- Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin have agreed to cooperate in a range of economic and trade fields.
- Chinese state media said one of the most prominent names on the list was the increased use of the “domestic” currency.
- The confirmation of economic cooperation between Russia and China comes as the United States and its allies have slapped sanctions on Russia for its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin give a toast during a reception following their talks at the Kremlin in Moscow on March 21, 2023.
Pavel Birkin | Afp | Getty Images
BEIJING — Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin have agreed to cooperate in a range of economic and trade areas, both countries reported Wednesday.
Chinese state media said one of the most prominent names on the list was the increased use of the “domestic” currency. The Kremlin was more visible In stating that the yuan and the ruble already account for two-thirds of the payments for trade deals between the two countries.
Other areas covered by the agreement included: expanding bilateral trade, cooperation in energy and food security, and the development of railways and other cross-border logistics infrastructure.
China is already Russia’s largest trading partner. Official statements from both sides It revealed few details about numbers or an implementation timeline, noting that the plan focused on the years leading up to 2030.
The confirmation of economic cooperation between Russia and China comes as the United States and its allies have slapped sanctions on Russia for its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Beijing has refused to call it an invasion, while calling for peace talks.
Xi went to Moscow this week for his first state visit since winning an unprecedented third term as president earlier this month – consolidating his power. “The Russian side held a grand welcome ceremony at the airport,” the Chinese statement said. The military band played the national anthems of China and Russia.
As it was, Russia’s reading of the economic agreement was more detailed than Beijing’s.
While the Chinese side only said that it would “commit to significantly increasing bilateral trade volume by 2030,” the Kremlin statement described the planned trade growth as “several times.”
China’s imports from Russia grew about 49% last year in yuan terms to 763.75 billion yuan ($110.89 billion), according to Chinese customs data accessed by Wind Information. This is faster than the roughly 28% increase in 2021.
In another detail that the Chinese side did not mention, the Russian statement said: “When it comes to investment, our countries have collected a package of 80 important and promising bilateral projects in various fields, worth about $165 billion.”
“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 statement said.
The US dollar remains by far the dominant currency in global transactions, although publicly available figures indicate that use of the yuan has risen to low single-digit percentages.
Beijing has pushed towards the internationalization of its currency, as well as self-sufficiency in energy and food supplies.
China and Russia are expanding the natural gas pipeline that supplies parts of China. While Beijing did not give details, a statement from the Russian side said this week Gas supplies through the main “Power of Siberia” pipeline increased by 50% last year.
Official statements said the two countries separately agreed to work together in the media. The Russian side said that this includes the joint production of television programs and others Cooperation between government media in the two countries.
The Kremlin said Xi paid “great attention” to Chinese plans for Ukraine peace talks in a one-on-one conversation with Putin.
However, Putin said that he was Even “West and Kiev” to show “readiness” In order to reach a peaceful settlement according to the readings of the Russian side.
On Friday, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Putin Alleged war crimes.
“The world should not be fooled by any tactical move by Russia, with the help of China or any other country, to freeze the war on its own terms without any viable path to restoring Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said NSC Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby said in a news briefing earlier this week.
“If China wants to play a constructive role here in this conflict, it should pressure Russia to withdraw its forces from Ukraine and Ukrainian sovereign territory,” Kirby said in a statement. Subsequent briefing. “They have to 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 meeting with Putin in Moscow, Xi plans to speak with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for the first time since the invasion, The Wall Street Journal reported last week, Citing people familiar with the matter.
China’s foreign ministry said only that the country was “keeping in touch with all parties”.
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