China called for enhanced connectivity with Russia and greater collaboration in trade and investment, as the two nations pledged to strengthen their economic partnership despite criticism from Western countries following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2014.
The economic development minister of Russia engaged in thorough talks about economic collaboration with the commerce minister of China in Beijing on Tuesday. This occurred simultaneously with a visit by China’s chief diplomat, Wang Yi, to Moscow for strategic discussions that resulted in the confirmation of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s upcoming trip to Beijing next month.
According to a statement from the Ministry of Commerce, Chinese Minister Wang Wentao stated in talks held in Beijing that economic and trade cooperation between China and Russia has strengthened and become more substantial under the strategic leadership of the two leaders.
Due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the imposition of sanctions by Western countries, Russia has turned to its ally China for economic assistance. This has been fueled by China’s need for oil, gas, and grain from Russia.
According to the most recent data from Chinese customs, imports of Russian products in August increased by 3% compared to the previous year, reaching $11.5 billion. This marks a reversal from the 8% decline seen in July.
China has dismissed Western disapproval of its increasing alliance with Moscow amidst Russia’s conflict with Ukraine. It maintains that the relationship does not violate global standards, and China has the right to cooperate with any nation it desires.
The Group of Seven ministers restated their request on Tuesday, without specifically naming any nations, for third parties to stop providing support for Russia’s aggressive war or face serious consequences.
The region of Russian Far East, which shares borders with China and North Korea, has become strategically important for cross-border trade and business.
Last week, the United Oil and Gas-Chemical Co. of Russia and Xuan Yuan Industrial Development of China made a deal to construct an oil transshipment complex near a railway bridge connecting the Russian town of Nizhneleninskoye to China’s Tongjiang. This is part of Moscow’s efforts to expand its exports of commodities beyond Europe, which it considers to be politically “unfriendly”.
The eastern region of Russia, responsible for catching around 70% of the nation’s seafood, is seeking to increase its exports of marine products to China. This comes after China implemented a ban on seafood from Japan following the contamination of ocean water from the damaged Fukushima plant.
According to Chinese state media, it is becoming increasingly important for China and Russia to increase their trade of grains due to ongoing scarce global supplies. The development of a grain corridor connecting Russia to Heilongjiang, the main grain-producing region in China’s northeast, will strengthen China’s food safety.
In September, President Xi Jinping of China stated that Heilongjiang should serve as a crucial entry point for China’s expansion in the northern region. He emphasized the province’s responsibility in protecting national defense, food, and energy security.