Trade War Fuels China-Russia Alliance

China - Russia
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang attend talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing November 7, 2018.
(Photo: REUTERS/Thomas Peter/Pool)

The United States is waging a bitter trade war against China, and as the turmoil continues the Asian superpower has found an unlikely ally in the form of its neighbor to the north, Russia. Faced with massive trade sanctions and tariffs from the western superpower, China and Russia are finding a lot of common ground and are starting to reinvigorate their alliance.

China and Russia have formed a new mutual alliance in which both parties are gaining from each other. From the economic perspective, China has become Russia's biggest single trade partner. China is also levering this newfound alliance by tapping Russia's massive oil export business. This, in turn, has turn Russia into China's biggest supplier of crude oil in 2015, displacing the might Saudi Arabia.

As for the oil trade, a new pipeline called Power of Siberia is expected to start delivering natural gas to northern China by December 2019. This new pipeline will pump a massive amount of natural gas into China to the tune of 38 billion cubic meters or about 1.3 trillion cubic feet per year. China is also deeply invested in some of Russia's oil ventures. Various Chinese investment firms and entities own 30 percent of Russia's Yamal project, a liquefied natural facility located in the Arctic.

In terms of geopolitical matters, many observers have noted that while the two countries have their own set of security concerns, all of which are not conflicting with each other's interests. China's main concerns are concentrated in the Pacific region, while Russia's concern involves the former Soviet bloc in the Middle East. While these two interests are non-conflicting, observers agree that both China and Russia perceive a common threat which is the United States.

China and Russia's economy are almost complementary to each other. On one hand, China is widely known as the world's biggest manufacturer. On the other hand, Russia is considered the world's largest exporter of raw materials and energy. Many political analysts have noted that as trade threats from the United States continue to grow, the alliance between China and Russia will solidify as both countries try to mitigate the negative repercussions brought upon by the western superpower.

Lately, China has been peddling the possibility of opening its trade borders to international companies and brands. Although China and Russia are already in satisfactory terms with each other, this business opportunity is sure to further strengthen the alliance of these two superpowers.

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