China and Russia – Shared Goals or Common Enemy

By SamvadaWorld Staff Feb16,2022

As the war of words over Ukraine grows louder between the US and Russia, China seems to have warmed up to the latter. China’s foreign minister Wang Yi called Russia’s security concerns “legitimate”, saying they should be “taken seriously”. Some experts opine that China and Russia are closer today than ever since the days of Stalin and Mao.

International isolation after the 2014 Crimea crisis, pushed Russia closer to China after the latter offered economic and diplomatic support. Since then, China has become Russia’s biggest trade partner for years with bilateral trade hitting a new high of $147bn last year. 

The two countries also signed a roadmap for closer military ties last year while stepping up joint military exercises. Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping will hold a closely-watched meeting during his visit to Beijing to attend the Winter Olympics. The meeting is crucial as currently both countries and their leaders, in particular, have tense relationships with the West.

In the event the Western countries impose sanctions on Russia over Ukraine, China is likely to come to Russia’s economic aid. This could include China providing alternative payment systems, loans for Russian banks and firms, and more purchases of Russian oil. Both Russia and China will outrightly reject US export controls and try to get countries opposed to the US on their side. A distracted US and West over a possible military conflict in Ukraine will no doubt be a boon for China. 

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