he and Putin met face-to-face.
China is Russia's largest trade partner. Bilateral trade in 2018 exceeded $107 billion compared to $84 billion in 2017 and $69.5 billion in 2016 — both nations increasingly reliant on the other, a deepening economic, financial, trade and military relationship.
Following Wednesday talks with Xi, Putin said he and his Chinese counterpart discussed "pressing global topics in detail," adding: "We confirmed that Russia's and China's stances on key global issues are similar or coincide."
The bilateral strategic partnership "reached a very high level…without any exaggeration, an unprecedentedly high level."
Both leaders "intend to develop the practice of settlements in national currencies" — increasingly bypassing dollar transactions.
Agreements were signed to expand use of the yuan and ruble in bilateral financial transactions. Putin and Xi will participate in the June 6 - 8 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) — business and political officials from numerous countries attending.
Tass indicated that "(o)ver 500 agreements worth a total of 800 billion roubles are expected to be signed at the" forum, based on a preliminary estimate.
According to Putin investment advisor Anton Kobyakov, "agreements to be signed…are aimed to attract investments for regional projects, developing relations between regions, mutually beneficial cooperation between business and authorities in the regions of the Russian Federation."
Despite US and EU sanctions on Russia, its 2018 economic growth reached a six-year high, expanding 2.3% year-over-year, exceeding earlier estimates.
According to Russia's Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, the Kremlin aims to become one of the world's five largest economies, growing faster than the global average, especially in the export sector.
Xi said bilateral "relations are entering a new era based on strong mutual trust and strategic mutual support…and serve as a reliable guarantor of peace and stability on the planet," adding:
"Our relations serve as a model for the formation of international relations of a new type and a community of humanity's single destiny…We should carefully preserve the mutual trust established between us."
US sanctions and tariffs war deepened Sino/Russian relations. According to Chinese Academy of Science analyst Sun Zhangzhi, "(t)he trade war between (both countries) will have a detrimental effect on the global economy. It will affect both China and Russia's economic development," adding:
"(A)t the same time, it has provided certain opportunities for the development of economic cooperation between" both countries, especially in the energy and agricultural sectors.
Sino/Russian ties deepened in response to hostile US actions, increasing bilateral trade, diversifying suppliers away from the US.
China is the world's largest buyer of soybeans. It reportedly suspended US imports in response to the Trump regime's trade war. The price of a bushel of soybeans plummeted from $10.50 earlier to $8.65 currently.
Beijing also reportedly cut imports of US liquified natural gas (LNG), buying it from Russia and other sources instead.
According to Refinitiv Eikon shipping data, no shipments of US LNG went to China in March and April, only two shipments since January, a significant drop in US exports to the country — compared to 14 shipments in the same year-ago period.
On the sidelines of Xi's Wednesday meeting with Putin, China's tech giant Huawei signed a deal to develop Russia's 5G network over the next year.
Xi considers Putin "a best friend." Putin called China Russia's "most important economic partner." Both nations are increasingly reliant on each other.
According to Chinese US specialist Shi Yinhong, "(t)here is a major strategic need to strengthen the ties between Russia and China…and China will continue to team up with Russia against the US on international issues."
Hostile US actions against both countries brought them much closer together, a positive development.
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