China Celebrates Vladimir Putin’s No Limits Friendship
The two countries to look out for in the very near future are China and Russia, given their continuously deepening relations. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who faces arrest by the ICC because of the war crimes in Ukraine, is in China celebrating 10 years of the Belt and Road Initiative.
His presence has awed countries and political commentators that look at China and Russia with scorn and deceptiveness. But China and Russia continue with their friendship and joint efforts to safeguard international fairness and justices, as well as strategic coordination.
Trade between the two countries is at an all-time high. Beijing has let the West’s narrative get in the way of business with Russia. Data highlights that trade between China and Russia could exceed $300-350 billion in the medium term.
Isolated Russia Turned to China
However, analyst at Council on Foreign Relations Thomas Graham believes Moscow embraced Beijing’s open arms because its isolated from the West. “Although the Kremlin touts its close strategic alignment and ‘no limits friendship’ with China, the reality is not so rosy.”
He said partnership has been more beneficial for China than for Moscow. “Though China is one of Russia’s only reliable trading partners at the moment, the nation has neglected to make major investments in Russia. Beijing also appears to be prioritizing its own economic interests, such as by using its relationship with Russia to trim other trade ties on terms inordinately favorable to itself.”
Graham highlighted that if Russia wants to avoid strategic subordination to China, it cannot rely on inchoate multilateral groupings that have little chance of rivaling Western-dominated global institutions.
China Keen on Putin’s EAEU
But China also has its fair share of challenges. Sanctions on Chinese investment and supply of high-tech products to China has hit its economy hard. Kirill Babaev, director of the Institute of China and Modern Asia of the Russian Academy of Sciences, says BRI is looking for new points of growth and the fast growing Russian-Chinese trade could be it, as well as the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).
He believes the EAEU and the BRI pairing would be important for Russia. “China understands that trade with the EAEU is much more reliable than interaction with Western countries.” There could be talks about power of Siberia. Putin’s visit could finalize agreements on the construction of the ambitious Power of Siberia-2. This will benefit Russia and China both.