China and Russia confirm multi-year economic cooperation

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin have agreed to cooperate in various economic and trade fields.
  • Prominent on the list are increasing use of the “local” currency, according to Chinese state media.
  • The strengthening of Russia-China economic cooperation comes as the US and its allies have approved an unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin attend a reception following talks at the Kremlin in Moscow on March 21, 2023.

Pavel Byrkin | Afp | Good pictures

BEIJING – Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin have agreed to cooperate in various economic and trade fields, the two countries said on Wednesday.

Prominent on the list are increasing use of the “local” currency, according to Chinese state media. The Kremlin is very transparent The yuan and ruble already account for two-thirds of bilateral trade agreement payments.

Other areas covered in the agreement include: expanding bilateral trade, cooperation on energy and food security, and improving rail and other cross-border logistics infrastructure.

China is already Russia’s largest trading partner. Official statements from both sides While the plan focused on the years up to 2030, it released few details on numbers or an implementation timeline.

The strengthening of Russia-China economic cooperation comes as the US and its allies have approved an unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Beijing has called for peace talks but has refused to call it an invasion.

Xi traveled to Moscow this week on his first state visit since taking office for an unprecedented third term earlier this month – further consolidating his power. “The Russian side held a grand welcome ceremony at the airport,” read China’s report. “Military Band Plays National Anthems of China and Russia.”

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As it happens, Russia’s economic pact is more comprehensive than Beijing’s.

While the Chinese side only said it would “commit to significantly increase bilateral trade volume by 2030,” the Kremlin release described the planned trade growth as “multifold.”

China’s imports from Russia rose nearly 49% in yuan terms to 763.75 billion yuan ($110.89 billion) last year, according to China Customs data accessed by Air Information. This is faster than the approximately 28% increase in 2021.

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Another detail not mentioned by the Chinese side is that “when it comes to investment, our countries have compiled 80 important and promising bilateral projects in various fields worth 165 billion dollars,” the Russian report said.

“We support the use of the Chinese yuan in transactions between the Russian Federation and its partners in Asia, Africa and Latin America,” the Kremlin release said.

The US dollar remains the dominant currency for global transactions, although publicly available statistics indicate that use of the yuan has risen by a low single-digit percentage.

Beijing has pushed for internationalization of its currency and self-sufficiency in energy and food supplies.

China and Russia are expanding natural gas pipelines that supply parts of China. A statement from the Russian side this week said so, although Beijing did not specify specifics Last year “Power of Siberia” increased gas supply through the pipeline by 50%.

The two countries have separately agreed to work together on media, according to official reports. The Russian side said this would include joint production of TV shows and others Cooperation between the state-run media of the two countries.

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Xi gave “considerable attention” to Chinese plans for Ukraine peace talks in a conversation with Putin, the Kremlin said.

However, Putin said it To the “West and Kiev” to show the “preparation”. According to the report read by the Russian side, for a peaceful settlement.

On Friday, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Putin Alleged war crimes.

“The world should not be fooled by any tactical moves by Russia, with the help of China or other countries, to freeze the war on its terms without any viable path to restoring Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said NSC Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby said at a conference earlier this week.

“If China wants to play a constructive role here in this conflict, it must press Russia to withdraw its troops from Ukraine and Ukrainian sovereign territory,” Kirby said in a statement. Next presentation. “They should urge President Putin to stop bombing cities, hospitals and schools, stop war crimes and atrocities, and end the war today. It can happen now.”

After a meeting with Putin in Moscow, Gji plans to speak with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for the first time since the invasion. The Wall Street Journal reported last week. Quoting people in the know.

China’s foreign ministry said only that it was “communicating with all parties”.

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